Posts Tagged ‘Media Mogul’
We should all fear the darkness ahead shrieks a headline in the morning papers. I gloomily reflected that it is already here as I slithered along the muddy path down to the allotment this morning. According to the article in the Telegraph by Mary Riddell a funeral awaits and Mr Cameron should worry lest it be his own. Good said an equally disgruntled Albert as we forced open the various coop and cage doors, all made from unseasoned wood which swells up at the first monsoon. I am less sure about Cameron’s fate but I am extremely suspicious about the apparent determination of this government to put the Beeb out of business.
A lot of us are becoming paranoid about the prospect of Mr Murdoch controlling the bulk of media output in this country. And, as the old adage has it, just because you are paranoid it doesn’t follow that there isn’t someone out to get you. Was it coincidence that one of the first visitors to the new occupant of 10 Downing Street was the media mogul himself? Was the fact that his papers came out heavily in support of Cameron anything to do with it? In the view of us codgers the only independent voice left is in mortal danger.
The BBC has let it be known that the government is considering lumbering it with the cost of the free licences granted to the over 75s. Whether it will dare is still open to doubt but the very fact that it is that way inclined is ominous. The benefit, which was introduced by Grumpy Gordon during his period as Chancellor, costs £556 million. That almost matches the entire budget of BBC2 so one doesn’t have to be Wayne Rooney’s agent to work out that we are talking big money here.
Should the coalition take this route it will be proof positive that the objective is to run down the Beeb rather than save money for this could be done in another way. The scheme itself is plain bonkers for a free licence is sent unsolicited to every household containing one person over 75. A total of 4 million homes containg younger working people receives the gift of £145.50. On top of that a large number of well-off older people also receive the bounty.
If the free licence was confined to those elderly people living alone and who are not taxpayers the cost would shrink to miniscule levels. A decision based on need would certainly head this way but is there an altogether darker agenda at play here? Certainly the BBC, Daily Mail, Telegraph, Mirror, Guardian, BT and Channel Four seem to think so. They have come together to express fears that if the merger between Murdoch’s News Corporation and BSkyB proceeds we will have what they call “media plurality”. The Murdoch empire would have a combined turover of about £7.5 billion, more than 50 per cent larger than the entire BBC even before the Osborne effect.
Almost all of the allotment gang qualify for the free TV licence and with just one exception we are all happy to lose it to preserve the one remaining purveyor of news that is unprejudiced. It is surely significant that both the previous government and this one have expressed the belief that Paxman, Marr and all are biased against them! It seems that they all quite fancy the Putin model in which the media does what it is told to do!
Maybe the renowned journalist Hannen Swaffer (1979-1972) had a sense of what as to come when he wrote that ” the freedom of the press in Britain means freedom to print such of the proprietor’s prejudices as the advertisers don’t object to”!
My self understanding warns me that I am often impetuous and wrong, but I venture to point out that this site has been vindicated by events in respect of its articles about the death of deportee Jimmy Mubenga and the expenses of the three members of the Lords. So whatever slasher Osborne choses to do tomorrow I recommend that all who cherish the Beeb keep a wary eye on the events of the next few weeks!
IRAQ; WHAT HAVE SO MANY DEATHS ACHIEVED?
If Tony Blair lives to be as old as Methuselah it is hard to imagine his ever being forgiven for the deception of Iraq.
Since that day when our troops were sent in to attack Saddam, and his supposed weapons of mass destruction, many have paid the ultimate price. Now? Yes Saddam has gone but the security situation is still as appalling and we now learn that deals are being struck by the undemocratically elected government with Iran which is poised to become the major influence there. We now face a greater threat to world peace than Saddam could ever have mustered.
It is one thing to die in the defence of ones country, quite another to do so at the hands of scheming, dishonest and corrupt politicians. And we shouldn’t forget that the Conservative Party also supported Blair’s horrendous venture. Only the Lib Dems stood up against it in the days before Clegg’s betrayal.
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YESTERDAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS; 1. The Miami Showband 2. Don Estelle and Windsor Davies
TODAY’S QUESTIONS; 1. In which year did the Soviet Union first send troops into Afghanistan? 2. The creator of Jeeves died in 1975. Who was he?
I remember a favourite venue after ’going-home-time’ when I was knee high to a chicken. A group of us would mooch down the road to the allotment shed. It was 1940. There we would find a collection of grumpy grampies huddled around a battery radio. Times were hard and even the ferrets were wearing helmets. We grabbed our illicit ‘gobstoppers’ and paused only long enough to hear dulcet tones pronounce that ‘This is the BBC’.
We did occasionally listen to the headlines for most of our Dads and Uncles were in danger in some unnamed place. What we did take in was an overwhelming belief that if the BBC said it it must be true.Although in later years I learned that even the Beeb was subject to censor at that time, I retain a built-in belief in the integrity of the BBC. To this day I believe what is reported by Huw Edwards and co and trust in the impartiality of Jeremy Paxman, Nick Robinson and all. Call me naive if you must but one has to believe someone in an age of deception and spin.
All of this probably explains why I felt a pang of anxiety when The Guardian reported that Rupert Murdoch visited Downing Street last week. The visit by the media mogul, whose papers swung behind Cameron during the last 12 months, renewed speculation that Cameron and his fellow toffs will soon turn the heat up on the Beeb, Mr Murdoch’s most powerful competitor.
Perhaps I am becoming paranoid about the State broadcaster but it is said that just because you are paranoid it doesn’t follow that no one is out to get you. So what, if anything, are the handsome twins, David and Nick, hatching up? We fourth generation ferret men read the Queens speech (which probably makes us unique) with trepidation but found nothing there. But neither did we find reference to many of the other things our handsome pair promised or threatened.
But hopefully it means that any plot is in abeyance. I pray so for we have reached the point where almost the entire media seems to have confused news with views. When Nick Clegg suddenly rattled the cages of the long forecast walk-away winners virtually every paper launched into a diatribe of invention and lies. In fact so bizarre did the sudden tirade become that a web-site covering ‘Nick Clegg’s Fault’ drew millions and the press was mocked as never before as contributors invited it to investigate his role on the Titanic.
During all this hoo-hah I cancelled my lifelong subscription to The Times and Mirror. Both seemed to me to be presnting news in what looked suspiciosly like a slanted way. Columns expressing views are fine but The Times in particular always seemed to me to be the written equivalent to the Beeb, both dealt only in proven facts. I may be a mere ferret man but I have no need for guidance on how to vote.
Never having watched Sky News I cannot judge whether the recently voiced allegations of bias have foundation. But they make me uneasy. Of course there is another reason for wanting to put a ferret up the Cameron trouser leg if he commercialises the Beeb. Those appalling and repetitive adverts. If I have to watch an idiot with a waxed moustache singing about ‘Confused dot com’ once more I shall finally explode into a zillion pieces. Not seeing such tripe is worth the licence fee in itself.
Why politicians wish to meddle with the most respected broadcaster in the world is beyond understanding. The BBC is moving with the times as demonstrated by its plans for a multimillion pound redevelopment of the 50 year old television centre. Even the Blue Peter garden is to be moved, and one can’t get more revolutionary than that! And its natural world and costume drama coverage is still light years ahead of the commercial channels and not just because of their need to fit everything around mind-numbing breaks.
Perhaps we occupants of the modern allotment shed are Luddites but we still believe in the integrity of the BBC. We believe nothing we read or hear elsewhere. Then again perhaps we are not alone, we also distrust politicians!
Each day, every day………Each day, every day…..Each day,every day
Without doubt the first ever TV debate between the political leaders has made history and created a precedent that will stand the test of time. But what are the implications?
One surely is that the press has to an extent been disabled. Having heard it from the horses mouth will the great British public ever again unquestionningly accept what a prejudiced newspaper chooses to report? Will it ever again disregard a Party simply because it is frozen out of the frensied headlines? To be specific will a third Party ever again be airbrushed out of the public eye simply because it has no media mogul amongst it’s sponsors?
There is however another argument. Whilst the new age of TV debates may well rob the press of it’s ability to paint it’s own pictures it may also lead to a new judgement by a public used to deciding for or against on looks, dress and apparent affability. But do these really matter in the context of running a country? Certain it is that Churchill was a good leader during difficult years but he would have failed the test. As indeed would Clem Attlee albeit for different reasons.
What did we really learn fom the first debate? We learned, pehaps to our surprise, that Nick Clegg is easier on the eye than grumpy Gordon or Dashing Dave. He may indeed be better in every way but how can we tell? He could simply be a better actor.
But personality and the ability to get the best out of people is important in the role they all seek and he has that in abundance. And he is likeable, not a word one could apply easily to his two running mates.
Worries remain. Will Prime Ministers in the years to come all be handsome and experts in eye-contact? More importantly will they prove to be what they appear to be, will they really know how to balance the books.
Even as I type the gallant three are undoubtedly applying themselves not to the question of costings but to briefings about gestures and colours of their ties.
TV or not TV. The jury is out in more ways than one. I just hope the next edition does not clash with cricket or Manchester United!