Wednesday, 16 May 2018


I used to describe myself as a Marxist Feminist which for those I posted with at the time conjured up an image of some ballbreaking, dungeree wearing feminist activist circa Greenham Common.  That wasn’t what I was going for all, I am much more genteel than that, more cream tea than Molotov cocktail.  
Nowadays I suppose I am far Left, as much as my heroes Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell and then some, except for a few fundamental issues, the idea of a Leveson 2 Inquiry for example, is a bit like shutting the door after the horse has bolted. And #Metoo, which I will save for another day.
The News of the World is now defunct, and it’s stable mate The Sun is on it’s last legs.  Sensationalist tabloids no longer make the news or influence elections, the public have moved on.  We have a worldwide web full of honest and reliable journalists, who are bringing us genuine news that we are interested in. Who would opt for a Sun reporter as their news source? If Leveson 1 achieved anything, it laid bare the grubby relationships between those who rule over us and those who feed us government propaganda via soft porn and scandal.
Some might blame the change in the paradigm on the case of missing Madeleine McCann.  As the UK mainstream media fed us the story of heroic British parents fighting back against the unjust third world police skills of the Portuguese, the Portuguese newspapers were telling an entirely different story.  A bit of a Homer Simpson ‘doh!’ moment there as Team McCann realised news (and books) can no longer be contained by borders. All those who looked beyond the headlines in this case, could quickly see that the UK MSM were lying - long before Leveson came on the scene.
Leveson 1 made Rupert Murdoch a household name, a Bond villain moving world leaders around on a chess board.  Rupert Murdoch rules the UK some might say.  He is the mighty power behind whatever government he told us to elect.  Just as chummy with Tony Blair as he was with David Cameron, well, up until the whole wife thing.  And what of Ed Milliband? He was shrieking like a woman scorned, why does he want the heads of media moguls so badly?  Why are Labour so keen for a Leveson 2, the tories, not so much.
I should be on the side of my fellow lefties, calling for the rich and powerful moguls and their minions to be brought to justice, but the reality is, nothing can ever hurt them as much as their huge drop in sales and ratings. They no longer have the undivided attention of the masses, the masses have iphones and access to great websites like The Canary and Bill Palmer. Karma is catching up on all those who thought it was OK to deceive us, and it is hurting them in ways we never could have imagined. The public have reached the indifference stage of the relationship, no love, no hate, we just don’t give a shit.  
The mere threat of a Leveson 2, I should imagine, has done much to clean up the murky goings on between all those controlling the news cycles.  OK, lol, who am I trying to kid, corruption is everywhere and always will be, it is as it is. Excuse me for a moment whilst I find an appropriate Buddhist chant to calm me down.  I’m back.  Made do with a couple of Seinfeld ‘Serenity Now’s’.
The time to tackle the Media moguls and the abuse of power, was at the time, as it was happening, before they had a chance to spring clean and shred anything incriminating.  And of course, while they still had influence. Leveson 2 is about retribution and grudges. An opportunity to say that smart comment you thought of, 5 minutes after you left the room. What can it achieve, other than a change in the Law? Ah, right, gotcha now, laws to protect the privacy of those who find (or make) themselves newsworthy.  
Don't get me wrong, my heart went out to the family of Milly Dowler, the behaviour of the journalists was scummy, not just on professional level, but as human beings.  Most of us know that, and most journalists know that, but as with every demographic and profession, there will be always be unscrupulous people who exploit tragedy. Those who go too far and interfere in police investigations should be punished, those wrongly accused should receive apologies.  Beyond that, what more can be done? New laws to punish investigative reporters, financial penalties for those papers who stick their noses where they shouldn’t? Tom Watson wants news outlets to pay all the costs of litigation, whether they win or lose, making it easier for ordinary people struck by tragedy to sue the Goliaths.  
But the big lie is, it’s not ordinary people who need protection from the press, or those investigative journalists, because most ordinary people have nothing to hide.  They are rarely caught up in a sensational news story. Most victims of crime, I would like to think, are treated kindly by the media, Gerry and Kate certainly were, and for a long time they worked with press enthusiastically, giving hundreds of interviews and photo opportunities. Unfortunately, the relationship soured.  Was it the lurid headlines? Their condemnation of the press at Leveson 1, or the McCanns penchant for large libel payouts.
The idea that the MSM are a threat to ordinary people is a LOL myth, because ordinary people don’t need the protection of privacy laws, they don’t usually have something unscrupulous or heinous to hide.  Privacy laws are for the wealthy and the elite, and to pretend otherwise is an insult to our intelligence.  Hacked Off did well in acquiring the names of so many ‘ordinary’ people, but they were ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. There is very little chance that the rest of us will have tabloid journalists going through our bins or trying to hack our phones. Be in no doubt, the Laws sought by Milliband and Watson are laws that will directly benefit the rich and those up to no good. Those who live in fear that their true characters will be exposed.  
Censoring and gagging the press, is practically on page 1 of ‘My first little book on how to be a Despot’, it comes between ‘How to cover up evil’ and ‘How to amass bribes’. Blackmail is more tricky, homosexuals have been gleefully jumping out of closets for the past two decades, so no leverage there, but any hint of paedophilia can be just as life changing as a NOTW front page. And politicians like Tom Watson, want to lead the digging Which begs the question, who’s looking for salacious headlines, the media or the Witch hunter?
I should be with and alongside my fellow lefties on a call for a Leveson 2, but on freedom of the press, I fear any moves that interfere with the rights of journalists to root out the truth.  Whilst I wouldn’t be unhappy at a sledgehammer being brought down on The Sun, The Mail and the Express, I would be less happy if these proposed ‘laws’ were used to cripple the new wave of bloggers, vloggers and truth tellers.  And I suspect that’s where the new laws will be focused, a legal way in which to gag the rebels and the subversives.
The cries for Leveson 2 come mostly from the Labour Right, or should I say the old ‘New’ Labour, via screaming Ed Milliband and Tom Watson, who for some reason reminds me of Billy Bunter, who’s only thought in life was ‘what’s in it for me’. His eagerness to play Witchfinder General alongside Jim Gamble should send chills through everyone, what is it with him and ancient crimes?
What happened to the Dowlings was unforgiveable, but another Leveson won’t put it right. For them and the other victims, it will bring only further heartache.  Their pain is being used to further a political agenda, quite cruelly, I might add.  Besides, the empires of the media moguls are crumbling, there is just too much competition now, by the time they publish a sensational front page story, it’s already 24 hours old.  Neither the Government or the media moguls control the news anymore, they can no longer manipulate public opinion.  I have mentioned the parents of Milly Dowling several times, because their pain, I think, was incomparable to any other, but I see their names are not included in the 'victims' letter to the Prime Minister.  That I fully understand.
The McCanns however, are complaining yet again, even though they have been amply compensated several times over.  The apologies and the payouts weren't enough, they want changes in the Law.  They want those who criticise them in the dock and facing prison.  A sort of 'Go Straight to Jail, do not pass Go, and do not collect £200 card' for those journalists or bloggers who cross the line.  They want only one sided reporting on the mysterious disappearance of their daughter, and if it wasn't for Goncalo Amaral and the internet, they would have had it. 
You can see why the rich, the famous, the politicians, dodgy professionals, those with murky pasts  and the Mob, etc, demand the full force of the law to cover up their secrets,  but why are the Labour Right getting themselves into such a tiz?  Why do the Labour Right race so eagerly towards a 'Nanny State'?  A State in which they will watch over us so closely, we will feel their vampire breath closing in our jugulars, they were heading towards a DNA bank and ID cards last time around.  Why do they want legislation that will curb the powers of the press?  These politicians don't care about the power of tabloids like the Sun, they care about those new pioneering websites and news outlets that are spreading the Jeremy Corbyn/John McDonnell word to a rapidly growing audience. 
I don't care that my  views run contrary to my natural habitat, but in this run down country where people are dying on the streets and children are going hungry, why are Milliband and Watson so intent on punishing the press?  Why are reputations more important than lives?  More important than the lives of those affected by the Grenfell fire or Windrush debacle? The UK is currently in freefall, those who need a Labour government are waiting for those incumbent to step up to the plate, but they are failing them, every time.  They want the Labour party and property portfolio of Tony Blair, with tiffin on the Lawn with Rupert, Jerry and Rebekah, and the privileged lives of their predecessors, before the incorruptible Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the party.