Tag Archives: propaganda

JQP in Brief

In general, I continue to be very impressed by the Independent, who are acting like it and clearly enjoying it very much. Hear hear!

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State of the Nation

[ Editor’s note: this originally appeared in a slightly shorter form as a comment on Though Cowards Flinch. ]

Disclaimer: I am not associated with the LibDems. They are too much Democrat, not enough Liberal for me to join them. However, I’m an historian by training, and learned my politics in the third world, so I can spot a bankrupt political oligarchy sustained by the vested interests of a corrupt plutocracy and a deliberately fraudulent media as well as the man on the Clapham omnibus. And I’ve been saying so on the internet since a hell of a long time before #leadersdebate.

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Independence Day

The Sun newspaper failed to publish a YouGov poll showing that voters fear a Liberal Democrat government less than a Conservative or Labour one. […] (The Liberal Democrats have) taken comfort from YouGov’s unpublished finding that more voters would be delighted by the formation of a Liberal Democrat government (29 per cent), than by a Tory government (25 per cent) or a Labour one (18 per cent).

Only 21 per cent would be dismayed if a Liberal Democrat administration were formed, compared to 45 per cent for the Tories and 51 per cent for Labour.

In the 1990s I read the Indy as much as I read any other paper. They seemed to me to be quite independent, and I approved. I was also 16. It became apparent during the course of Back to Basics that the Indy was a fundamentally right-wing paper which talked a very good game but couldn’t back it up with impartiality.

But Simon Kelner’s slavering hacks have, over the last couple of days, performed so far out of that kennel that I might well have to buy a subscription for my new pub. There’s been a series of indications that the Indy alone of the papers usually considered as Cameron’s Crew might be thinking about regaining some honour in journalism. Then, as far as we can tell, James Murdoch decided to take a hand. The replying salvo is a vigorous expose of the counter-democratic and unethical practices of the Murdoch empire.

We all saw the delightfully inept attempt at GOP-style campaigning from the Murdoch empire and their running dogs at CCHQ. We all saw them trot out a different line from the YouGov attack poll in each paper, thus making it clear that it was a co-ordinated but unaimed assault with a single guiding will. Nick Robinson has confirmed that it was the Tories who orchestrated the media bombing campaign, which makes it pretty clear that it was also the Tories who put the attack poll in the field, using YouGov and Murdoch to do it.

Murdoch Loses Britain was a trending topic on twitter tonight. Too fucking right.

The Independent is causing feelings of respect and affection in me. I hope they can keep up the good work. Signs are good: Andrew Grice includes at the bottom of his article a step-by-step deconstruction of each headline in the smear campaign, with the true story summarised alongside. John Q.’s hat is duly tipped to a rare independent voice in the British print media.

Edit: 1357 The Indy have reprised their “Murdoch won’t decide this election” wrap-around, which precipitated this, with another, saying “Neither will Lebvedev”. Someone’s been eating his Wheaties.

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Myth Factory

Broken Britain?

I’m not alone in noticing that the Economist are doing a good job of contrasting Conservative rhetoric with the data. The most significant bits of the article for me:

Chief among people’s worries is their security. Under Labour, fear of crime climbed until by 2007 it had become the issue that pollsters identified as the main complaint among voters. The heightened fears are a puzzle to criminologists, who point out that over the past 15 years Britain has experienced a steady, deep fall in crime. The statistics are notoriously hard to interpret, but according to the British Crime Survey, the Home Office’s most reliable measure though still far from perfect, crime overall has dropped by 45% since its peak in 1995. […] Violent crime has fallen too. It is now almost half what it was in 1995, and no higher than in 1981.

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JQP in Brief

Balls on the Back Benches

Not, unfortunately, Ed. Labour MP Graham Allen has written a very interesting post suggesting some out-of-the-box perspectives on British democracy. I agree with a considerable amount, if not all, of what he said but that’s not why I’m linking it. Continue reading

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Chaos Theories

[ Editor’s Note: Staff illness, my illness, a paid writing project, a real ale festival and significant levels of exhaustion are still in between me and the keyboard. But I do now have a working computer again (again!) and will be back as and when I can. If anyone’s still reading this after a 4 month hiatus, … I appreciate your dedication but suspect you’ve too much time on your hands. Thank you. –JQP ]


Imagine, please, a kettle. Examine the water in this imaginary kettle. It’s pretty much stationary, I’d imagine, at room temperature. Treating the kettle and the water in it as a system, at that temperature the system is extremely predictable: nothing in it is moving about much, the level of chaos is fairly low. Now turn the kettle on and watch very carefully.

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Back to Basics

Well, that was a lot of blog posts. I will admit I have not read all those published by the writers I follow since I effectively went offline; that’s because you guys posted over a thousand articles in that time and much of it is no longer in any way “news”. But I did find a few things I felt rant-worthy in my trawls through the blogosphere.

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