their media and ours

The editorial of the August 2011 issue of The Commune looks at the meaning of the News International scandal.

July’s News International phone-hacking scandal focused attention on the links between big business, the media and government.

Millions were rightly angry at not only the hacking of mobile phones, but the clear signs of corruption cutting to the heart of the state. Police officers and journalists traded information for cash, all in the name of building the billionaire Murdoch family’s vast business empire. At the same time the media tycoons were wined and dined by the Prime Minister.

However, most left-wing analysis of the scandal stopped here: business and the Tories are in each others’ pockets. But this is not enough. Firstly, because the links between the corporate media and the state go far beyond ‘Hackgate’. The Murdochs are not just friends of Eton boys like David Cameron: they had a long incestuous relationship with the previous Labour government. Continue reading “their media and ours”

british airways strike: a million christmases ruined?

by David Broder

Don’t ruin a million Christmases: BA chief’s appeal as he goes to court to halt strike (Daily Mail, 16th December)

Cartoon in today's Times

The proposed British Airways strike has brought down an avalanche of media attacks on the airline’s employees and the Unite union. Much as propaganda about “old ladies not receiving their Christmas cards” blighted the Royal Mail dispute last month, again the corporate press and the BBC are blaming Scrooge-ish “union barons” for their lack of festive cheer. But does the wintry weather really excuse a two year pay freeze, cuts in crew numbers and 4,900 redundancies? Not so, said a thumping 92% majority of BA workers on an 80% turnout, a ballot result showing both the level of anger and the desire to fight on to a victorious conclusion, given that the action will go on for a whole 12 days beginning on December 22nd. Continue reading “british airways strike: a million christmases ruined?”