Never in the field of inhuman media have so many been fed so much bollocks by so few

by John Ward

The black night of journalism

 

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I bring good news; Greece ventured out onto the Sovereign debt markets earlier this week, and sold all €10billion worth at a stroke. Athens is saved. Let the bells ring out for our glorious European Union.

What, we wonder will Greece do with the money? In order to take a stab at that one, we must first of all recognise that Hellas is a protectorate of Brussels-am-Berlin, after being stabbed in the front by Mario Draghi, and then in the back by Yanis Stournaras….with a throat slitting coup de grace from infamous bullfighter Alexis Tsipras.

And there is more – this time from Standard & Poors, that ratings agency renowned for its ‘no limit’ approach to neoliberal objects inserted via the anus of collaboration: gdp definitions, grand pianos, ECB liquidity stats, US unemployment figures, Italian growth numbers….there’s always room for more down below, where those S&P legs are always open for business.

Thus we learn that things are steady and the outlook is stable in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Austrian state of Styria, in Mozambique and up there in Albania.

Before you get over-excited, remember that the Congo has had ten Ebola outbreaks in recent years, Albania has difficulty in attracting infrastructural investment as well as huge levels of corruption in private/public sector schemes, Mozambique has acute problems of terrorist infiltration, tense relations with Uganda and faces allegations of “huge hidden debt”, while Styria has huge problems involving migrant assimilation, a dramatically ageing population, an overpaid bureaucracy and not exactly liberal media laws.

There was a five minute slot of all-too-brief hilarity on Sky News yesterday as the Japanese ambassador to the EU was interviewed by Adam Bourrrton san on the subject of what an unmitigated disaster it would be if Britain didn’t sign the Withdrawal Deal…. which is far worse than theirs, and they’re not withdrawing from anything – or even members of the EU.

But Fats Boulton didn’t press the son of Nippon on those points. Instead, he acted as a prompt every time it seemed that Tokyo Joe might have forgotten his lines.

“So then, why do you think Britain would struggle under WTO rules?”

“Werr, it nor so mush you stlugger….”

“But I mean, we would be out there on our own….”

“Tloo, an’ thasswhy berrer for you to l’main in Urlopeen Onion”.

This from the ambassador of a country that has the highest per head QE spend in the world, but still remains stuck in the longest recessionary standstill since records began.

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It was thus a blessed relief to tune into Ambrose Pritchard-Evans, the last sane person left at the Telegraph, and read some devastatingly piercing prose:

AEPeurozonetruth

I do not doubt that the BarclaySark twins would love to kick AEP out of a high window somewhere, but they daren’t….because he is one of the few writers there still pumping out accurate analyses that once made the Torygraph a must read even for those on the Left in Britain – you know, in those days before it was a crime to even think about buying a copy.

The Telegraph titles were the worst hit of national news brands in print during 2018. The Daily Telegraph was down 22%, and The Sunday Telegraph fell 17%. In a socio-economic environment bordering on hard Right over the last fifteen years, such a performance shows just how little the Barclays know about readership loyalty, connecting with the Zeitgeist, and….well, journalism really.

For me, the best journalism in the UK at the moment is coming out of Off Guardian and Brendan O’Neill’s brainchild Spiked. Obviously, I don’t agree with everything they write, but that’s the point . Mark Law, onetime editor of The First Post, once told me his editorial policy was ‘all over the place’ – which is exactly as it should be. The point is, all good writing about all things contemporary is a hard-fought victory of long-held experience, solid research and sound judgement of motivation over press-pack bollocks and presser spin.

Very few people, when you get down to it, are responsible for the origination of ideological journalism where gratuitous blame ranks far higher than Truth. Rather more people are trying to write what’s real and balanced. But the few outnumber the many because they have the backing, the distribution, the readership and the MOR gullibility on their side. As net neutrality slips from our grasp, this can only get worse.

If the profession of journalism should last for another thousand years, people will say, “This was their darkest hour”

 

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