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 Post subject: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:53 pm 
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Whatever you might think of Alastair Campbell, his evidence to the Leveson Inquiry is compelling stuff. Much of what he writes, in fact, has been expressed on this blog, to the extent that there is a remarkable degree of agreement at what constitutes a deterioration in the quality of the press, and the reasons for it.

And, in expressing his view of the press, Campbell then goes on to express a view with which we could only concur.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:26 pm 

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A bit off topic, whilst I despise that foul breathed weasel [rhymes with anchor] Campbell and though, I acknowledge the wider points made........ My mind has been drifting onto the associated and incorporate iniquity and thus, perversion of expenditure of public [taxpayer] monies.

Musing as I was, on wider funding of the public sector unions and knowing full well that Brown misdirected millions through quangos and 'other means' to bolster and finance the big public sector Unions, I came across this, now minded as you and myself are: democracy starts at the bottom - these bottom feeders need to be removed.

Can you see the problem there is here? It is a mutual club of jolly Union members and troughing councillors backscratching and forelock tugging with their brethren in the corridors of the local government Kleptocracy.

Quote:
On 7 September, councillors met in Leeds to debate the following motion, placed before them by Cllr Alan Lamb:

‘This Council understands and recognises the valuable role played by Trades Unions in ensuring effective industrial relations and reaffirms the principle of providing reasonable support to Trades Unions including time off for stewards for this purpose.

However, this council believes that given the current state of the public finances taxpayer subsidy of full time Trade Union officials should now be brought to an end. The £417,000 annual cost to taxpayers in Leeds for 15 full time convenors is now unjustifiable both in terms of the massive budget pressure faced by Leeds City Council and the programme of cuts to frontline services currently being undertaken by the Labour administration.

This Council also notes the wider context of the huge donations that Trade Unions are able to offer to the Labour Party.’

The motion was defeated by 56 votes to 31, with 4 abstentions. A total of 56 councillors had to declare an interest before this motion was debated, because they were either a member of a trade union or were married to a member. It was correct they should declare an interest, but should some of them have declared a prejudicial interest because they either work for a union or they received funding from unions for their election campaigns?


Here's the link.

Move over on the trough Brother!


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 Post subject: Re: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:42 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:59 pm
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Quote:
Campbell seems pessimistic about whether the press can be improved, and looks to the Leveson Inquiry to recommend changes. But like so many "above the line" figures whose main experience of blogging is Guido Fawkes, he does not understand the degree to which serious bloggers are beginning to fill the political vacuum.

I'm not sure what Campbell expects, unless he is angling for even greater control by pr people like himself. There already exist plenty of rules and laws over privacy.

Campbell certainly has a keen eye on the issue having been right in the middle of it. Though I think he is an utterly odious shit, when he was co-ordinating government policy releases with the Sun the paper was under no obligation to co-operate. The benefits to both were too good to miss.

Other papers could have bothered to do far more in exposing this but they may have been reluctant to as they would then not get to be the privileged paper of choice. Other journalists could have done far more in not selling their soul to the devil in return for a lobby pass and being spoonfed stories. If they all agree to do a crap job the only choice the consumer has is to stop buying, and it would seem we have, in droves.


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 Post subject: Re: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:04 pm 
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RAENORTH wrote:
Campbell thus does not believe Britain gets the media we deserve. ... [and] ... In the final analysis, this blog exists in its current form because of the failures of the media, about which we have been voluble.
We have exactly the press we deserve. Your article posses the question "Does our culture lead the media or the media, the culture?" We get the press that we purchase. No newspaper buyers, no papers. The reason that circulation reduces is that an increasing number are disgusted with the press, but there are still plenty supporting it. Your blog does well, because you have a readership, and I guess, an increasing one. Until we demand a better press, we wont get one.

My local paper here in Virginia, is excellent, because that is what its readership demands. There is just no comparison with the UK local papers, but I don't believe that the local paper here would get a readership in many English towns as it doesn't major on sport, celebrities and sleaze, but on accurate reporting of stories of import.


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 Post subject: Re: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:25 pm 
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gregb wrote:
There is just no comparison with the UK local papers, but I don't believe that the local paper here would get a readership in many English towns as it doesn't major on sport, celebrities and sleaze, but on accurate reporting of stories of import.


I am convinced that, if just one newspaper broke with what has become tradition, and did likewise, it would make a killing. I believe the media has misread its own customer base.

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 Post subject: Re: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:48 pm 

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Another important role of the Media is to educate and explain. A reasonable vote is meaningless without a reasonable understanding of the issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:51 pm 

Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 5:33 pm
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Why don't you email the enquiry Dr North, and suggest yourself as someone willing to make this very point (that the net and citizen journalism is already filling the gaps)?

Leveson is calling Paul Staines and it would indeed be unfortunate if that is the only glimpse of blogging that the enquiry gets.

He is also, however, casting his net very broadly indeed, and asking anyone who gives testimony - even down to C-list actresses - about how they think the media and its regulation should evolve.

Worth a shot I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:02 pm 
I wonder if Campbell detects a connection between his ruthless grip on news stories - with even "the Tory press", such as the Telegraph, cowed during his tenure - and the press's eventual embrace of the trivial. He spoonfed the lobby and the news journalists with stories. If you were instead critical of the government, you were frozen out by him and had no access at all and so found it very hard to get stories. Then your editor fired you (unless you were Trevor Kavanagh or Peter Oborne). Andrew Gilligan survived for a while but was pushed out eventually on a technicality – by Campbell. It was inevitable that the public would start to distrust political coverage ("I see tractor production is up again this year") and therefore drift ever more towards the trivial. Ultimately, Campbell was responsible for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:28 am
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I agree with Clarence.
I think it's a bit hypocritical of the crooked mouth to place all the blame on the press when the spinning activities of him and his cronies did so much to create the problem. Remember how that old lady left on a hospital trolley for a couple of days was smeared as a racist.


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 Post subject: Re: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:05 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:26 am
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Location: UK
gregb wrote:
We get the press that we purchase

Richard has referred in the past to the feminisation society leading to its infantalisation. Referism will involve the majority growing up and taking an adult responsibility for ensuring that our politician are held to account. If that happens, then there will be a demand to be informed by real news.


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 Post subject: Re: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:12 pm 
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Clarence wrote:
I wonder if Campbell detects a connection between his ruthless grip on news stories - with even "the Tory press", such as the Telegraph, cowed during his tenure - and the press's eventual embrace of the trivial. He spoonfed the lobby and the news journalists with stories. If you were instead critical of the government, you were frozen out by him and had no access at all and so found it very hard to get stories. Then your editor fired you (unless you were Trevor Kavanagh or Peter Oborne). Andrew Gilligan survived for a while but was pushed out eventually on a technicality – by Campbell. It was inevitable that the public would start to distrust political coverage ("I see tractor production is up again this year") and therefore drift ever more towards the trivial. Ultimately, Campbell was responsible for that.


It is very odd that the man who has done so much to hasten the demise of the press should have such a clear grasp of the nature of its downfall. One assumes that his ability to exert such a grip on it stems in part from his understanding of it. Certainly, form my own personal experience, much of what he states rings true.

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 Post subject: Re: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:14 pm 
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IndThought wrote:
Why don't you email the enquiry Dr North, and suggest yourself as someone willing to make this very point (that the net and citizen journalism is already filling the gaps)?

Leveson is calling Paul Staines and it would indeed be unfortunate if that is the only glimpse of blogging that the enquiry gets.

He is also, however, casting his net very broadly indeed, and asking anyone who gives testimony - even down to C-list actresses - about how they think the media and its regulation should evolve.

Worth a shot I think.


I think this is my one venture into this vexed issue. I had intended to ignore it completely, but was so taken with Campbell's evidence that I was moved to comment on it. The inquiry itself I suspect is an irrelevance. The media is intent on digging its own grave, and there is nothing the inquiry (or I for that matter) can do to stop it.

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 Post subject: Re: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:16 pm 
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ELF wrote:
gregb wrote:
We get the press that we purchase

Richard has referred in the past to the feminisation society leading to its infantalisation. Referism will involve the majority growing up and taking an adult responsibility for ensuring that our politician are held to account. If that happens, then there will be a demand to be informed by real news.


Yes, I agree. My hope is that active involvement will spawn a virtuous circle, with the media given something interesting and important to report.

It is interesting how the Argus in Brighton is able to make a significant story out of the issue ...

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/9389634. ... _campaign/

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 Post subject: Re: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:50 pm 
Quote:
To sum up, in his experience of over a decade dealing with the political media, he claims that exaggeration, embellishment and pure invention are endemic, and are tolerated and indeed encouraged by some editors and senior executives.
If it was not "exaggerated, embellished or invented", what was "the dodgy dossier"? And what happened when one journalist tried to point this out on the radio? He was hounded from his job - by Campbell! (There were of course two dodgy dossiers but it's only the "45-minute" one that lives on.)

Quote:
Despite what the UK press has become, he says, I believe in a free press as a cornerstone of a healthy, vibrant democracy. Newspapers must always poke around in the affairs of the rich and powerful. They help hold authority to account. They should always be difficult, challenging, suspicious of power. They must always take risks and push hard for the truth. They must be free to criticise, mock and expose… real serious investigative journalism such as is represented by Watergate and Thalidomide is actually under threat.
From 1994 to 2003, Campbell believed in a free press like Barroso today believes in democracy. And if Campbell had been Nixon's spokesman we might never have heard of the Watergate Hotel.

In the 1970s, two journalists uncovered a big story about a politician listening in on his opponents. Now, the big story is about journalists listening in on celebrities. The descent to the ridiculous is because people such as Campbell thoroughly fouled the well of political coverage. I don't blame the public for rejecting proper news and opting for sleb tosh instead. Nor do I blame hacks for catering for that (but phone hacking anyone other than the criminal and/or political classes is a no-no).


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 Post subject: Re: Campbell at Leveson
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:04 pm 
This post from July seems apposite:

"Few people will labour under the illusion that government 'spin' is anything new, or was invented by Blair and his cronies. But it is not always easy to appreciate how far back it goes, and how entrenched it is in the mechanisms of government."

Read it all here: http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/0 ... to-us.html


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