Need another reason not to buy The Sun?

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LTW extensively covered the recent 'Justice' tour, with daily on the road blogs from LTW boss and tour compere John Robb, we have also just posted an exclusive interview with 'Justice' headliner Mick Jones.

Another aspect of the tour was to support the on-going 'Don't Buy The Sun' campaign - this is based upon the papers appalling reporting in the immediate aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.

Here Pat Rodger gives his own thoughts and reasons why you should not buy The Sun...

If you needed any more reasons not to buy The Sun, I have some suggestions”¦and, in fact, my issues are not just with The Sun - what is it with the “popular press” these days? Here we are, in the midst of a serious economic crisis and yet the red tops focus on frivolous distractions such as “Simon picks Little Mix” (The Sun; Saturday 10th December) while the rest are full of vilifications of the poor and jobless: “1m empty rooms paid for by housing benefits... and it's costing the taxpayer £500m a year” (Daily Mail, Monday 12th December).

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In any civilised and democratic society that values freedom of speech, the press should exist to represent the issues of the day clearly and fairly, to give a voice to the readership/s”¦but what we have, instead, is an industry that is used to distract and divert from the real social, political and financial concerns and to stifle the voices of dissent.

George Monibot, writing in today's Guardian, declares that “the men who own the corporate press are fighting a class war, seeking, even now, to defend the 1% to which they belong against its challengers”¦ reframing the major issues so effectively that it often recruits its readers to mobilise against their own interests."

The irony is that the sad truth of this statement will only have an audience of those who are already aware of this sorry state of affairs.

The mega-rich press barons ”“ the Murdochs, Dacre, Desmond - ensure that crime and anti-social behaviour are represented only as the actions of the feral poor carried out against the weak amongst their own or on the entirely virtuous and put-upon middle and upper classes.

And just as this cabal use their papers to call for a crackdown on those who protest, those who flaunt their poverty in the faces of the establishment, those who call for social justice ”“ they also use their papers to urge for the relaxation of the rules and regulations imposed on business, bemoan the unfairness of taxation of corporate organisations and laud the culture massive salaries and bonuses for management.

Another member of the Cotswold set used a public service broadcaster to voice his view that strikers should be executed in front of their families claiming ”˜exaggeration as humour' but failing to acknowledge that this could be interpreted as inciting hatred ”“ yet Clarkson gets his wrist slapped and flies to China and Australia at public expense (to shoot a Top Gear special). Yet numerous disaffected teenagers who used ”˜exaggerated humour' in their posts about the riots are still being processed in courts across the country.

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Yesterday the majority of newspapers applauded proposed government plans to cut benefits for people in social housing who are living in properties that have more rooms than they “need”. The Mail ”“ who featured the headline quoted above - also condemned “the growing scandal of under-occupancy that contributes to the housing crisis” yet utterly failed to consider the culture of second home ownership amongst of the wealthy, a practice that often prices local people out of the housing market and is a much more significant contributor to the housing crisis.

The press has a duty to explore and expose the truth form all perspectives, not just the truth the ruling classes would have us believe. The truth about the housing crisis, the truth about the need for immigrant workers, the truth about benefits and particularly about the way that the reshaping of the system is driving many sick and disabled people to take their own lives as their benefit is cut. These people, including those receiving treatment for cancer and service people suffering Post Traumatic Stress are condemned as scroungers and charlatans ”“ yet the government's own figures show that benefit fraud deprives the Exchequer of £1.1bn a year while the tax avoidance and evasion routinely practiced by the richest in society deprive it of between £40bn and £120bn a year.* And all this is overseen by a Chancellor who does not even pay tax into the system he controls (the family wallpaper business enables Gideon George Oliver Osborne to bank offshore).

So, not only are those at the top are no longer answerable to the laws the rest of us must abide by, the press refuses to expose the malpractice of the economic elite. And they do this because they are part of it all”¦party to it all. As the Leveson enquiry exposes the morally bankrupt behaviours of Murdoch and his ilk, perhaps it is down to the bloggers to take up the baton of responsible reporting and to expose a political system that has become both corrupted by and enslaved to corporate media.

* Figures from Department for Work and Pensions, 2009. Fraud and Error in the Benefits System: April 2008 to March 2009. Table 2.1, page 8; http://campaigns.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd2/fem/fem_apr08_mar09.pdf
HMRC, 16th September 2010. Measuring Tax Gaps 2010. Table 1.1, Page 7. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/measuring-tax-gaps-2010.htm.pdf
and Richard Murphy, March 2010. Tax Justice and Jobs: The business case for investing in staff at HM Revenue & Customs. http://www.pcs.org.uk/taxjusticedoc

19 thoughts on “Need another reason not to buy The Sun?

  1. Billy R

    I’ll agree not to buy the Sun as soon as all the wankers who buy the Guardian stop quoting their bollocks blinkered Liberal views all over Facebook.
    Agreed?

  2. Robert Blutowski

    What has this got to do with music? I don’t “like” your page to read biased crap.

    Of course you completely missed the irony in Clarkson’s comments and only choose to hear what you want to.

    Don’t just pick on the Sun. I don’t buy any papers cos they are all as bad as each other.

    Any more of this nonsense and I shall depart your page.

  3. Andy Hunt

    A stunning article – everyone in the country should be made to read this IMMEDIATELY!

  4. Gordon Smart

    A typo in the first 50 words isn’t the best way to have a go at another publication. I do believe it’s a ‘campaign’ rather than the lovely sounding ‘campagian’

  5. Just another Smith

    I stopped reading when you mentioned the Clarkson ‘outrage’. Clearly you haven’t seen the clip in context where it is obviously apparent it is a joke – Clarkson is an entertainer, that’s what he does.

    Clip in context here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN72DAlhovY

    The fact you haven’t seen the clip yet choose to lambast him with it speaks volumes.

  6. DB3

    Self-evidently true, yet the flak to shoot down this uncomfortable truth didn’t take long to be released. Good article, kudos and keep it up

  7. Graeme

    What has this got to do with music? Really, you can’t spot it?

    And if anyone actually buys this “it was a joke” stuff about Clarkson, they’re an idiot.

    Or shall we start in on some good old racist and sexist comments now provided that I preface it with the words “this is a joke”?

  8. Monty

    As a Guardian reading wanker, I look in vain for anything other than blinkered bollocks from the rabidly anti-liberal Times, Telegraph, Mail, Express, Star and Sun. With so much Tory bollocks monopolising the print media market, you’d be forgiven for believing that Britain had become a vast 1970s smelly hippie commune, run by ‘PC fascists’, benefits scroungers and (gulp!) women. You may not have noticed, but this blogsite isn’t a huge supporter of The Sun, the Murdoch press or right-wing views in general; that’s what the ‘Justice’ campaign is about. That’s what Mick Jones is happy to speak out against. In fact, if you’d been paying attention, you would have noticed that LTW seems to have published rather a lot of “bollocks blinkered Liberal views” and other “biased crap” by people who like (no, love) music and seem to believe that just maybe, once in a while, music shouldn’t just be about having a jolly old time while the country is turned into a banana republic by the ruling Cronyocracy. Mr. Jones said virtually as much in an interview with John Robb recently. If you want nicey-nice music stories without those pesky “bollocks” views getting in the way, then maybe you should read Q magazine; I believe they do some music stuff. But no “bollocks” of course.

    • Robin Brunskill

      Ha Ha Brilliant Monty

  9. Paul

    “It was a joke”. Bollocks – Clarkson has history.

    As to the various tabloid rags – not fit to wipe the dog’s arse with.

  10. Robin Brunskill

    Pat Rodger – excellent article. Very interesting to learn that “the family wallpaper business enables Osborne to bank offshore”…

    While doing the Northern Line underground commute in London in the eighties, I remember a particular type of Sun reader. Fresh out of all male public school and Oxford, he and his pal, would do “research” into breasts by looking at Page Three and then evaluation comments at the women around him. Embarrasingly crammed too close as the tube rattled its way to the heart of the city, this morning invasion of our dignity was not welcomed by women. But what could you do against a tie and a crest and a copy of the Sun? What an unholy trinity? Back then, echoes of post-permissive society had silenced women into an entitlement to a reaction. But things began to slowly change – and I have fond memories of a punky girl reacting to two such “chap” by a string of swear words, that only a good art school education in the nation’s capital could provide.
    These posh sun readers were just a little confused that women could have any objection to their evaluations…and went back to staring at the nice safe topless lady on page three, who smiled back at them.
    The rest of us in the carriage smiled at the punky girl. Ah eighties-london…so much to answer for.

  11. Enjoyed every bit of your article.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on…

  12. gabrieltonka

    “What has this got to do with music?”.
    The sun When you hate Xfactor – hate The Sun.
    When someone punches you ‘cos you look different – hate The Sun.
    When you grow tired of racism and bigotry and small mindedness – hate The Sun.
    The Sun represents and champions all that is mindless, in our culture.

  13. jihad

    Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

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