14 April 2009

How Gordon Brown Could Win.

In short he probably cannot win but Gordon Brown only has to persuade 3 people to give him support if he wants to win the next general election - Rupert Murdoch, Paul Dacre and Richard Desmond.

Because it is not what you do that is important, it is how it is reported. I think the latest 'smeargate' incident demonstrates this - Labour have been pilloried for 'thinking' about doing what the Tories have been doing for years.

So what would these 3 powerful men want? - like previous Mail editor * actually proprietor thanks PZT * Lord Rothermere before him, Dacre has been given the mantle of government advisor on press freedom. Labour try their best but this would fall woefully short to win Daily Mail support - short by miles. With the Mail sensing electoral blood, even abolishing the BBC and massive tax cuts for the wealthiest would probably fail to acquiese them. I think Murdoch and Desmond however could be bought - further de-regulation of commercial TV and further emaciation of the BBC might do the trick. It would have to go further than even the Tories would dare promise - maybe even a total axe on the licence fee, certainly allowing Sky and others cheap access to the BBC archive.

Of course whether we in the Labour party would want to sell our souls even more to these media devils to remain with the trainset would depend on what Brown could offer us. It is doubtful Brown is clever enough to pull any of this off anyway and doubtful he knows what to offer us mere plebs - electoral reform or introducing a land value tax would give this guy a legacy to last millenium but he is so spineless he will soldier on fucking things up as he goes.

The other more simpler option is shock and awe - replace Brown with a radical untainted new leader and call an immediate election before the media can wreck their chances. It might not work, the Labour brand is so damaged - but can anyone really see sticking with Brown offering us much chance, even if he did suck media **ck.

13 comments:

  1. I agree, but I'm afraid it's not going to happen.

    Minor factual correction: I don't think Rothermere was ever the editor of the Mail. He is the proprietor, like his father before him. The previous editor was Sir David English, if I remember right.

    In my view, the Daily Mail has been the biggest single obstacle to democracy in this country for many decades. But what can you do about it if we are to maintain freedom of speech? It would be good if freedom of speech could somehow be made subject to the proviso that it doesn't include the telling of lies. Hardly anyone ever seems to address this issue head-on, though Polly Toynbee has a go from time to time.

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  2. PZT: Rothermere is the proprietor not editor (although a very hands on proprietor) - I will correct this.

    On lies in the media. The problem is how do you define a lie? There is no perfection on this, sometimes the truth is debatable and freedom of speech almost by definition has to allow people to tell porkies though hopefully someone will counter these lies. I agree the Daily Mail and others tells some massive porkies on a daily basis but we cannot reulate this. The answer has to be to fund alternatives (the BBC) so that people realise the press has to be taken with a pinch of salt. At the moment, at least broadcasting is regulated so the worst bias is removed, but the Tories have plans to scrap that regulation as well - so gloomy times ahead indeed with broadcasting going the same way as in the US. Welcome to FOX News and Daily Mail TV.

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  3. Trooper Thompson21/4/09 12:04 pm

    The BBC is and always was the voice of the Establishment, and is no less biased than Fox or the Daily Mail. If you can't see that, it's because you're blind to one side of the controlled paradigm. All corporate media is subject to the rule 'he who pays the piper calls the tune'.

    The answer lies in the independent, so-called alternative media. Stop buying the newspapers and watching crap TV, take responsibility for yourself, educate yourself. Yes, this requires a little more effort than flopping down in front of the idiot box, but it's worth it.

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  4. TT: Most of our news is fed through the press association - then distorted through the right-wing press and then increasingly leads on BBC bulletins and commercial TV. The BBC sings to the Daily Mail tune. Its incredible but true. The only difference with the BBC is you will find current affairs programmes (particularly on Radio 4) that dig a little deeper and present some real analysis every now and again. But to say the BBC is as biased as Fox or the Sun or Daily Mail, are you serious? Have you ever watched Fox News? The BBC have Tories fronting all their current affairs programmes at present - it would be like Ken Livingstone editing the Daily Mail - would never happen.

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  5. Trooper Thompson21/4/09 8:17 pm

    I certainly am serious, and I have watched Fox, which is blatant and cartoonish in its bias, but the BBC is no less biased for all its studied 'objectivity'. As I suggested above, you do not notice this bias, because you accept the world-view it pushes.

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  6. TT: Actually I do not acept the worldview of any media including the BBC. I think the BBC is biased, but biased to the right not left, just not to the extent of our press and certainly not Fox news, which you acknowledge is comical for most Europeans, but unfortunately not so obvious to the average US citizen, whoose media is far more to the right overall.

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  7. In short he probably cannot win but Gordon Brown only has to persuade 3 people to give him support if he wants to win the next general election - Rupert Murdoch, Paul Dacre and Richard DesmondYou over-estimate the influence of the press. Do you still believe that it was the Sun that won Labour the 1997 election by changing sides? The Sun spotted the sea-change against the Tories and switched support to make sure it was on the winning side.

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  8. I don't think the press can win elections or debates but they certainly can make a massive influence. I think if Labour had have had the support the Tories always get, Labour would win the next election quite easily (even with all its obvious faults).

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  9. "I think if Labour had have had the support the Tories always get, Labour would win the next election quite easily (even with all its obvious faults)."

    Even leaving aside the actual degree of support / criticism that each party gets in the media, the above is just wrong. Almost all of Labours woes are self inflicted and there is no way for the papers to prevent that.

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  10. 'no way for papers to prevent that' - yes there us. Most news is not reported - if this was a tory govt, we never would have heard of their smear emails or it would have just remained on left wing blogs and unheard by most. Our news if heavily filtered. Read flat earth news by nick davies. Most news is put there by pr, journalists don't have time to research or even check what they put out. When it comes to spin, labour have always been one step behind the tories who realised long ago that front organisations like tpa and freedom asoc are the way to get the message across and tory proprietors are only to happy to oblige wih front pages. What has changed since 97 is that the news is now multi channeled 24 hour and relentless. The tories now also control most of the local press now as well.

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  11. "When it comes to spin, labour have always been one step behind"

    This from the party of Mandelson and Campbell? Pull the other one.

    Browns multiple failings would have been reported regardless of the leanings of some shadowy kabal that you seem to believe controls the news. The particular focus on them now is for two reasons; first, this is a government in its dying days. A quick look at the end of the Major's administration shows that once the jackals are in it all goes downhill. Secondly, Brown has been so useless, so appallingly incompetent, wrongheaded and acting with the political compass of a one legged weavil that his actions are bound to hit the headlines.

    As for jornalists not doing their job properly, I agree they should pay more attention. However, for the last decade, Labour have been the main beneficiaries of reporter laziness. Crying foul now is far from immpressive.

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  12. i think there is an inherent conservative bias in the news but on top of that who do u think murdoch, rothermere and desmond would naturally lean towards. They are always going to be against taxes on the wealthiest to pay for things like the nhs - regardless of how good the nhs is. Maybe i over emphasise the importance of mefia moguls but they do have a big influence. Think how advertising can get people to buy products that are not the est value. The same is true in politics. The tories get 100s of billions in free adverts. Day after day the press lay into labour and yet labour have just announced the lowest nhs waiting lists in history. Isn't that more important than a few smear emails? Not according to our 'free' press!

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  13. "Day after day the press lay into labour and yet labour have just announced the lowest nhs waiting lists in history."

    Thats a classic good news / bad news bias, (ignoring for the moment the problems that the top down targets have created). People just aren't very interested in stories like that so the papers will be less likely to report them. Which leads me on to:

    "who do u think murdoch, rothermere and desmond would naturally lean towards."

    The answer is whoever their customers want them to. Papers do play a role in gradually shifting the argument but people buy papers to find out about things they are interested in and to get the news reported from a view that is similar to their own. If you replaced the Guardian editorial team with that of the Times, you wouldn't get readers moving to the right, you'd just lose customers.

    Oh and on the NHS, its time for it to go the way of all things. As a model for universal healthcare its just about as bad as possible. Its the worlds third largest employer, (after the indian and chinese armies), and should be broken up into managable pieces.

    Re those equality / moblity figures, I will find the time to go over them when I can.

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