Unbalanced reporting is feeding our ignorance

I overheard one of my colleagues at work the other day. He was listening to a news report about the prospect of British jets bombing Isis targets in Syria. “Let’s bomb them,” he said. I often hear him saying such things. He’s not a right wing bigot or a racist, although he might be Islamophobic. Many people are Islamophobic these days. I said, “that’s exactly what they are saying about you right now.” He turned from his frame and looked at me sceptically. “So what would you do?” Unfortunately my answer was a lot less succinct than the three words … Continue reading Unbalanced reporting is feeding our ignorance

Who do we trust?

A friend of mine asked me a question a while back, which has been niggling me ever since. I put up a post on Facebook, which I got from fair.org. “F.A.I.R.” stands for Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting. It was about the reporting of Russian airstrikes in Syria by the mainstream media. What it showed was that there was a certain amount of false reporting going on. The news appeared to be different before and after the Russian intervention. On the 30th September the New York Times had reported airstrikes in Homs, but then added that it was a region of Syria not under the control of … Continue reading Who do we trust?

Airstrikes for Dummies

Last week David Cameron presented the case for airstrikes in Syria. He said: “Throughout Britain’s history we have been called on time and again to make the hardest of decisions in defence of our citizens and our country. Today one of the greatest threats we face to our security is the threat from Isil [Isis].” I took the report from the Guardian website. You will notice that they felt the need to explain who Isil are by adding an alternative name in brackets. This is just in case there might be some confusion. The group are also known as Daesh … Continue reading Airstrikes for Dummies

“Fury” over plans to house refugees

Front page of the Whitstable Gazette last week: “Fury over plans to house refugees”. Pardon? Did I hear that right? There’s an unused building in Whitstable; there’s  some homeless, traumatised children – that’s the meaning of the term “unaccompanied minor” – and somebody is “furious” about it; someone objects? What has become of us, that we treat young people seeking refuge this way? The victims of wars that our political and economic elites started in order to fill their own pockets. Orphans, driven from their homes by conditions which we helped to create. We don’t even know who these children … Continue reading “Fury” over plans to house refugees

Christmas Eve: we must stop wars for the sake of our children

Christmas Eve. It’s like a pause – isn’t it? – between the preparations that went before and the festivities that are to follow. The presents are bought and wrapped, the turkey is in the fridge, the drink is in the cupboard. The carpets are clean. We have everything we need. Everyone is waiting. It’s like the whole world is holding its breath. Me, I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I’m spending Christmas with my new grandchild, meeting the in-laws. I’m sure we’ll get on. The baby will be the centre of attention and the subject of most of … Continue reading Christmas Eve: we must stop wars for the sake of our children

Not one shall be forgotten: the lies that take us to war

War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it. George Orwell For the past weeks I’ve been delivering British Legion letters to the people of Whitstable. You will have seen them. The envelope shows a picture of a bunch of First World War British Tommies, kitted out ready for war, with their helmets and their rifles, smiling and carefree, on their way to the front. It’s obvious that none of them have seen any action as yet or they wouldn’t be smiling. By the end of the war most of them … Continue reading Not one shall be forgotten: the lies that take us to war