Tag: #Murdoch

Health officials and sociologists voice concerns about the effects of tabloids on the general public

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Research has consistently shown that reading tabloid newspapers such as the Sun, Express and Daily Mail causes an obsession with borders, contagious fatalism, addictive irritable incoherence syndrome, an anxiety-inducing paranoia, a pre-occupation with foreigners and other people stealing tax payer’s money. It’s thought to be the fault of vagabonds, migrants, the EU and scrounging poor, everyone knows offshore banks and tax avoidance are run by the EU. A highly suggestible state results, presenting with swollen spite, distended misery guts, clinical resentment retention, rash folk devils and suppurating moral panic.

These symptoms usually precede the completely incapacitating open mouth of closed-mind syndrome, leading to premature, ejaculated brain death.

Sociologists have discovered that many unfortunate tabloid addicts have nasty outbreaks of brazen neighbours, usually from other countries, or with very dodgy disabilities. Some poor and self-rightously outraged readers even have suspiciously lazy single mothers, layabout, loutish students, suspected illegal foreigners wearing cunning disguises or daring unemployed bad sorts living right next door or just down the street. This is usually preceded by a malignant disdain that is difficult to contain.

Although there has been fierce debate about the aetiology of this condition, sociologists believe that it’s psycho-semantic. The cause also precedes the effects. In other words, it is the victims of these nasty epidemics of dodgy bad sorts that actually manifest those symptomatic phenomena, during fits of psycho-enigmatic, convulsive curtain twitching, whilst presenting further shocking symptoms of frank, febrile tutting. 

Health officials carried out research over many years, which revealed  that during the early stages of chronic tabloiditis, acute, screaming headlines bind to the victim’s brain and dopamine receptors, releasing a surge of bile and some other unidentifiable, free-floating, profuse bitter stuff. This has the unfortunate effect of oxidising the part of the brain ordinarily used to rationalise and the nubbin in the noggin that usually facilitates discernment. The deadly process also affects the vocal chords, leaving the poor patient with an over-developed sense of indignance and a hyper-reactive moral outrage. This culminates in excessive sweating, incoherent shrieking and convulsive knee-jerk responses.

The most alarming health survey reports have revealed that the process involves rapid shrinkage and withering of the gland that regulates reality uptake – the part of the body that scientists call the “getagrippe.”  This reduces the reader to thinking in unsound soundbites, leading to a terminal condition called “end-stage pernicious gullibility.” Once patients reach this stage, there is little hope for them. They tend to rapidly succumb to the malignant “cuttingyournoseofftospiteyourface” syndrome.

For example, many patients suffer a dreadful condition involving hallucinations that it’s better to have no welfare, human rights or NHS rather than have other people using them. In particular, patients tend to stipulate that unless they alone need to use tax-funded public services, they should be blown up or demolished, so no-one else can use them. Some have resorted to self-lobotomising, whilst other hopeless cases mimic end-stage Rumplestiltskinism.

Another symptom is that patients become clinically cynical. These poor victims become increasingly intolerant of everyone else, especially anyone claiming benefits, who chaf their considerably swollen sensibilities. This common reaction is a severe allergic response to others, along with a strong dose of feverish outrage manifested in the obsessive compulsive thought that anyone else should be punished regularly with public floggings, being hung, drawn and quartered and no supper. Or anything. 

Once a person is in a super state of autoimmunity to others, (a condition that some in the government Nudge Unit call “Pavlov’s delight”) the body rejects the spleen, which exits the body through the bile duct and vents. Transplants have been unsuccessful, with issues around host and grafting and NHS tourism, leading to further rejection, atrophic anomie and gonadotrophic adenoids, empathy deficiency heart failure syndrome, brought on by persistent exposure to viral epidemics of the protestant work ethic.

The patient becomes fixated on what they think everyone else has, particularly the poor, and it’s always thought to be a lot more than what the patient has, though this is usually fueled by short bursts of media stereotypes, acute delusions of impacted resentment with profuse sub-arachnoid diarrhoea, spasms of inferiority complexes and feverish exaggerations, culminating in the fatal vomited outcry of “they’ve got a flat-screened TV, an iPhone, and two scruffy kids and a packet of fags that I paid for, the cheeky scrounging b*stards.”

It’s a pernicious, humourless disease that leads to rapid degeneration and further distress through pustular outbreaks of inflamatory comments, extensive diversionary metastases, profound rectal aphasia and ultimately, to a terminal and toxic irrelevance leaking like pus from the brain and mouth. The patient is usually unaware that he/she is mortally offensive to other people at this stage. Painful class envy and terminal false consciousness follow, inevitably.

The contamination was believed to have originated from 2010, when an acute case of Murdochitis broke out and spread to other media. Some sociologists pin-pointed David Cameron’s government as the main source of the outbreak, though many public health officials have argued that Cameron’s lot were merely the original carrier of the deadly bug.

Evidence suggests that even some of the working class on the left of the political spectrum are succumbing rapidly to chronic, deteriorating narksism. This is usually characterised by a pitiful and repetitive cry of “Blair blah blah red Tory. That Nigel Farage speaks his mind.” Unfortunately, Nigel Farrage’s mind causes further contamination, which requires radical treatment in cultural isolation units, but there is currently no cure for having associated symptoms like phobias of God’s wrath and gay rain flooding.

Many narksists have succumbed to the terrible agony of massively enlarged bolsheviks. There’s been a reported number of tragic suicides associated with the condition, and so far, thirty people have been found hung by the baubles on christmas trees after their extreme state of delirium had inexplicably led them to vote for turkeys. What a terrible way to go.

There is no cure for these epidemics, and officials don’t think there is any hope for sufferers in sight until at least 2020. Then there’s a small chance of putting them out of our misery.

Iain Duncan Smith has denied that there is any cause for concern, and today, determined to demonstrate tabloid safety, he ate a full Daily Mail in front of cameras in a public place. Despite growing contrary evidence from experts in their field, government advice, meanwhile, is to keep taking the tabloids.

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Once you hear the jackboots, it’s too late.

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Dr. Lawrence Britt examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to overlook some of the parallels with increasingly authoritarian characteristics of our own right wing government here in the UK.

Controlled mass media is one example of such a defining feature of fascism, with “news” being directly controlled and manipulated by the government, by regulation, or via sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship is very common. And then there is an obsession with “National Security” –  with fear being used as a “motivational tool” by the government on the public.

In June 2013, a visit by Government national security agents to smash computer hard drives at the Guardian newspaper offices hit the news surprisingly quietly, when Edward Snowden exposed a gross abuse of power and revealed mass surveillance programmes by American and British secret policing agencies (NSA and GCHQ) last year. (More detailed information here).

David Miranda, partner of Glenn Greenwald, Guardian interviewer of the whistleblower Edward Snowden, was held for 9 hours at Heathrow Airport and questioned under the Terrorism Act. Officials confiscated electronics equipment including his mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles. 

This was a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process, and as Greenwald said: “To detain my partner for a full nine hours while denying him a lawyer, and then seize large amounts of his possessions, is clearly intended to send a message of intimidation.”

Absolutely. Since when was investigative journalism a crime?

Even the Telegraph columnist Janet Daley remarked that these events were like something out of East Germany in the 1970s.

This certainly raised critically important legal and ethical issues, for those involved in journalism, especially if some kinds of journalism can be so easily placed at risk of being politically conflated with terrorism.

Once again, the mild and left wing/liberal Guardian is under attack by our Tory-led government. In an extraordinary and vicious attack on The Guardian newspaper, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) communications chief and senior government spin doctor, Richard Caseby, has called for the newspaper to be “blackballed” and prevented from joining the new press regulatory body, because “day after day it gets its facts wrong.” Remarkably, “ineptitude or ideology” were to blame for what he deemed “mistakes” in the paper’s coverage of the DWP’s cuts to benefits. He called for the broadsheet to be kept out of the new Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), set up after the Leveson Inquiry into media standards. 

As a former journalist at the Sun and The Sunday Times, Caseby certainly has an axe to grind against the paper that revealed how those right wing papers’ stablemate, the News Of The World, had hacked the voicemail of murdered teenager Millie Dowler, sparking the phone hacking scandal that prompted Rupert Murdoch to close the tabloid down.

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Richard Caseby, pictured when giving evidence to MPs as managing editor of The Sun.

In July 2011 it emerged that Cameron met key executives of Murdoch’s News Corporation 26 times during the 14 months that Cameron had served as Prime Minister. It was also reported that Murdoch had given Cameron a personal guarantee that there would be no risk attached to hiring Andy Coulson, the former editor of News of the World, as the Conservative Party’s communication director in 2007. This was in spite of Coulson having resigned as editor over phone hacking by a reporter. Cameron chose to take Murdoch’s advice, despite warnings from Nick Clegg, Lord Ashdown and the Guardian. Coulson resigned his post in 2011 and was later arrested and questioned on allegations of further criminal activity at the News of the World, specifically regarding the News International phone hacking scandal.

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons served a summons on Murdoch, his son James, and his former CEO Rebekah Brooks to testify before a committee on 19 July. After an initial refusal, the Murdochs confirmed they would attend after the committee issued them a summons to Parliament. The day before the committee, the website of the News Corporation publication the Sun was “hacked”, and a false story was posted on the front page claiming that Murdoch had died. Murdoch described the day of the committee “the most humble day of my life.”  He argued that since he ran a global business of 53,000 employees and that the News of the World was “just 1%” of this, he was not ultimately responsible for what went on at the tabloid. 

On 1 May 2012, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee issued a report stating that Murdoch was “not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company.”

On 3 July 2013 Exaro and Channel 4 news broke the story of a secretly recorded tape. It had been recorded by Sun journalists, and in it Murdoch can be heard telling them that the whole investigation was “one big fuss over nothing”, and that he, or his successors, would “take care” of any journalists who went to prison.

He said: “Why are the police behaving in this way? It’s the biggest inquiry ever, over next to nothing.” Murdoch believes that he doesn’t have to be accountable. His initial refusal to testify, despite being summonsed, is extraordinarily indifferent and arrogant.

In connection with Murdoch’s testimony to the Leveson Inquiry “into the ethics of the British press,” editor of Newsweek International, Tunku Varadarajan, referred to him as “the man whose name is synonymous with unethical newspapers.”

Not a shred of concern raised about any of this or Murdoch’s nasty and corrupt myth industry, and right wing scapegoating empire, coming from our government, a point worth reflecting on for a moment. Miliband said the phone-hacking was not just a media scandal, but it was a symbol of what was wrong with British politics.  He called for cross-party agreement on new media ownership laws that would cut Murdoch’s current market share, arguing that he has “too much power over British public life.He said: “If you want to minimise the abuses of power, then that kind of concentration of power is frankly quite dangerous.” 

Meanwhile, Iain Duncan  Smith is “monitoring” the BBC for any “left wing bias”. Gosh, I just bet that took the jolly well-known ardent commie Chris Patten by complete surprise…

The BBC Trust said that a programme called the “Future of Welfare”, written and presented by John Humphrys, breached its rules on impartiality and accuracy. It found that the programme had failed to back up with statistics claims that there was a “healthy supply of jobs”.

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, defended Humphrys as a “robust broadcaster” and said the documentary was “thoughtful and intelligent”. And perhaps most importantly, it endorsed the Governments’ punitive and callous welfare  “reforms.”

Duncan Smith was infuriated by the BBC’s coverage of the ruling, which he felt gave “too much airtime to campaigners.” Too much for what, exactly, we have to wonder. Perish the thought that anyone may dare to poke at the half-timbered facade of Tory ideology – Duncan Smiths’ rhetoric is a painful parody of fact that loudly dismisses – and intentionally obscures – the private despair and ruined lives of so many of those least able to speak up for themselves.

He said: “I have just watched reporting on the BBC about the Government winning a High Court judgement on the Spare Room Subsidy (that’s the Bedroom Tax to you and I) that once again has left me absolutely staggered at the blatant Left-wing bias within the coverage. And yet the BBC Trust criticise John Humphrys’s programme, which was thoughtful, intelligent and born out of the “real” life experience of individuals.”  The same Duncan Smith, who chooses to deny the all too painful and impoverished real life experiences his policies have inflicted on many. He prefers to lie them away from public attention. Or dismiss them as merely “anecdotal”.

Duncan Smith’s credibility doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny here, as someone attempting to verify “accuracy” and er…  statistical claims. Ah, yes. The Department of Work and Pensions – Iain Duncan Smiths’ Department – has a long track record of misusing statistics, making unsubstantiated inferences and stigmatising claimants, and it’s clear these are tactics used to attempt to vindicate further welfare cuts. In fact several minsters, including Cameron, have been officially rebuked by the Office of National Statistics for telling lies, and in Duncan Smith’s case – on at least 3 occasions this past 12 months despite warnings regarding his dishonest claims in the media, as well as in parliament. 

So considering all of this, it was with some incredulity that I read Caseby’s comments in the Huff Post earlier: “Should the new IPSO members accept (editor Alan Rusbridger) as a johnny-come-lately? No, rather he should be blackballed. Sorry, but the Guardian isn’t fit to become a member of IPSO until it starts valuing accuracy.”

And: “In the end, of course, it’s IPSO’s decision. But should the new standards body be so gracious as to invite him in, I guess I’ll be waiting to lodge the first complaint.” He said an MP had complained to the Office for National Statistics over The Guardian’s reporting of its data. I bet that was said without a trace of irony, too.

So, if alleged (and improbable) benefits inaccuracies “should get [The] Guardian blackballed,” what is this spin doctor’s recommendation for the perpetual propagandarising, lying, right wing media and a lying government minister’s serial offensive “benefits inaccuracies”?

Oh … of course, this is Iain Duncan Smiths’ relatively new pet guard dog.

An interesting choice of word from Caseby – “blackballing”, which is a rejection in a traditional form of secret ballot, where a white ball ballot constitutes a vote in support and a black ball signifies opposition. This system is typically used where a club (or Lodge) rules provide that, rather than a majority of the votes, one or two objections are sufficient to defeat a proposition. Since the seventeenth century, these rules have commonly applied to elections to membership of many gentlemen’s clubs and similar institutions such as in Freemasonry. It’s an apt term because of its association with conservatism, tradition and secrecy. 

In contrast, and unlike many whistleblowers who remain anonymous, Edward Snowden chose to be open and go public. Snowdens’ sole motive for leaking the documents was, in his words, “to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”  He believes that the global public is due an explanation of the motives of those who act outside of the democratic process.

To “protect democracy” we have governments that are subverting the law. This is a fundamental paradox, of course and Snowden saw this could lead to the collapse of democracy and critically endanger our freedom. And Snowden reminds us that what no individual conscience can change, a free press can. It has to be one that is free enough to allow a diverse range of political commentaries, rather than a stranglehold of right wing propaganda from the Murdoch empire and its ideological stablemates.

I think that the process of dismantling democracy started in May 2010 here in the UK, and has been advancing incrementally ever since, almost undetected at first, because of pervasive government secrecy and a partly complicit, dominant right wing media.

But once you hear the jackboots, it’s far too late.

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With big thanks to Robert Livingstone

Related 

The Transparency of Lobbying, non-Party Campaigning, and Trade Union Administration Bill is a calculated and partisan move to insulate Tory policies and records from public and political scrutiny, and to stifle democracy. The Government’s Lobbying Bill has been criticised by bloggers and campaigners from right across the political spectrum, with the likes of Owen Jones and Guido Fawkes united in agreement over this issue: that the Bill is a “Gagging Act”. Five Conservatives – Douglas Carswell, Philip Davies, David Davis, Zac Goldsmith and David Nuttall – voted against the Bill, whilst others also expressed concerns.

The Bill will treat charities, think tanks, community groups and activists of every hue as “political parties”. From small groups addressing local matters to big national organisations, all equally risk being silenced in the year before a general election, to avoid falling under electoral law. Any organisation spending £5,000 a year and expressing an opinion on anything remotely political must register with the Electoral Commission. Since most aspects of our public life are political, (and a substantial proportion of our private life has been increasingly politicised under this authoritarian government) this stifles much essential debate in election years when voters should be hearing and evaluating policy choices.

The ‘Let Lynton Lobby Bill’: Grubby Partisan Politics and a Trojan Horse 

 


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Tory Fascist Lie Machine The Daily Mail Has Met Its Match

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In the 1930s, Theodor Adorno offered cogent criticism of the mass media, stating that it gave rise to ideology by standardising and stereotyping cultural “goods”, and it weakened people’s capacity to think in an autonomous and critical manner. Everyday life becomes  the ideology of “its own [notable] absence”. Put another way, the “news” constitutes a reification of an extremely narrow range of our human experience.

Adorno and the Frankfurt Institute of [Critical] Social Studies generally proposed that this had rendered the public more susceptible to the ideology of Nazism and fascism. The media is simply a way of transmitting ideology, and is a mechanism by which dominant and powerful social groups are able to diffuse ideas which promote their own interests. Louis Althusser regarded the media as an integral part of the ideological state apparatus.

So I had wondered when the right-wing media bullying, character assassinations and lie campaigns against Ed Miliband would begin. Miliband  has previously boldly demanded the breakup of Rupert Murdoch‘s media empire over the phone-hacking scandal. Today Ed Miliband has stood up to Paul Dacre, the most corrosive Fleet Street editor. This is a bold and direct challenge from Miliband to the propaganda of an established status quo, of course.

After the Mail  attempted to claim that Miliband’s late father “loathed Britain” on the basis of one adolescent diary entry, Miliband points to his immaculate record of service in the Royal Navy, mentioned only in passing by the paper:

He arrived, separated from his mother and sister,  knowing no English but found a single room to share with my grandfather. He was determined to better himself and survive. He worked as a removal man,  passed exams at Acton Technical College and was accepted to University. Then he joined the Royal Navy”.

In a thoroughly decent, balanced response in the Daily Mail,  Miliband takes a steady aim at the paper for running a loathsome virulent gutter attack on his father, Ralph, under the despicable headline “The man who hated Britain”. Miliband writes:

It’s part of our job description as politicians to be criticised and attacked by newspapers, including the Daily Mail. It comes with the territory. The British people have great wisdom to sort the fair from the unfair. And I have other ways of answering back.

But my Dad is a different matter. He died in 1994. I loved him and he loved Britain. And there is no credible argument in the article or evidence from his life which can remotely justify the lurid headline and its accompanying claim that it would “disturb everyone who loves this country”.

Many politicians have seen members of their families traduced by the Mail  but few, if any, have responded as Miliband has. He has taken a decisive and brave path; yet another defining moment of his leadership, and a verification of his integrity and skill in handling malicious right -wing media rhetoric. He says:

When I was growing up, he didn’t talk much about the Holocaust years because it was a deep trauma for both sides of my family. But he did talk about his naval service. The Daily Mail’s article on Saturday used just a few words to brush over the years my father spent fighting for his adopted country in the Second World War. But it played a bigger part in his life than that”.

But whilst defending his father against the Mail’s  alleged charges, he also uses his article to open a wider debate about much needed press standards and ethics. Here are the important closing paragraphs:

Britain has always benefited from a free press. Those freedoms should be treasured. They are vital for our democracy. Journalists need to hold politicians like me to account – none of us should be given an easy ride – and I look forward to a robust 19 months between now and the General Election.

But what appeared in the Daily Mail on Saturday was of a different order all together. I know they say ‘you can’t libel the dead’ but you can smear them.

Fierce debate about politics does not justify character assassination of my father, questioning the patriotism of a man who risked his life for our country in the Second World War, or publishing a picture of his gravestone with a tasteless pun about him being a ‘grave socialist’.

The Daily Mail sometimes claims it stands for the best of British values of decency. But something has really gone wrong when it attacks the family of a politician – any politician – in this way. It would be true of an attack on the father of David Cameron, Nick Clegg, or mine.

There was a time when politicians stayed silent if this kind of thing happened, in the hope that it wouldn’t happen again. And fear that if they spoke out, it would make things worse. I will not do that. The stakes are too high for our country for politics to be conducted in this way. We owe it to Britain to have a debate which reflects the values of how we want the country run.

With this clear and well-measured response, Miliband has set a standard, drawn a line in the sand, signalling that unlike previous leaders, he will not tolerate press abuses for fear of political retribution. I say bravo.

In the particularly notable section on “leadership and character” in his conference speech last week, Miliband declared:

The real test of leadership is not whether you stand up to the weak, that’s easy; it’s whether you stand up to the strong and know who to fight for”.

Today, Miliband has certainly demonstrated that he is prepared practice what he preaches. It’s remarkable that a newspaper which has previously condemned commentators for “speaking ill of the dead” when Baroness Thatcher died suddenly sees fit to put aside it’s faux scruples for this all out attack on the deceased Ralph Miliband, with the sole intention to discredit his articulate, decent and honest son, who has truly become a big thorn in the side of all things conservative.

And regardless of whether readers share his politics (and the comments section of the Mail’s  website suggests many readers take a more favourable view of Miliband’s proposed energy price freeze than their paper), Mail readers will respect the decency of a son defending his father. Milband’s article is yet another plain indication of what a powerful and open kind of leader he is. That’s a shot in the foot to you, there, Dacre.

A Labour spokesman said: “Ed Miliband wrote his right to reply article because he wanted to state clearly that his father loved Britain. He wanted the Daily Mail to treat his late father’s reputation fairly. Rather than acknowledge it has smeared his father, tonight the newspaper has repeated its original claim. This simply diminishes and exposes the Daily Mail further”.

It will be for people to judge whether this newspaper’s treatment of a World War Two veteran, Jewish refugee from the Nazis and distinguished academic reflects the values and decency we should all expect in our political debate”.

This comes at a sensitive time as the privy council decides this month whether to accept a royal charter proposed by leading newspaper groups or by the three main political parties.

So the Daily Mail is opening up opportunity to discuss, not to mention, re-write history. Let’s explore this further. I seem to recall that the Mail has notably disseminated fascist ideology on many previous occasions.

On 6th February, during his first cross-examination in the Leveson Enquiry, Dacre openly admitted that the Mail  had used the private detective Steve Whittamore, who was jailed in 2005 for illegally accessing information, but Dacre claimed that the rest of the British press had done so too. Oh, right, let you off then.

Peter Wright, now a former editor of the Mail on Sunday, had said in his Leveson examination that the paper continued using Whittamore for 18 months after his conviction, which Dacre effectively confirmed.

Dacre’s many hate-filled and nationally divisive headlines following the imposition of the Tory-led barbaric benefit cuts that promote an ideological pre-Victorian regressive separation of our fellow citizens into the categories of deserving and undeserving poor, demonstrates plainly that this is a person without morals, compassion or the capacity for critical evaluation and telling the truth.

Here are some critically evaluative, truthful citations from the Mail during the 1930s, and they may explain why the Mail  has been so strangely and uncharacteristically silent when it comes to championing its own “glorious” past. Never mind, I shall speak to fill the notable absence of comment on the matter.

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Some history: Viscount Rothermere, of Hemsted in Kent, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1919 for the press Lord Harold Harmsworth, 1st Baron Harmsworth. He had already been created a baronet, of Horsey in the County of Norfolk, on 14 July 1910, and Baron Rothermere, of Hemsted in the County of Kent, in 1914. Every holder of the titles has served as Chairman of Daily Mail and General Trust plc. As of 2009, the titles are held by the first Viscount’s great-grandson, the fourth Viscount, Jonathon Harmsworth, who succeeded his father in 1998 (see above.)

Current Mail Corporate directors are:

  • Lord Rothermere
  • Peter Williams
  • Paul Dacre
  • Padraic Fallon
  • Charles Dunstone
  • Nicholas Berry

Lord Rothermere and the Mail were editorially sympathetic to the [then] Tory Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists (BUF). Rothermere wrote an article entitled “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” in January 1934, praising Mosley for his “sound, common sense, Conservative doctrine”. This support ended only after violence at a BUF rally in Kensington Olympia, which rather forced the issue later that year.

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This headline appeared on the front page of the 8th July 1934 edition, and accompanied a piece on Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists that read, in part:

If the Blackshirts movement had any need of justification, the Red Hooligans who savagely and systematically tried to wreck Sir Oswald Mosley’s huge and magnificently successful meeting at Olympia last night would have supplied it”.

Subsequent articles emphasised the paper’s unwavering support, and on 15th January 1934, the BUF was described as: “a well-organised party of the right ready to take over responsibility for national affairs with the same directness of purpose and energy of method as Hitler and Mussolini have displayed”.

This parallels the Mail’s similar enthusiasm for Fascist parties elsewhere in Europe, especially Adolf Hitler’s burgeoning Nazi movement: “The sturdy young Nazis are Europe’s guardians against the Communist danger”.

On 24th September, 1930 Lord Rothermere, wrote:

These young Germans have discovered, as I am glad to note the young men and women of England are discovering, that it is no good trusting to the old politicians. Accordingly they have formed, as I would like to see our British youth form, a Parliamentary party of their own. […] The older generation of Germans were our enemies. Must we make enemies of this younger generation too?”

On 10th July 1933, Rothermere continued:

I urge all British young men and women to study closely the progress of the Nazi regime in Germany. They must not be misled by the misrepresentations of its opponents. The most spiteful distracters of the Nazis are to be found in precisely the same sections of the British public and press as are most vehement in their praises of the Soviet regime in Russia. They have started a clamorous campaign of denunciation against what they call “Nazi atrocities” which, as anyone who visits Germany quickly discovers for himself, consists merely of a few isolated acts of violence such as are inevitable among a nation half as big again as ours, but which have been generalized, multiplied and exaggerated to give the impression that Nazi rule is a bloodthirsty tyranny”.

On 7th December 1933, Hitler wrote to Rothermere in person:

I should like to express the appreciation of countless Germans, who regard me as their spokesman, for the wise and beneficial public support which you have given to a policy that we all hope will contribute to the enduring pacification of Europe. Just as we are fanatically determined to defend ourselves against attack, so do we reject the idea of taking the initiative in bringing about a war. I am convinced that no one who fought in the front trenches during the world war, no matter in what European country, desires another conflict”.

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Hitler and the Viscount Rothermere

Lord Rothermere had friendships with Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, and directed the Mail’s editorial stance towards them in the 1930s. Rothermere’s 1933 leader “Youth Triumphant” praised the new Nazi regime’s accomplishments, and was subsequently used as propaganda by them. In it, Rothermere predicted that:

The minor misdeeds of individual Nazis would be submerged by the immense benefits the new regime is already bestowing upon Germany”.

Stan Cohen’s “Folk Devils and Moral Panics” outlines a clear explanation of the way in which the media and those in a position of political power define a social group as a threat to societal values and interests. Fanned by screaming media headlines, Cohen demonstrates how this leads to such groups being marginalised and vilified in the popular press and public imagination, inhibiting rational debate about solutions to social problems that those marginalised groups are being scapegoated and blamed for creating.

Furthermore, he argued that moral panics serve to identify and expose the very fault lines of power in society. There is no consensus, only a constant attempt to superficially justify and maintain a corrupt system of gross power imbalances and crass politically created inequalities.

Conservative by name, and regressive by nature. We must continue to challenge and dismantle the Tory-directed media monologues.

And if you have any doubts about the right-wing stranglehold on the media, just go ask the Guardian editor-in-chief what happened to the hard drives that held Edward Snowden’s very informative disclosures.

Yes, that’s the unmistakable sound of jackboots approaching.

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With many thanks to Robert Livingstone for his continued and valuable efforts to expose this Government via his brilliant pictures.

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Update from Mike Sivier, 11th March, 2014: Naughty, naughty Daily Mail! Miliband story creates torrent of complaints