Blog Archives

Media 45: Corbyn’s cabinet? The BBC placates its political masters – nevertheless support for the new shadow government grows

The BBC, whose very existence depends on government approval, is regularly criticised for supporting, by unbalanced reporting, the causes favoured by government. The interests of genetic modification, big pharma, supermarkets, the arms industry and large landowners are all upheld by state media and their gratitude crystallises in party funds from time to time.

The electorate – though they directly or indirectly pay for the institution – are badly served, as a preponderance of biased experts employed by the interests for which they witness, overbear the voices of truth.

Misleading implication: the truth is that these ten were never asked to serve – BBC, shame on you!

Instead of focussing on the new shadow cabinet, the BBC spends far more time saying that the very smooth Chuka Ummuna, Ms Creagh, Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall, Tristram Hunt, Rachel Reeves, Chris Leslie, Jamie Reed, Emma Reynolds and Shabana Mahmood refused to serve.

The words of former BBC Radio 4 Today and Midweek presenter, Libby Purves, are being broadcast in social media:

times shot2 libby purves

The BBC and mainstream press – under the guise of finding politics more interesting – reflect their political master’s apprehension and so are visibly and almost hysterically on the attack. Many readers have complained to the BBC over the years about biased reporting; this one confined herself to email:

“The attacks on Jeremy Corbyn have reminded us how terrible our media is – not surprising when you look at the handful of people who control the press & the subservient attitude the BBC takes to the current government. It’s in keeping with the scenario of ‘A very British Coup’ & extremely scary in my view”.

It is more subtle than Murdoch’s Times, which is currently selecting the old political correctness weapon: “Jeremy Corbyn’s choice of ‘male and pale’ allies for his shadow cabinet has caused dismay’, untrue: actually women are in the majority. The BBC then changes tack and criticises him for not giving them the most senior posts.

Were Rupert’s journalists seriously advocating that shadow ministers should be chosen on the grounds of sex and ethnicity, rather than ability and experience?

It is encouraging to see that so many members of the electorate are now more discerning, disregarding these media ploys and welcoming ‘this glorious antidote to Blair’.

15,500 new members have joined the party in the past 24 hours and more will be doing so.

Call for more defence spending: UKNDA letter precedes Nato summit in Newport

uknda header

In 2007, a group of former senior military personnel, including chiefs of staff and politicians set up an organisation called the UK National Defence Association (UKNDA) to launch a campaign for a major increase in funding for the armed forces. This followed the resignation of 20,000 troops due to poor pay, too little family leave and inadequate accommodation – though the Telegraph reports inside evidence of ‘questionable’ allowances and grace-and-favour privileges, including heavily subsidised luxury apartments, are enjoyed by ‘senior military personnel’.

August 20th 2014

Kiran Stacey, political correspondent of the FT reports that the UKNDA recently published an open letter warning that the UK needed to ring-fence the Ministry of Defence’s budget after the next election to retain a credible defence and to guarantee to increase spending on the armed forces in line with inflation for the five years of the next parliament.

Reset NATO’s priorities?

The letter comes two weeks before the Nato summit in Newport, Wales, which Mr Cameron will chair, and which many defence insiders hope will help reset the military alliance’s priorities.

nato security cardiff‘Democracy and freedom’: security barriers already placed in High Street, Cardiff & 9500 police officers to cover next month’s September summit

Some observers expect Mr Cameron and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Nato secretary-general to pressure other European countries to meet the organisation’s target of spending 2% of gross domestic product on defence. But though Britain currently meets that target, figures drawn up by an independent consultancy, in an analysis commissioned by senior military personnel in the British armed forces, show that the UK’s military expenditure will be reduced to 1.9% of the size of the country’s economy by 2017.

Need for Russia to ‘take us seriously’

Stacey reports that its intervention also reflects a wider concern among defence chiefs and analysts that Nato has lost its way. Allen Sykes, one of the authors of the letter – asserts: ”Unless we also ringfence our increased defence expenditure, we are sending a signal to our opponents and allies that defence is not our priority. If we don’t do this, it would be a laughable position. Russia would not take us seriously.”

And America must be helped to continue spreading democracy and freedom

UKNDA stalwarts are Andrew Roberts, New York-based journalist & historian, with a background in corporate finance, Allen Sykes, retired international businessman and – in the background – Dr Irwin Stelzer, long-term friend of Rupert Murdoch and Tony Blair, known for his book on neoconservatism and an advocate of American efforts to ‘spread democracy and freedom’, who wrote a foreword to the UKNDA’s 2009 report arguing for an increase in Britain’s defence spending.

Or witness the de facto death of the special relationship

irwin stelzerIrwin Stelzer warns: “There is no question that the Pentagon is engaged in a reappraisal of the extent to which it can look to Britain for support in any effort involving the deployment of military assets, and therefore the extent of its obligation should Britain need assistance (perhaps if the Argentine government carries out its threat to reoccupy ‘las Malvinas’ now that the Royal Navy has withdrawn from the oil-rich area in order to meet other challenges).

”If that reappraisal results in the de facto death of the special relationship between our countries, both of us will be the loser”.

But the countries destabilised by this alliance may be given a chance to rebuild themselves. The greatest losers would be those with a vested industry in the arms industry