Iain Duncan Smith’s Tinker Bell statistics (video)


Regular readers of this blog will know that Iain Duncan Smith is a notorious liar.  There is no point being euphemistic about it because the facts are clear. When confronted about his lies his excuse is that he “believes” that what he … Continue reading

Thomas Piketty – Why we need a global wealth tax (video)


Jeremy Paxman discusses wealth inequality and a global wealth tax with Thomas Piketty author of “Capital In The 21st Century” on Newsnight (30 April 2014).   Video © BBC *********************************************** Wealth inequality and other things we don’t have to learn from … Continue reading

Supreme Court declares racism is dead in America…..but they forgot to tell Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy (video)


Last June, in a move heavily criticised by civil rights groups, the US Supreme Court struck down some of the key elements of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that were designed to protect the poor and ethnic minority voters from being disenfranchised.  As a … Continue reading

Do you want the truth from your government or just what a minister says he ‘believes’ to be true? (video)


“The Prime Minister doesn’t want the truth, he wants something he can tell Parliament” (Sir Humphrey Appleby, Yes Minister) First published 27 July 2013 Last week David Cameron made the most of the opportunity to claim that his party’s policies on … Continue reading

Food stamps are supposed to help the poor not remove their dignity (video)


Clips from the recent parliamentary debate on the causes of the increased use of food banks can be found towards the end of this post.  The debate was largely ignored by broadcast TV news on the day so you may well be unaware … Continue reading

You know that they’re racist when….. they imply that being black makes you more likely to be a criminal (video)


Fox host Chris Wallace continued Fox’s misguided focus on black crime rates following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, leaving out critical historical context to black crime and the perception of black violence. Due to copyright restrictions in order to watch the clip you need to type … Continue reading

The Daily Mail: Love, Nazis and Taxes (video)


The Daily Mail Ralph Miliband hatchet job is the gift that keeps on giving. For example, Viscount Rothermere and the Daily Mail’s association with Fascism goes far beyond the “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” headline of which we have all been reminded … Continue reading

Wealth inequality and other things we don’t have to learn from America (video)


It is said that what happens in the US happens in the UK shortly afterwards. This clip of the Daily Show was broadcast in August 2011 and touches on many of the same arguments used by the Conservative Party in the … Continue reading

Support for the Nazis and Andrew Wakefield, spurious and dangerous health ‘advice’, misogyny, racism and anti-Semitism. When is Paul Dacre going to apologise to the British people for the Daily Mail? (video)


So the Daily Mail’s editor, Paul Dacre, is at it again. Attempting to smear leading members of the Labour Party with innuendo based on events that happened over 30 years ago and for which the most critical accusations are either … Continue reading

World At One: Embarrassing DEFRA report on food banks finally released (video)


The DEFRA report into why there has been such a huge increase in the use of food banks in the UK was quietly released this morning, some 11 months after it was commissioned and 8 months after it was completed. … Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith and Esther McVey sneer, laugh and then vanish as commons debates why Britain’s desperate poor are forced to use food banks (video)


Clips from the recent parliamentary debate on the causes of the increased use of food banks can be found towards the end of this post.  The debate was largely ignored by broadcast TV news on the day so you may well be unaware … Continue reading

Truthiness: The Telegraph is guilty of lazy and biased journalism but, as ever, it’s all the fault of the BBC (video)


For the second consecutive Sunday (and several days in between) the Telegraph decided to lead it’s news agenda with what it and the Conservative party have decided is BBC liberal bias.  Claims of liberal bias at the BBC have been … Continue reading

Truthiness: “Whipping-up a frenzy” about benefit tourism (video)


In October 2005, in the first ever episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert introduced the world to a new word – “Truthiness“. Password: imincorrigible Colbert clip added 26 Jan 2015 © Comedy Central Now you may be asking “what does any … Continue reading

Hurrah For The Privy Council! It’s Not Just The Public That Are Hacked-off With Pressbof


Newsnight proudly announced a scoop on Monday night as they informed us that the Privy Council have rejected the PressBoF version of the Royal Charter which is supposed to provide oversight of the behaviour of the press in the UK and protect the public from its regular excesses.  This much trailed decision is good news for anyone that believes our national press has behaved disgracefully and needs to be reformed but its not the end of the story. PressBoF has been rebuffed but we still have not been told if the Leveson compliant parliamentary version of press oversight will be given royal assent.

For those of you unfamiliar with the two versions of the Royal Charter that have been proposed you may find the following details from the independent Media Standards Trust helpful.

The two Charters are substantively different. This includes material differences with respect to the main themes that Lord Justice Leveson emphasised as critical to the success of a new system of regulation. These are the themes that the Prime Minister referred to as the ‘Leveson principles’ when he responded to the report in the House on 29th  November [2012].

These themes are:
• independence from political influence;
• independence from press influence;
• access to fair redress;
• adequate powers (of correction and investigation);
• a satisfactory code

Based on the differences between the five key themes outlined in this short document, the PressBoF Charter does not achieve Leveson’s aim of an independent and effective system of self-regulation, as compared the cross-party agreed Royal Charter which achieves most of them.

Leveson said that the previous system of self-regulation failed because it was not adequately independent of the industry, and that was in large part due to PressBoF:

‘The PCC is constrained by serious structural deficiencies which limit what it can do. The power of PressBoF in relation to appointments, the Code committee and the funding of the PCC means that the PCC is far from being an independent body’ (Leveson Report, Volume IV, p.1576)

The PressBoF Charter makes the system of regulation not less but as, if not more, dependent on the industry than even the PCC system. PressBoF becomes the owner of the system. The editors have almost complete control of the code.

Nor is the PressBoF Charter as protected from political influence as the cross-party Charter. It allows party political politicians to participate at all levels. Moreover, it is not protected from interference by Privy Councillors (as to the cross-party Charter which is protected by a clause in the ERR Act).

From the perspective of the public, the two greatest differences between the Charters must be with regard to access to redress, and powers to correct.

The cross party Charter makes arbitration a pre-requisite of any recognised new system. The PressBoF Charter makes it optional. Leveson was especially concerned that a new system of self-regulation should be ‘accessible’ by the public.

In terms of corrections and apologies, the cross party Charter ensures a recognised regulator has to have the power to direct a newspaper to publish, even if this means a correction on the front page. The PressBoF Charter only ensures a regulator will have the power, where appropriate, to require some sort of remedial action – and only after negotiations between the complainant and the paper have failed.

While the cross-party Charter lays out the structure of a new system of independent self-regulation close to what Leveson recommended, the PressBoF Charter proposes a system much further away from Leveson, and one that institutionalizes some of the more significant failings of the previous system.

Media Standards Trust (May 2013) Full pdf document available here.

The Daily Mail: the worst of British posing as its best (video)


Yesterday I wrote a post about how the Daily Mail hates Britain. As you will see if you view the video clips below, on Tuesday night’s excellent Newsnight there was an interview with Jon Steafel, deputy editor of the Daily Mail, during which he was asked 11 times by Alistair Campbell … Continue reading