And so a new year, and arguably a new decade, are upon us. For some, a chance to start anew; for others, another opportunity to carry on as before. In the case of our free and fearless press, no-one should be in any doubt that they are in the latter category. They alone have escaped effective regulation; they are therefore doing The Right Thing.
Bozo wants to be the new Churchill ...
That thing has been, in the most part, to shill shamelessly for alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. This got him noticed, secured his election as very occasional Mayor of London, got him into 10 Downing Street, and sealed a General Election victory that his character and behaviour did not merit. But, as the saying goes, he may have been an SOB, but he was their SOB.
So with their SOB in power, it should surprise no-one that today’s papers resort to crude propagandising in order to talk up a politician who is one of their own, even though his career in journalism has been marked by the kind of serial dishonesty that caused him to be sacked from his first press job. The Murdoch Times has led the way.
“Britain sees in new year on a wave of optimism … Johnson promises decade of prosperity” proclaimed its front page headline. The Daily Brexit, still officially called the Express, was on the same page with “PM hails new chapter for a prosperous Britain … BORIS: OUR DECADE OF HOPE AND GLORY”. Sick of it yet? It gets worse.
The Murdoch Sun, as befits a paper that believes that It Won It For Bozo, goes full projectile vomit inducing with an editorial declaring “Let this be our golden decade” and going on to assert “WE on The Sun cannot recall feeling as hopeful for Britain’s future as we do on this first day of a new decade”. Homelessness, hatred, poverty, crime, a declining NHS, climate crisis inactivity, social care ignored, yes, real hopeful stuff.
But the Murdoch goons continue with the propaganda. “That means finally achieving Brexit 30 days from now and then, we hope, rapidly striking trade deals with Brussels and the world’s greatest economies [no. Just no] … It means a dramatic, imaginative Budget to turbo-charge both those ‘left-behind’ regions which voted Tory for the first time and the wider economy”. Never before did “turbo-charge” mean “do sweet stuff all”.
Because all that the press is giving us is Bozo propaganda. What is being plastered all over front pages today is not news. It is no longer about news. The right-wing press is now embarked on a mission not to trouble its readers with reality, but to advertise their chosen product. And their chosen product is Bozo The Clown.
... we should be careful what he wishes for
Boris Johnson likes to portray himself as a successor to Churchill. The latter’s most significant non-wartime political intervention was the disastrous returning of Sterling to the gold standard in 1925. The New York Times, in an echo of today’s headlines, told that he had carried “Parliament and nation to height of enthusiasm”. J K Galbraith later called it “the most dramatically disastrous error by a Government in modern economic history”.
Brexit has the potential to be worse. But We The People will not be told that. Whether it was Lord Northcliffe or Orwell who said it is immaterial: the old adage “News is what people do not want you to print. All the rest is advertising” was never as true as today. Welcome to the decade of No News but Plenty of Advertising.
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