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Blairite MP Tells Cambridge Students: As 'Top One Percent' You Must Rebel Against Corbyn Leadership


#1

Blairite MP Tells Cambridge Students: As 'Top One Percent' You Must Rebel Against Corbyn Leadership

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Students at the United Kingdom's prestigious Cambridge University on Monday were told that as "the top one percent," they must rebel against the progressive policies of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and take back the party.

The comments were delivered by Labour Party MP Tristram Hunt, who formerly served as the shadow education secretary until resigning in the wake of Corbyn's electoral victory.


#2

"The way you serve the Corbyn leadership is to be as dissenting and creative as possible,"

No it isnt. That is the way you join in with the BBC and the corporate owned media to destroy a movement that might work for people rather than the big money.


#3

Something I don't understand is how the BBC - which independently funded by TV and radio fees with no politcal or economic strings attached, has become influenced by corporate interests in the same manner (albeit to a lesser degree) as the US corporate advertiser-dollar dependent media (PBS/NPR included).

Can you offer an explanation?


#4

"You are the top one per cent," Hunt told an audience of students and members of the Cambridge Universities Labour Club. "The Labour Party is in the shit. It is your job and your responsibility to take leadership [of the Labour Party] going forward."

You cant make this stuff up - it outdoes anything one would find in a sci-fi/fantasy novel.


#5

Yes. It is much like your SCOTUS. Right wing governments stack the board with right wing directors.

I recall that in the UK, Maragaret Thatcher passed a law that if the BBC made any documentaries that lacked "balance" then they had to restore the "balance" by making another documentary that took the opposite tack. The media reported on this law without the scorn that would have been appropriate. The blindingly obvious question is Who gets to say what is balance?

I moved from England to Australia in 2002, i.e. during the propaganda build up to the Iraq war. The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC - Australia's BBC) went along with the propaganda build up, as they always have done. They presented USA accusations on Iraq as if they were fact. They almost completely forgot to point out facts that would have exposed the build up of lies. But they were slighly less gung ho about supporting Washington's propaganda than the commercial media outlets.

After Iraq's destruction, the now war criminal prime minister John Howard ordered an inquiry into the ABC, alleging bias. (Good lord! We know it biased, but what John Howard was objecting to was that it was not sufficiently biased enough.)

Since then, funding for the ABC has been cut by the right wing several times, and more right wing people have been elected to the board. The ABC knows which side its bread is buttered on. The corporations that own the media, thereby control the government, and the government (including the government owned media) does the bidding of the corporations.

So evidently during the destruction of Libya, the role of NATO in the was a "humanitarian" role. And evidently Australia's air-force was sent recently to bomb only ISIS in Syria. No mention of Australia being there to help overthrow the Syrian government for the benefit of Israel.

Watching politicians dance to the tune of the media, it should become obvious that the democracy is no longer for and by the people, but for and by those who own the media. But having a government owned and controlled media is quite possibly even worse. Any democracy that has media ownership only by the government or by a handful of corporations is a broken democracy.

Media ownership is very special. It is not the same as owning a factory. It is an important pillar of any real democracy. It cannot be left for a handful of corporations or even for the 1% to control.

I would like to propose limited private media ownership. Each media outlet (TV station, newspaper, etc) needs to have a given number of shares, according to the count of its readership, or audience size. The proposed limitation is simply this:- Only human beings may own media shares (i.e. not corporate persons), and one person may not own more than a single media share. This way there will be no media power brokers, and Monsanto or rich bankers will not tell the media what it has to say.


#6

WTF??? BBC has this wonderful independent funding source, yet its directors are partisan political appointments?


#8

Why not simply mandate total independence for the publicly-funded media entity? But tax sourced funding is an ABSOLUTE necessity for an independent media.

What drives media bias is not the ownership, it the media outlet's revenue sources. In the US that stream comes from capitalist advertisers - or "underwriters" as the PBS/NPR call them. In fact it is not the viewers/readers who are the customers of the US media at all - it is advertisers. The viewers/readers - specifically properly conditioned and indoctrinated viewers and readers - are the product that the media outlet sells the advertisers.

So, to make a program, or news story that would make the viewers/readers look on the advertiser's planet-destroying - privacy-invading products - and especially the advertiser's favorite economic system - in a less-than enthusiastic way would be like a Thai restaurant giving a restaurant customer a hamburger after they asked for pad see-ew!


#9

Do you have an independent SCOTUS? You do? Thats good. You may sleep easy, secure in the knowledge that "Citizens United" could never happen in the USA, because the SCOTUS is independent.

The ABC and the BBC are also "independent", by law. And by law, "unbiased". But what does "independent", and "unbiased" actually mean when it is subject to the politics of the day? The BBC is worse than any except when judged against Rupert Murdoch's newspapers and Fox/Sky news. Why, had the ABC or the BBC told too many true things about the Libya war or the war on Syria, there would have been an inquiry into "bias" under-way right now.

Advertising is very important as you say, and no commercial media outlet can ignore it. But ultimately media ownership is also very important. Just look at Fox News/ News Ltd. Rupert Murdoch has sacked CEOs in Australia that asked questions about the latest war.

In the UK, the newspaper called "The Mirror" openly questioned the Iraq war. I used to love it. It roasted Blair on this. It called him a liar. And it sold well. It had plenty of advertising. Its shareholders, however were unhappy. They claimed that it was "biased", and they replaced the management of the newspaper.


#11

The only reason that Labour Parties in the UK, New Zealand and Australia are "in the shit" is that they have been taken over by time-servers hanging out for the perks and lurks of office and who would be better off in the Tory (derived from Thoraid, Scottish Gaelic for Thief, according to a well-known Scottish historian) parties. These Labour parties are all about privatisation and corporate feudalism, but have been thatcherising their respective economies more slowly than the true Tories; though New Zealand in 1984 was indeed exceptional in this regard. PM Lange's Labour party out-thatchered Thatcher extremely rapidly.

Jeremy Corbyn is merely returning the UK's Labour party to the socially useful organisation it once was, when it instigated Britain's NHS and other socially invaluable systems, such as low-cost public housing, free access to state-run grammar schools and paying university students a cost of living grant and covering the cost of their fees. This was done at a time when the UK was bankrupt after WW2, with a GDP to debt ratio of 200%. These policies were maintained by the Conservative Party (obviously an extreme Left-wing organisation!) right through to 1979 and the onset of thatcherism.

And the nationalised British Railway system was extremely efficient, as it had been the nationally owned New Zealand Rail until sold to a Wisconsin company, which got its money back in its first year of operations.

I trust that Mr Hunt MP's appeal to the students at Cambridge University will be met with the utter contempt that it warrants. And no, such students are not restricted to the financially "elite" 1%: both Oxford and Cambridge are somewhat more socially responsible than they are deemed to be and have a very democratic system for entrance.


#12

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#13

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#15

It's refreshing to hear that an elected politician told the truth. That guy represents the interests of 1% of the population and works against the other 99%. Sadly, Blair seems to have done as much to what was once the People's Party over there as the Clintons have done over here.


#16

I'm not sure what the SCOTUS has to do with the media reforms I proposed. My comment is simple, provide for funding for the public media outlet from a dedicated fixed source such as a excise-tax-fed trust fund and government has nothing to do with the appointing anyone.

As far as ownership - the media workers should own it under the cooperative model.


#17

I use the SCOTUS example to demonstrate the failure and "non independence" of official "independence". If the example does not apply, then what do you actually mean when you say "Why not simply mandate total independence for the publicly-funded media entity?". In what way do you mean "independent".

I assumed you meant a model such as the ABC or the BBC. Is there a board of directors? Does the government of the day appoint the members of the board? What means are to be put in place to keep the body to be relatively unbiased. What alternative do you proposed to this model that has clearly failed?

I have no problem with independent funding source. I also see your co-operative model as an huge improvement on what we have now. But why do you object to having a thinly spread ownership? A spread ownership allows the readership to potentially become owners of what they consume, and prevents monopolies and other empire building.


#18

What means are to be put in place to keep the body to be relatively unbiased. What alternative do you proposed to this model that has clearly failed?

The board is selected through a civil service-type system based strictly on experience and skills on their CV's - the same way regular government employees are selected. I work for the US government as a civil engineer. I was never asked any questions about my politics at the interview.

Also I'm all for thinly spread ownership - but in a capitalist system ownership of assets don't stay thinly spread for long. Only worker cooperative ownership will stop this. I do agree with the laws in Venezuela and Ecuador that are trying to break up concentrated corporate media ownership that the useless NGO like "Human Rights Watch" and "Reporters Without Borders" are attacking them over.

And also, you need to understand that compared the media here in the US, the BBC - from its drama series to its news to its Adam Curtis documentaries whose grainy copies are distributed about the torrent-sphere like samizdat, is still vastly, vastly, better than anything we have here in the US. The French-language side of the CBC is not too bad either. I don't know enough about the ABC - I presume it is similar to the English-language side of the CBC.

And in the print media, we have nothing even close to the Guardian. It usually has more news about domestic US issues - from any perspective - than any US broadsheet or their websites has.


#19

The restriction I am proposing is that human beings can own at most a single share. Sort of like a membership - if you own two memberships then you are still just a member. Or alternatively anyone caught owning more than a single share will be fined, not cash, but the excess shares.