16 May 2011

Greens Should Organise A Boycott Of The Argus...

...unless the Argus stops its nasty rightwing campaign against them.

I concluded long ago that the Brighton Argus was a rightwing rag. If the Greens tolerate the sort of nasty rightwing headline they were given on Thursday, then there will be plenty more to come - the Argus is leading the Tory fightback with as nasty headlines as it can.

I doubt anyone thinks the headline 'Greens want more sites for travellers' was a helpful promotion of one of the Greens policies.

The truth is this was a small part of a raft of policies the Greens are putting forward. The only reason the Argus put it on their front page and across billposters across Brighton and Hove was to make people think this is the number one priority of the Greens when it is nothing of the sort. Of course most people who saw that are going to think it is the first act of the new Green administration. And whatever the merits of having more sites for travellers this is not going to go down well with a lot of voters and the Brighton Argus knows that.

The Greens need to counter this distortion as quickly as possible to limit any damage to their reputation. They need to do at least one of two things (and preferably both). 1. They need to argue why more official sites will ease the problem of travellers on unofficial sites. and 2. They need to make clear in no uncertain terms that if the Argus continues along this line (which is of course entirely up to the owners of the Argus) then the Greens will publicise exactly who owns and is pulling the strings of the Brighton Argus and why they might have a particular political bias. Also the Greens should tell people to boycott the paper because it is so distorted.

Now, a lot of people might think this an over-reaction, but if the Greens want to avoid the plight of Labour who were pilloried and bullied by the owners of the press into being completely pathetic on socialist principles, then they had better act and act quick.

Some Greens may think they can ignore the Argus as it only has less than 30,000 readers, but they must also remember that virtually everyone in Brighton and Hove reads their billposters. This is a powerful weapon as Ken Livingstone can attest to in London when 6 months of Evening Standard bilge helped remove him from being Mayor.

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