Journalism or Biased Propaganda?

negative

I intended to write on Labour and upcoming vote by parliament on article 50.

Instead, I am writing again on biased-journalism, because of one-sided trash they call news these days.

Is it only me, or have you noticed it as well?

Read following links and you will know what I mean:

  • Corbyn office sabotaged EU remain Campaign, by BBC in-house Corbyn-hater and political fabricator Laura Kuenssberg – against who, incidentally, even the regulator BBC Trust ruled that she inaccurately represented Corbyn.
  • YouGov on “How badly is Jeremy Corbyn doing?”
  • The Telegraph header on Jeremy backs down on vow to force Labour MPs to vote in favour of Brexit.
  • BBC on Corbyn not changed his mind on immigration.

Do you hear the underlying tone?

In all cases, they use as many negative adjectives as possible with “Labour” and “Corbyn” in the same sentence.

Ignore the politics and political reasoning for time being; we can discuss it later.

Instead, let’s check the syntax and attitude.

Take for example “Corbyn sabotaged EU Remain”. Had they said either “Corbyn supports Brexit” or “Labour supports Remain” it would have given a clearer message.  Also, it would have brought readers on at least one side of the topic closer to Labour.

Read the other article on Corbyn not his changed mind on immigration.  Corbyn clearly states that immigration to the UK is not too high and migrants play a valuable role in the society.   In next statement BBC says “Labour was not wedded to freedom of movement”.

Why cannot Laura and BBC use their backbones, stand straight and say clearly that Corbyn supports controlled immigration?

Because their backbones were long ago surrendered to the grand-alliance of Corbyn haters.

Yet another article in Telegraph: Jeremy backs down on vow to force Labour MPs to vote in favour of Brexit.

Wow!  How many negatives in just one header!

Does it still clearly explain in which way Labour wants its MPs to vote?

No, that message is obscured.

This is what the pen-pushers and Labour-haters want to achieve.  Create utter confusion regarding the stands of Labour and Corbyn and murk the message.

By using “no”, “not”, “force” and other negative remarks, they purposefully alienate Labour and Corbyn from either side of the argument.

Let me try – “Media, political parties and their trash-writers use manipulative language in their venomous uttering against Corbyn”.

See, I too have learned that way of writing!

Blame the propagandists!

Lost the mood to write on the topic I intended to; will come back later on Labour and Article50.

Till then, have a read on an earlier post on journalism.

Advertisements

Is MP seat just another job?

careerStoke-on-Trent Labour MP Tristram Hunt has decided to quit his position to be the Director of V&A Museum.  A very nice career move – just look at the salary hike!  From £74,962 to a package worth at least £225,000-£230,000!

Well done, Director Hunt!

Apart from a hike in salary, I have also heard about other “positive” reasons, including “his parliamentary seat is about to be abolished, so Hunt will become jobless”.   Another one that the directorship of V&A is once-in-a-lifetime dream opportunity; why should someone not take it?

I agree, valid points from his personal view point.

But is an MP seat just a personal career position?  Is it just another job, a stepping-stone for one’s personal growth?  What about an MP’s commitments to his constituency and thousands of people who voted and elected her/him as their MP?

Let us take each of the viewpoints that are raised in support for Hunt.

His parliamentary seat is “about to be abolished” – not already abolished.  If one is in politics for the love of it, and was elected as an MP, they will continue the job they were elected for – till the time the post exists. That is what is least expected from an MP. Leaving a job half-done and running for another one – whether it is for publicity or money – is not what is expected from a politician.

Those who support Hunt’s personal growth are ignoring his constituency, its voters, the party he represented and the constraints Hunt put on the party due to his personal ambitions.

If one do not have commitment to their party and voters, then they should not take the pain to represent a constituency.

It is this “me-before-party” attitude that created current tension within Labour – and between Labour and its supporters.

From another angle, I feel it is better for Labour that those who destroyed its core values are getting out after all – along with their WMDs.  It is good that they are deserting, leaving Labour to its rightful owners.  It might take some time for Labour to make it ship-shape, but it’s worth the time.

Who knows how quickly Director Hunt will leave V&A for another lucrative position?

Let’s wait for the Linkedin update.

Brexit, Judiciary and ruling on Article 50

Article50_court_ruling.png

Court ruling on Article 50 invocation dominates UK press and media for last couple of days.

A number of newspapers had headlines similar to “court vs. people” and calling the judges “enemies of people”.

Is it really so?  I do not think so.

The judges in their ruling clearly mentioned that “the court is not concerned with and does not express any view about the merits of leaving the EU, which is a political issue”.

Then what is the ruling?

The court was requested to decide whether the UK Government is entitled to invoke Article 50 without a reference to parliament.  The judges ruled that the Government cannot overlook the parliament.  The ruling also mentions that “the most fundamental rule of the UK’s constitution is that Parliament is sovereign and can make and unmake any law it choose.”

This principle is critical.

Not only it is critical, but it is what the referendum voters voted for, in a larger context.  The referendum results established the fact that UK voters do not like rules imposed on them by an un-elected EU parliament – which was what the PM and her Government were trying to do.

From that perspective, I even dare to say that the judges were more biased towards the Brexit results!

So, the ruling should not be considered as a blow to referendum result.  It only says that Government should now present the terms – that it intend to discuss and debate with EU – first with the parliament, and then initiate the Article 50 discussions.

From this perspective, the ruling indeed is a defeat of the Prime Minister Theresa May and her Government.  The PM and her Tory party should not rush in to the Article 50 discussions directly with the EU; instead it should properly debate UK’s case within the parliament, reach cross-party agreements and then – then only – invoke Article 50.

From this perspective, the ruling indeed is a defeat of the Prime Minister Theresa May and her Government.  The PM and her Tory party should not rush in to the Article 50 discussions directly with the EU; instead it should properly debate UK’s case within the parliament, reach cross-party agreements and then – then only – invoke Article 50.

Resignation of Tory MP Stephen Phillips underlines this fact.

Stephen Phillips is not only a Tory, but also backed EU exit.  Still, the MP is critical of Conservative government’s actions and accuses the PM of “trying to ignore the views of parliament and avoiding scrutiny of the government’s negotiating position”.

This is in line with the court ruling as well.

I do not think UK MPs are not that unintelligent to overlook referendum result which was backed by 52% of the voters.  If they are, then they should resign – at least those ones whose constituencies voted to Leave – and then look for a fresh mandate, before they should vote against invocation of Article 50.

What is your opinion?

Political Journalism – Is Fact an essential ingredient?

Journalism.png

I thought so, till i read Sarah Ditum’s article.

Yesterday, one of my good friends forwarded an article by Sarah Ditum in New Statesman, titled “Corbyn’s supporters loved his principles. But he ditched them in the EU campaign”.

As you might have guessed from the title, the article vainly and pathetically tries to establish how Corbyn deceived his supporters, due to his stand to stay with Remain.

First of all, I admire the author’s psychic powers in knowing how Corbyn and his supporters think!  Sarah Ditum “knows” without doubt that Corbyn “never supported Remain” and “Corbyn’s greatest supporters don’t rate him as a statesman”.

These are the abilities – ability to read other’s mind and ability to write sweeping statements which generalize and stereotype common public – that alienate a journalist from facts and their readers.

Authoring “Corbyn must go” and calling him liar are not characteristics of a journalist; instead they are the words of a politically-biased person, who is frustrated and bewildered by Corbyn’s increasing popularity – within Labour and in the country.

I support Labour.

I support Corbyn as Labour’s leader for his stands and principles.

I voted for Leave.

All of above might look contradictory to Sarah Ditum; but not for me.

Why?  There are a two main reasons:

  1. EU referendum was not debated and voted based on party or political affiliations.  Instead there were deep divisions within all parties (bar UKIP, of course) between LEAVE and REMAIN supporters.  Just like Tories, Labour supporters too were divided.
  1. As mentioned by Corbyn in his speech, “Labour party was overwhelmingly for staying IN” and as the leader of his party which believes in democracy, Corbyn stood with majority to support REMAIN. At the same time, a large number of Labour party members were equally convinced that a LEAVE vote was the right choice and went ahead with their Labour for Leave    The Labour Leave were not victimised or thrown out of the party.  Instead, they were respected for their stand.  Why? Refer #1

Does the EU referendum result force Cobyn to resign?  No.  Why?  Refer #1.

Does the EU referendum result, by any chance, a no-confidence in Corbyn as leader?  Emphatically no.  Why?  Refer #2.

If any, Corbyn’s stand to campaign for REMAIN gives more credibility to him as a leader, as he decided to stay with the majority decision within the party – even if that decision is against his will.  Be very clear, I do not have the same psychic powers of Sarah Ditum to say with absolute conviction that Corbyn in his heart and mind “never supported Remain”.  Merely agreeing, just to put forward my point.

Read this along with Corbyn’s apology on Labour’s role in Iraq war.  This is just one example for the true characteristics of a leader who while tirelessly fought against an unjust war in past, in present is apologizing for someone else’s wrong-doings.

The growth in Labour membership after Corbyn’s leadership is another indication how popular Corbyn and his ideologies are.  If I am correct, no other political leader can claim this popularity in UK’s modern political history.  Labour’s membership now stands at 500,000.  That is 100,000 more members after referendum results.  These quantifiable figures are just enough to show the hollowness of Sarah Ditum’s core argument.

Do not get me wrong.  I am not a Corbyn worshiper.  For me, Corbyn is not a demi-god, but someone who represents the wishes, demands, vision, will and political stance of Labour grass-roots.

I admire the audacity of Sarah Ditum that allows to pen statements like “Corbyn supporters should know this: he has failed you, and will continue to fail you as long as he is party leader.”

Thank you very much for the advice! But no thank you, the party has a way to find out who its leader should be, and the party voted for Corbyn as Leader with 60% support, only 10+ months ago.

Ditum continue to write that Corbyn “will achieve nothing beyond grinding Labour ever further into smallness and irrelevance”.   You do not need to be a journalist; any person who is interested in UK’s daily political news can clearly see who is grinding Labour into irrelevance by going against the grass roots.  At a time when the party should be working together to campaign against Tory austerities and the shallowness of current government, it is shameful that some of the Labour MPs are trying to sabotage the party’s will for their selfishness.

Let me repeat:

The “ability” to read other’s minds and to write sweeping statements which generalise and stereotype common public alienates a journalist from facts and their readers. 

Authoring “Corbyn must go” and calling him liar are not characteristics of a journalist; instead they are the words of a politically-biased person, who is frustrated and bewildered by Corbyn’s increasing popularity – within Labour and in the country.

 

Is “Two-leader” formula a better alternative to Labour’s future?

Two_Leader

Is “Two-leader” formula a better alternative to Labour’s future?

Before proceeding, I want to mention that:

  • Per me, the best possible resolution for current dilemma is: Eagle to step back and let Corbyn – who was democratically elected by more than 60% of the membership – to continue leading the party
  • I no way claim I know the intricacies of party policies, rule-books and inner-party activities.  Instead, this is a novice attempt of a Labour supporter, who just want the party to come out of current deep divisions and focus more on what the grass-roots want and aspire for.
  • In this post, I am just thinking aloud and playing around with the possibilities
  • By no means has this “Two-Leader” formula perfectly answered all open issues.
  • It needs to be ironed-out on how to approach government discussions / decisions on sensitive / security / foreign affairs

With those caveats in place, let me try to explain further!

By Two leaders, I mean

  1. Leader of the Labour Party, who is
    • Democratically elected by Labour members
    • Leads NEC
    • Governs day-to-day Labour Party activities
  2. Leader of the PLP, who is
    • Elected by the PLP members
    • Should be member of the NEC
    • Governs day-to-day PLP activities, but limited to PLP.

Some key points that support above formula are:

  • NEC is the ultimate authority within the party.
  • PLP is a subset of party, not over the party.  Think of PLP as an “elite branch” working within Westminster.
  • PLP leader is free from day-to-day party activities, though PLP decisions (with possible exclusions of sensitive items, I mean military, security etc.)  are discussed / endorsed with NEC
  • Party Leader is free from day-to-day government activities, though PLP decisions are still discussed within NEC.

Will try to extend this further, but what is your opinion on it, in its current form?

Let me know your thoughts!

Iraq War, Chilcot Inquiry … and Clare Short

Sir Chilcot has officially released his findings on Iraq war Inquiry along with recommendations on how a similar situation could be better handled in future.

Full report available at http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/

Some of the main findings to quote BBC as follows:

Chilcot_Main_Findings

It took Sir Chilcot more than

  • 7 years
  • 10 million pounds
  • 12 volumes and
  • 2.6 million words

to confirm what Clare Short gave as her reasons to resign from Bliar’s Government.

It’s an irony that the person who manipulated the parliament was appointed as the Middle East Peace envoy.

It’s criminal that even after 13 years of Iraq war, 250+ innocent Iraqi citizens died in Baghdad this Sunday.

What peace has been achieved by the Iraq war and the Peace Envoy?

Should the responsible person(s) come out of these offences lightly?

It appears the 12 volumes of 2.3 million words do not contain answer for these queries.

What is your opinion?

 

 

 

 

Is PLP Larger than Labour?

Jeremy Corbyn

It’s a shame what is happening within Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP).

Not only it is shameless, but undemocratic, unrealistic and visibly out of touch of grass-root Labour too.

From when has it become more important for the Labour MPs to be in Parliament than working with its members?

From when has an MP seat become more important than inner-party democracy?

For the Labour MPs who are so disconnected from the party roots and common public, there is only one solution for all issues:  Corbyn’s resignation.

These MPs should remember one thing – Corbyn was elected as the leader of the party by a very large mandate – by a mandate not seen in the recent history of Labour.

A leadership contest is not in question at all, at this point in time.

There were no issues that have raised questions on Corbyn’s leadership in last weeks.  BREXIT vote should not be treated as a no-confidence on Corbyn.  BREXIT was debated and chosen by people from all wakes of lives.  Each political party had vicious conflicts and deep divisions within their own ranks.  Hence blaming Corbyn for a Leave vote by the country is not justifiable.

I take my own example.

I voted to leave EU.  That said, I am aligned with what Corbyn is standing for, for Labour party.

A LEAVE vote was the need of the times, and the country agreed on it.  While I and many others respectfully disagreed with Labour’s official stand on EU referendum and voted for leave, it was not a no-confidence on Corbyn.

Labour had wasted the opportunity to support BREXIT.  Now it should start the damage control as quickly as possible; otherwise vast majority of the working class will sleepwalk in to support racism and nationality- based violence.  Instead of blaming Tories and their austerity measures which generated current plights, working class of this country will blame their comrades from other countries.

Events at NewCastle, Romsford and East London are indications to a dangerous future.  A very dangerous future, where racism and nationalism will brainwash people in to thinking that it is colour of skin that cause their current troubles.

This is the ugliest divide and rule, carefully crafted to divide the working class based on the race and nationality and make them fight with each other.

Labour should not let this happen.

Coming back to PLP and its disgraceful stance.

MP’s do not choose the leader of the Labour Party; instead, the party does.

MPs are first Party members, and then MPs.

If there is a need for change in Labour leadership, it should come up from within party.  Parliament is not a place to play dirty politics.

If the PLP decides to go ahead with their own, selfish, seat-saving tactics, that seat will be safe only till next general election – which is bound to happen in coming months.

Corbyn is not just a person, but a representation of the left ideologies that is prominent in the Labour party.

BREXIT made it clear that the traditional Labour heartlands are not happy with the elite Labour MPs who are miles away from what the common public is looking for. At this juncture, a seat-greedy leader is only going to handover the party membership directly to Nigel Faragae’s UKIP or BNP on English Defence League.

Only a Labour leader who stands firmly on left of Labour politics could:

  • Pacify and keep the Labour members firmly within the party.
  • Unite the BREXIT-voted ordinary worker – and general public – who are fed up with the current capitalistic ideas unashamedly carried out by the Tories.

At this critical juncture of EU-vote-shocked country, Corbyn is the only leader who could unite Labour Party.

Next steps:

  1. Fight against the unnecessary leadership contest that is being forced up on Labour members
  2. Accept the deviation party had to go through during Blair/Brown era.  Present an alternate path
  3. Stand together with Corbyn to unite the Labour party.

All of above will ensure a better prospect for Labour in next election – not a leadership contest.

If a leadership contest is brought on Labour, full consequences of the same will be on the PLP.  It is very clear that Corbyn will win with even more mandate than last time.  The time lost on this futile exercise will only alienate or delay Labour’s re-connect with its disgruntled membership.  Period.

BREXIT – What Next?

sunrise-1371391077dmN

We are in a shock, even at end of the weekend.

I will say a good, pleasant shock.

Shock from realizing the fact that it is possible to be strong to stand for what we believe in.

Strong enough to say no to establishment, no to the disconnected politicians, no to banks and economic institutions, no to the world politicians who want to impose their selfish decisions on us.

Against all these massive, imposing establishments we strongly replied with a “No, thank you”.

We, as a country, have spoken to stay away from EU.  The verdict is in.  Let us respect the verdict and move ahead.

The question is how?  How should we move ahead?  What are the immediate steps?

I could think of the following:

1. Heal the wounds

First of all, heal the self-inflicted wounds.  The referendum was not less than a fierce war.  Cabinet members against each other, party members against each other, friends against each other; people in all wakes of lives trading verbal – and even physical – blows against each other.  In hindsight, the referendum war could’ve been fought with much less animosity and hatred from both sides.

It is now time to remove the hate and anger against each other.  It is time to realise that democracy has spoken and we are in this together to move forward.

2. Give time for reactions to calm down

Currently, the fear, doubt, anger and frustration of all who stood against the Leave vote are in full play.  These emotions results in the reactive, negative responses.

Whether it is

  • rest of the world (market / pound crashes, negative ratings),
  • the Remain supporters (fear, resignations, unbelief, sarcasm)
  • European Leads (demands for quick action),
  • Countries participating in the UK (Scottish/Irish referendum asks to get out of UK) or even

Let us give them time to express their emotions and fears.  After the initial reactions, the emotions will calm down.  Once done, the brains and minds will regain control.  Once in control, logic will eventually kick-in.  The logic will shed light to facts on what UK is, and how much is in stake for all involved.

3. Give ample time to think what we want and how best we could achieve it. 

Ignore the warnings, threats and demands from the EU leaders on quick actions.  Heck, it is this arrogance and aggressive behavior we voted to come out of!  Are they trying to scare us with the same trick again?!

The Remain / Leave referendum was an internal affair to find out what we think as a country.  We have not yet given any formal information or notice to the “EU-elites”! Per books, UK is still where we were before 23rd June.

So take this period to think – all possibilities, circumstances and ways forward.

4.  Change the Government, cabinet and thus it’s through process.

The current lot stood too strongly for Remain and they are defeated.  It is not logical, fair or viable to expect that the group who were dead against an action will work towards fulfilling the same – against their wills.

At the very least, there should be a leadership change.  David Cameron, his Exchequer and the EU-supporting cabinet members SHOULD step aside.  Even better will be a general election, through which the public can elect a new lot to kick-start the next actions.

5.  Once all of above are in place, it is time to take each debated item, one by one.  

Once we are ready, it is time to take each debated item, one by one:

(a) Immigration: Debate, discuss and put in place a comprehensive immigration policy that is global based, controlled based on requirements and skills, at the same time compassionate on asylum seeks from war-torn countries and others with humanitarian requirements.

(b) Re-allocation of EU contributions to

  • NHS
  • Farmers / Fisheries
  • Education / science / research
  • Businesses  and industries that need support

I am not an expert.  It is the job for economists to explain how this can be achieved.

But I am sure of one thing.  If EU were able take money from us and give a fraction of it as giveback and satisfy above group of our fellow country-men, then we could surely be able to use the whole contribution to make their lives even better.

(c)  Co-operation with rest of the world – including EU

(d)  TU working rules, facilities and benefits

(e)  Industries, businesses and economic institutions.

I have a lot to write on each of these items!  On that in coming days/weeks.

6.  Invoke Article 50

Once we are ready, then – AND THEN ONLY – invoke article 50.

Per me, these are the immediate next steps to convert the SHOCK to STRENGTH.

There is nothing to lose, but a lot to gain, if we are TOGETHER.

We can successfully accomplish what we voted for, if we stand TOGETHER.

We can see the UK getting stronger, powerful in not very distant future – if we work for it, TOGETHER.

 

EU vote: #2 Working Hours

Not getting much time to read on EU referendum topics, and hence not in a position to do justice on the subject.

A quick update on working hours for the day.

Working hours

From what I understood, it seems that on working hours policy there is not much difference between the UK and Europe, though just on one point, paid annual leave, UK offers a better deal for the workers.  Refer the table for more details.

The working hour rules in UK were obtained independent of EU.   That said, in a EU-free UK – controlled by Tories – it is easy for them to do a Thatcher’s re-enactment of oppression on trade unions and working rights.  Cameron and Jeremy Hunt are already attempting the same on Junior doctor’s ask for decent working hours and corresponding pay.

The advantage of better paid annual leave could be protected only under a stronger presence of Trade Union in the country.

Only from the additional days of paid annual leaves, exiting out of EU seems a better option.

Let us say it’s now 1-1.