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

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

Neoliberalism and the New World Order

  Everyone knows there’s something wrong with the world but nobody can say what it is. We’ve got people going hungry in the UK for the first time in nearly a century; wages are falling and living standards are in decline; our schools are failing and our National Health Service is being privatised; the retirement age is rising, child benefit is means tested and large numbers of our young people are finishing their education massively in debt. Meanwhile the rich are getting richer and we’re involved in our sixth war since 1990. There’s always enough money for wars it seems, … Continue reading Neoliberalism and the New World Order

Nice to know we’re on the side of progress

So we’re at war again. Because all the previous wars have worked out really well haven’t they? We bombed Afghanistan and the Taliban grew stronger. We bombed Libya and the terrorist armies spread throughout the Middle East. We bombed Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. So – remind me –  which of these countries is now safe from terrorism? This is the fourth time we’ve bombed Iraq. The Iraqis must have got used to it by now. We’ve been bombing them, on and off, since 1990. Islamic State (IS) used to be known as Al Qaeda in Iraq. When we first bombed … Continue reading Nice to know we’re on the side of progress