Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Archive for the tag “media”

Conference Mischief making (1 of many)

So The Independent on Sunday has done a poll that shows that activists from a left-of-centre political party would prefer a parliamentary coalition with the Labour Party.

According to the poll for The Independent on Sunday by the respected grassroots website Liberal Democrat Voice, four out of 10 party activists want the Lib Dem leader to form a coalition with Labour in 2015, while a further 15 per cent would like to see a Labour-Lib Dem “confidence and supply” agreement, whereby the third party is free to vote against the Government but agrees not to bring down the Government or vote against its Budget.

In a major blow to some senior Lib Dems close to Mr Clegg who are planning a second term of coalition with the Conservatives, only  15 per cent want to see this deal, while 6 per cent would back a Conservative-Lib Dem “confidence and supply”.
The Independent website 15 September 2013 Exclusive poll reveals activists would want to form a coalition with Labour in 2015

How very illuminating and depressingly typical of the sort of stirring that is done around the party conferences. It just provokes more stupidity. Read more…

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Going over the top – a example of multi-channel broadcasting

The Thatcher Funeral was covered live on:

  • BBC1, (The “National TV Channel” must show “national events”)
  • BBC HD (“Because they can”)
  • BBC News Channel, (The “News Channel” must show this “News Event” in full to the exclusion of all else)
  • BBC Red Button, (The “out of schedule” facility must show this “out of schedule event”)
  • BBC Radio4, FM and LW (The “National Radio Channel” must cover “national events”)
  • BBC Radio 5Live (This is a live event so they must cover it)
  • BBC on-line (for those away from TV and Radio transmissions – even iPlayer).  Read more…

Baroness Thatcher: There was no alternative

The death of Baroness Thatcher (Prime Minister 1979-1990) has been announced today (8 April 2013).  It will inevitably provoke much discussion and debate.

Those of us who did not personally know her need to remember that she was a wife and mother before she was an MP.  Those who privately grieve her passing will have to do so in the midst of a media storm.

The media storm is going over the top.  I notice that the BBC News Broadcasters have changed into “full mourning” garb (black suits, black ties), and there is talk of her having a funeral “on a par with that of the Queen Mother” (BBC One O’clock News 8 April 2013).  (“Ceremonial with full military honours” – ITN News 1:30 8 April 2013.) This coverage is to be regretted as it could provoke an unseemly backlash from those who struggle to mourn the politician whilst knowing they should permit the mourning of the person.  I think this says as much about the media as the person. Read more…

“Could not have been reasonably foreseen”

The above was part of the statement made by a clearly upset CEO of the company that owns Sydney radio station 2Day FM.  I do not wish to heap further condemnation on him for his reaction to recent events, but in his statement he may have highlighted the problem which people like him need to address.

In a few months time this may have all blown over – personally I hope not – so in summary:

  • Whilst the Duchess of Cambridge was in hospital, two DJs working for 2Day FM made a prank call early in the (UK) morning to the Hospital pretending to be the Queen asking about her Grand-daughter-in-law.
  • Because it was outside reception hours, the call was answered by a duty nurse who was taken in by the call and passed it on to the nurse caring for the Duchess who then revealed details about a patient’s medical condition. (BBC News Website 5 December 2012)
  • The call was recorded and then considered by the radio station’s management who then authorised the broadcasting of the call and the private medical details. (BBC News Website 8 December 2012)
  • The nurse who originally took the call has been found dead in her accommodation. (BBC News Website 7 December 2012)

We could say this is just a juvenile prank gone wrong, but this chain of events is more than that. Read more…

Neilisms and out of context factoids

Andrew Neil was lambasting the Liberal Democrats today (BBC2 Daily Politics 24 September 2012) with the unreferenced factoid: the “top 10% pay 55% of all income tax paid”. Out of context it is meaningless and does nothing other than make Andrew Neil look like a bully.

I wonder how much of all income does the top 10% snaffle? More than 55%? If it is more than 55%, I very much hope that they are paying at least 55% of all income tax paid.  Looking at Wealth Accumulation and Total Tax might be even more illuminating.

Are similar figures available for the top 1%, the top 0.1% and the top 0.01%?

Once we know this we may be able to have a more educated debate about the progressiveness of our tax system.

Selective Committal and Media Mauling

There is a degree of grandstanding going on concerning the “Olympic Security Fiasco” and it seems to be mainly generating heat rather than light. This seems to say something about the media (who seem to be “enjoying the story” than actually getting under the issue to expose the real issues) and about our parliamentary select committees (members of the Home Affairs Select Committee seeming to want to ritually kebab the G4$ CEO rather than find out exactly what is going on). Read more…

A feasible war

Reading about the Great War and comparing it to more modern wars, I have previously been struck by two major differences:

  • The scale of casualties suffered by our armed services – the total (allied) losses in a war are now less than the losses in the first hour of the battle of the Somme
  • The level and intensity of media coverage – a press that now sees independence as more important than patriotism and has the means of instant communication

This had always led me to wonder about the present day feasibility of war.  Would the public accept even the current level of casualties or would they say “out”?  Could the media be controlled to hide our casualties? Read more…

Conference Mischief

I am beginning to get worried (again) about the coverage of our political conferences.  This is mainly based on watching the BBC’s conference coverage (Daily Politics etc.) and Channel 4 News.  I am afraid that I have almost given up on the print media. Read more…

Given them an inch and they will take at least a Cable

The rather synthetic cries of outrage from “the capitalists’ spokesmen” alerted me to the fact that someone had dared to suggest that capitalism was either:

  • not all it was cracked up to be, or
  • if it was, then maybe society did not feel they benefited from capitalism

Obviously a really major ground-breaking speech was about to be made.

Read more…

In a Pact Programme …

I am still amazed by the way that the media still can’t get their mind around the implications of having a coalition government.  Some members of the public are not doing to well either.

They seem determined to find winners and losers in the Queen’s Speech.  We seem to have two-party leaders who for better or worse (and I have my doubts) have thrown in their lot with each other. Have Cameron or Clegg betrayed their followers?  Or did the Labour leadership (by its negotiating stance) betray its followers?

No one “won” the election, (despite some Tories claiming their, almost feudal, “right” to rule,) so no one party can “have their way”.  So the alternative is either complete stalemate or a coalition and that means compromise.

Read more…

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