A few bits and bobs that I've noticed since I've come back to sunny old Blighty from The Foreign.
George Monbiot is surprised by the anti-police backlash in the right-wing press after the G20 protests over here:
If the police at the G20 protests were pumped-up, testerical, itching for a fight, it was partly because their commanding officers have spent years blurring the distinction between peaceful campaigners and terrorists. Until recently, this strategy worked well: by turning quiet protests into angry confrontations, the police could show the public that unless they received ever greater powers and resources, the country would be overrun by violent mobs. Now it has backfired.
But as Monbiot says, normal service will soon be resumed. How soon? Er, this soon, as Rhetorically Speaking points out, with police grumbling behind the scenes being gleefully and unquestioningly accepted by the churnalists at The Times:
McKeever's protest would be a lot more compelling (i.e. a little bit instead of not at all) if he could point to exactly when and where commentary and criticism based on misinformation had taken place. Some kind of evidence-based process for supporting charges, if you will. And the bandwagon isn't anti-police so much as anti-"getting smacked in the face by balaclava'd police who refuse to identify themselves."
Nothing like keeping the boys in blue on-side, is there? I mean, the last employee of the newspaper industry who turned his back and assumed he'd be all right got smacked down to the ground and died shortly afterwards. And it's nice to see the BBC talking about "alleged assaults" to make sure everything's completely nice and safe. When you've got a video of someone being smacked down to the ground by a copper, there could be a completely innocent explanation, couldn't there?
Speaking of the BBC, it's disappointing but entirely predictable that Jeremy Bowen should be on the receiving end of a similar kind of blindsiding, by his own employers, after daring to try and be anything other than nonsensically 'impartial' towards the Israel/Gaza issue. Presumably if Bowen had been covering the Holocaust for the BBC he would have had to have included a disclaimer from the Nazis: "Some people say the Holocaust is a bad thing, but on the other hand senior German Government sources say that Jews are sub-human vermin who should be destroyed. So, we can't make any judgement as to who's right and wrong on this one." Robert Fisk is enjoyable apopleptic over at the Indy:
The BBC's preposterous committee claims that Bowen's article "breached the rules [sic] on impartiality" because "readers might come away from the article thinking that the interpretation offered was the only sensible view of the war". Well, yes of course. Because I suppose the BBC believes that Israel's claim to own land which in fact belongs to other people is another "sensible" view of the war.
And here's Septicisle on how Monday at The Sun is MoD propaganda day:
... if we are to believe this isn't just an MoD stunt, desperate for some good news from Afghanistan, it isn't as rare as is being made out. Only last July a highly similar story was reported, without apparent MoD involvement, the soldier in that example being David Poderis, also shot through the helmet without being harmed. Secondly, another previous case, reported back in 2003 in Iraq, involving a soldier supposedly shot four times in the helmet and surviving, subsequently turned out to be a prank or hoax, depending on which you prefer, the Sun proudly reporting the soldiers' ingenuity. The author? One John Kay. Is history repeating itself? You decide...
Also, No Sleep Til Brooklands applauds an incredibly insightful piece of journalism by the Mail, which has used alchemy and pure skill to link income tax to income, with astonishing results:
Mail readers, and the paper itself, love to talk about 'stealth taxes'. Originally this used to refer to idden charges in the tax system that most people didn't know about, whereby they'd be hit by unexpected levies, but now it seems it's become synonymous with tax itself. It's hard to think of a way income tax could be any less stealthy. Announced annually in the Budget, written about in the press, rates published for all to see, and the figure literally printed on your monthly payslip under the none-too-stealthy name of 'Income tax', it seems to me that Alastair Darling is not perhaps the most cunning of pickpockets in this regard.
Getting ready for the 'WAR ON THE MIDDLE CLASS' guff from the right-wing screamsheets when the Budget comes out? Oh yes!
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