Murdoch media smear British Labour as ‘Russian tools’


This 2014 video is called The Murdoch Empire: Phone Hacking Exposed – The Listening Post (Full).

By Steve James and Laura Tiernan in Britain:

Sunday Times Insight team: Propagandists for Internet censorship and war

7 May 2018

The Insight team at the Sunday Times were pioneers in investigative journalism. In 1963, the group’s first efforts exposed slum landlord Peter Rachman and gave a new word, Rachmanism, to the English language.

Yes; but back in 1963, the (Sunday) Times was not yet part of the empire of phone-hacker-in-chief, burglar-in brief, police-corrupter-in chief, racist-in-chief, homo-and-transphobe-in-chief and warmonger-in-chief Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch got his hands on the Times later, with ‘a little’ help from Consevative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

How the mighty are fallen. Last week’s Insight report into alleged “Russian meddling” in the British general election of 2017 marked a low point in the collapse of bourgeois journalism into state propaganda.

“Exposed: Russian Twitter bots tried to swing the general election for Jeremy Corbyn” was the newspaper’s frontpage headline. Inside, the results of an investigation, “How Russian bots invaded Twitter to fight in Jeremy Corbyn’s army,” ran across pages eight and nine.

For more than 18 months the New York Times, the Democratic Party and powerful sections of the military-intelligence apparatus have alleged Russian “fake news” interference in the 2016 US presidential elections. The aim of this anti-Russia campaign has been twofold: (1) to install, via the methods of palace intrigue and coup, a regime prepared to militarily confront Russia and (2) to justify sweeping Internet censorship and other dictatorial measures on the grounds that the population is being indoctrinated by the Kremlin.

The Sunday Times feature published April 29 confirms that a similar campaign has begun in Britain. This version is directed against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the millions of people who have registered their opposition—on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs and memes—to the Conservative government of Prime Minister Theresa May’s agenda of war and austerity.

The Insight Research Team—George Arbuthnott, Jonathan Calvert, Krystina Shveda, Louis Goddard, Mary O’Connor, Katie Weston, Malik Ouzia, Rebecca Gualandi and Rosie Bradbury—raked over Corbyn’s higher than expected vote.

“The causes of the result are still being debated. Was it the galvanisation of the youth vote, did May run a lacklustre campaign or were the polls wrong from the beginning?” they asked.

Not one of these possibilities was investigated. Instead the team aimed their sights on … “Russians in the ranks”.

“One question has been largely overlooked, until now. Did Moscow attempt to influence the British general election by using social media …?”

Insight reported their “ground breaking investigation” with Swansea University academic Oleksandr Talavera had uncovered 6,500 Russian Twitter accounts supporting Corbyn.

Most of the 6,500 accounts, Insight claimed, were bots—automated accounts that retweet posts from other accounts, posting links or comments from external sources. These were “mass-produced to bombard the public with orchestrated political messages,” claimed Rupert Murdoch’s investigative team, who are certainly experts on the topic.

In fact, such bots are routinely used by media outlets, celebrities, businesses and individuals to boost their social media reach and influence—but the Times, it seems, has only just discovered these dastardly bots and their evil ways.

Its real aim is to criminalise any attempt by the public at large to promote views that challenge the financial oligarchy and its state machine.

During the snap poll May launched on April 18, Corbyn’s support rose from 25 percent to 40 percent, reducing the Conservative government to minority status and shocking the political establishment. According to the Insight team, this could not be explained with reference to objectively rooted socioeconomic processes. Instead, it was attributed to Russian bots whose shady influence is somehow linked to Corbyn’s own repeated failure “to strongly condemn Vladimir Putin.”

The Times investigation cited “key points” during the general election when Russian Twitter accounts “swung into action” with apparently devastating effect.

These key points included May’s disastrous campaign launch on May 18, the Manchester bombing on May 22, her repeated refusal to hold a leaders’ debate with Corbyn, and the mass rallies Corbyn addressed that were a feature of the campaign. To add insult to injury, “At the times when the bots spread positivity for Labour, they would also spread almost equal amounts of negativity for the Conservatives.”

To cite just one example of Insight’s shoddy methodology and conclusions: “In early June, ‘Lillian Morgan’ retweeted a message from the pro-Kremlin broadcaster Russia Today inviting people to watch Corbyn’s speech in Reading. The event drew comment in the newspapers because a surprisingly large crowd attended during a workday lunchtime.”

All this proves is that the “newspapers” are a million times removed from the mass of the population. The Times journalists are shocked by “a surprisingly large crowd” and can only conclude that the population has been “manipulated” by a Kremlin-backed Twitter conspiracy. Such is the police mentality that now dominates the editorial offices of the British press.

Lillian turns out to have been bot @sMzNFVr7wWkTW04 created in Russia. No evidence has been supplied as to Lillian’s true identity, so no conclusions can be drawn. The British media does not have a great track record when it comes to outing Russian trolls and bots. Only last month, the owner of an alleged Russian bot account—an English retiree who opposes the bombing of Syria— spoke out publicly to expose the media’s anti-Russia witch-hunt. Ian56 successfully faced down a hostile line of questioning from Sky News “journalists”.

The entire Times investigation is based on just 20,000 tweets. As Wired magazine pointed out, in the month before the general election, 1.067 million accounts tweeted around 10 million times, using terms such as theresamay, #Conservatives, nicolasturgeon, paulnuttall, ukip, #Labour (to name a few).

Talevera’s academic research therefore “investigated” 20,000 out of 10 million tweets, a grand total of 0.2 percent.

The British media campaign over Russian interference is rank hypocrisy. A relative handful of Russian-backed Twitter accounts is child’s play compared to the routine and violent political interference of the imperialist powers in countries all over the world. The British ruling class has carried out criminal wars of occupation and illegal regime change across the Middle East and North Africa that have claimed the lives of over a million people since 2003 alone, turning millions more into stateless refugees.

The desperate and crude methods of the Sunday Times must serve as a warning. Owned by the billionaire Rupert Murdoch, the Sunday Times speaks for powerful sections of the British ruling class. If Corbyn owes his popularity to Kremlin interference, the implications are clear: preparations must be made for his removal.

These moves are not primarily aimed against Corbyn … They are aimed against the working class.

Three years ago, the Sunday Times quoted an unnamed serving general threatening mutiny by “fair means or foul” against a Corbyn government. The intervening years have seen an immense deepening of the crisis of British imperialism which has responded, like all the major powers, by stepped-up preparations for war and a build-up of the state.

The Sunday Times article begins and ends with calls for sweeping Internet censorship. It cites Matt Hancock, digital and culture secretary in May’s government, insisting, “It is absolutely unacceptable for any nation to attempt to interfere in the democratic elections of another country. The social media companies need to act to safeguard our democratic discourse and reveal what they know.”

If you want to find Russian links in Britain, don’t look to Corbyn – look to the Tories: here.

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Anti-Welsh racism in Murdoch media


This video says about itself:

Racism against the Welsh….. in Wales

27 November 2017

Numerous incidents of Welsh people, in particular, Welsh-speakers, being treated like unwanted foreigners in their own country.

By Bernadette Horton in Wales:

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

No place for any anti-Welsh bigotry

BERNADETTE HORTON takes Rod Liddle to task over his latest column which is insulting to the people of Wales

RIGHT-WING hack Rod Liddle decided to give his extreme personal views in the recent edition of the [Rupert Murdoch-owned] Sunday Times on the naming of the second bridge across the river Severn linking Wales with England.

The background to the story is that First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones and Tory PM Theresa May decided jointly to name the crossing as The Prince of Wales Bridge in honour of Prince Charles.

Many people in Wales are unsurprisingly annoyed and angry at this decision and feel the Welsh people should have been consulted and perhaps a choice of names submitted and a public majority vote made.

The days of people doffing their caps to royalty are long gone and it irks proud Welsh people the bridge is being named after the heir to the English throne when we could have named the bridge after the last real Welsh prince Owain Glyndwr or perhaps someone like the inspirational Aneurin Bevan, father of the NHS, or distinguished writer Dylan Thomas. Some people suggested Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey would be much higher on the list than Prince Charles.

Deciding to capitalise on the growing discontent and petitions being started in Wales to change the bridge’s name, Liddle wrote in the Sunday Times: “The Welsh, or some of them, are moaning that a motorway bridge linking their rain-sodden valleys with the First World is to be renamed The Prince of Wales bridge in honour of the venal, grasping, deranged (if Tom Bower’s new biography is accurate) heir to the throne.

“That Plaid Cymru woman who is always on Question Time, has been leading the protests. They would prefer it to be called something indecipherable like Ysgythysgymlnggwchgwch Bryggy.

“Let them have their way. So long as it allows people to get out of the place pronto, should we worry about what it’s called?”

Liddle is straight out of the 1970s Jim Davidson book of casual racism that died a death back in the era with good reason.

The Irish were always the topic of such jokes, as were the Scots and the Welsh, portrayed as “Paddies, Jocks and Taffs”.

Never the English. The 1970s were also a time of racist “humour” against black people, with comedians mocking the accents of Caribbeans.

But these too became tired and shoddy. Regionally, people from Birmingham have been portrayed as slow, people from Liverpool as thieves, people from the north-east as incoherent, people from London as wide boys.

But Liddle and his ilk of middle-class, middle-aged white men need to grow up and understand that this form of casual regional prejudice fuels an undercurrent of social media abuse that can then take the form of physical attacks out on the streets in 21st century Britain.

There is a moral duty not to print racist remarks in newspapers and the Sunday Times is culpable by allowing this diatribe to be printed.

We all know the sick and disgusting online remarks that spew forth from the likes of failed Apprentice applicant Katie Hopkins, who tries to shock simply in order to garner headlines.

But she crossed the line so far even the Daily Mail got rid of her as a columnist, as did The Sun.

Liddle crosses a few lines in his piece. His sexism is blatant, as he well knows the name of Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood but refers to her as “that Plaid Cymru woman” in order to belittle her in print.

Wood is a serving assembly member and leader of her party and should be referred to as such.

His allusion to Wales as some backward country behind the supposed First World country of England reeks of imperialism and a Little Englander attitude that is entrenched in the far-right political parties he probably admires.

Liddle obviously knows nothing about Wales, Welsh people or Welsh history and should refrain from public comment until he is better informed.

I contacted North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones about Liddle’s article and he is looking into it, alongside North Wales Police.

We have to report newspapers and their reporters who think casual racism towards a country and its people is OK because it quite frankly is not.

There are some warped idiots out there who see emblazoned headlines about Muslims, refugees and immigration and are acting out assaults, murders and hate crime because they are being psyched up to do so by our right-wing media.

Some people will laugh and say Liddle’s article isn’t casual racism but a light-hearted skit on Wales and the Welsh. Well, we don’t see it quite that way in Wales and think attacks in print by national newspapers should not go unpunished.

I sincerely hope the Sunday Times acts and issues a public apology for allowing this article to be printed and that Liddle apologises and makes an effort to learn there is no place for his casual racism in modern Britain.

Here in Wales the issue of the naming of the second bridge will not go away. Welsh people have a right to be part of a process to name such landmarks and, as online petitions are racking up large numbers of signatures, the hope is the bridge can be renamed.

In future when new buildings and structures are built, people should be fully included in the naming of them and not have some royalist name imposed upon us simply because our government’s leaders say so.

Murdoch media smear London Grenfell disaster survivor


This video from London, England says about itself:

Grenfell Tower fire: Lily Allen breaks down describing disaster

16 June 2017

Singer Lily Allen joined hundreds of people in a protest outside Kensington Town Hall to demand justice for the victims of the Grenfell Tower blaze. Report by Nikhita Chulani.

By Barry Mason and Robert Stevens in England:

Right-wing media launch witch-hunt against Grenfell activist Joe Delaney

28 February 2018

Three right-wing newspapers have launched a filthy coordinated attack on Grenfell activist and North Kensington resident Joe Delaney.

Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday Times led on February 24 with an article headlined, “‘Homeless’ Grenfell Tower activist Joe Delaney has flat” with a subtitle alleging, “A campaigner claiming cash for food while put up in a hotel is still using his own home.”

‘His own home’ which still stands, but is uninhabitable ever since the Grenfell disaster.

The tabloid Sun—also owned by Murdoch—and the Daily Mail recycled these smears against Delaney the next day.

Delaney is living in a hotel room after he was evacuated following the Grenfell Tower fire that killed 71 people. But according to the Times, Mail and Sun, he is living the high-life on the public purse, “still using his north Kensington apartment” while “claiming food allowances of up to £300 per week and has a hotel room funded by the taxpayer.”

All three newspapers referred to Delaney as being “homeless”, in quotation marks.

The Times article is a political sting operation in the best traditions of the Murdoch press, complete with surveillance and undercover photography and unexplained access to Delaney’s personal data:

“A Sunday Times investigation found Delaney had not regularly been using the room paid for by the council at the Novotel hotel in west London”, wrote Times journalist Gabriel Pogrund. “Last week, he was photographed by this newspaper on two occasions leaving his flat close to Grenfell in the morning.”

Officials from the Conservative-run Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) council have denied accusations they supplied tenancy and financial records to the Times, but no credence can be given to their denials.

The accusations by the Times, Mail and Sun should be met with contempt by the thousands of Grenfell residents who know Delaney, and by workers and young people in the UK and internationally who have solidarized themselves with the victims of Grenfell.

Delaney is being attacked for the crime of … visiting his old flat. As for £300 in living expenses, this equates to just £42 a day for three meals in one of the world’s most expensive cities. Delaney, like hundreds of other survivors and residents surrounding Grenfell Tower, still has no cooking facilities and no safe home.

On February 8, the Grenfell Action Group (GAG) described conditions for residents of Hurstway, Testerton, Barandon and Grenfell Walkways surrounding Grenfell Tower where many are still dealing with “intermittent hot water and central heating” more than eight months after the fire.

GAG quoted the council’s own admission that there were “problems with intercom systems, gas supplies and interruptions to heating and hot water” and that “additional fire safety works had not yet been completed on the block”. As a result, “at least 66 households have not moved back to the estate.”

Not a word of any of this found its way into the Times’ so-called investigation.

In an interview with the Grenfell Action Group (GAG), Delaney explained what it’s like for nearby residents: “People are still either living in a crime scene or stuck in hotels, yet RBKC believe that they can resume charges for services that residents are not benefiting from in buildings that are still unsafe and unfit for purpose …

“The tower hasn’t even been covered so people not only live in the shadow of a crime scene, they are also forced to view the charred remnants of a building in which their friends, family and neighbours horribly perished.”

Is it any wonder that Delaney, like hundreds of other traumatised residents, wants permanent accommodation away from Grenfell Tower?

Delaney, whose block faces Grenfell, was woken within minutes of the fire on June 14 and rushed onto the street with neighbours to try and alert those asleep in Grenfell Tower. Along with GAG, he had warned about a possible “catastrophic event” resulting from the “dangerous living conditions” at Grenfell Tower and “the neglect of health and safety legislation that [RBKC] inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders.”

But according to the Times and Pogrund, it is Delaney who is the criminal!

The campaign against Delaney was launched just four days after Grime artist Stormzy used his appearance at this year’s music BRIT Awards to launch an impassioned attack on Prime Minister Theresa May and her Conservative government over Grenfell. The event was broadcast live on prime time to millions.

After performing his song, “Blinded By Your Grace”, Stormzy launched into an unscripted denunciation of the May government and its responsibility for the fire. He rapped, “Yo Theresa May, where’s the money for Grenfell? Do you think we’ve just forgotten about Grenfell? You’re criminals! You got the cheek to call us savages, you should do some jail time, you should pay some damages. We should burn your house down and see if you can manage this!”

Stormzy’s heartfelt lyrics went viral on social media because millions feel the same way about trying to stop a cover-up by the government and authorities who are responsible for mass murder at Grenfell.

The day after the BRIT Awards, Stormzy urged his million-plus Twitter followers to add their signatures to a petition by survivors of the Grenfell fire calling for measures to prevent the May government’s official inquiry from perpetrating a whitewash. Within hours, tens of thousands signed the petition, quickly surpassing the 100,000 signatures needed to force a debate in Parliament. More than 150,000 people have now signed.

The class sentiments evoked by Grenfell have evoked fear and hatred in ruling circles.

Following Stormzy’s appearance, several Tory MPs denounced ITV for allowing the rapper’s comments to be aired, sending a letter of protest to ITV head, Sir Peter Bazalgette. The attack on Delaney is of a piece with this authoritarian response, aimed at suppressing the fight by Grenfell survivors and their supporters for justice.

The witch-hunt against Delaney is only the latest attack on Grenfell campaigners by the media, which will stop at nothing to prevent the truth emerging and has appealed to the most right-wing and fascistic forces that have been encouraged to vent against Delaney and survivors of Grenfell on social media.

Earlier this month, the Times and Daily Mail attacked the documentary film Failed by the State: the Struggle in the Shadow of Grenfell as Russian propaganda. The film exposed the responsibility of the ruling class for social murder in Britain’s wealthiest borough. Prior to that, Justice for Grenfell and other left-wing organisations and activists were singled out for attack, with the Times and Sun leading the pack.

The Socialist Equality Party has established the Grenfell Fire Forum to fight for the independent interests of the working class. We are encouraging the fullest democratic discussion and participation. The fight for justice means opposing all of the institutions and representatives of the capitalist state, including the May government’s official inquiry.

The next meeting of the Grenfell Fire Forum will be held on Saturday March 17 at 2 p.m. at the Maxilla Social Club. Full details below. For further information visit the Grenfell Fire Forum Facebook and Twitter pages.

Maxilla Social Club
2 Maxilla Walk
London, W10 6SW
(nearest tube: Latimer Road)

USA: Trump proposes cuts to heating aid while US house fire deaths spike. By Steve Filips, 1 March 2018. There have been 599 lives lost so far in 2018 across the United States, including 61 child fatalities, with this season’s severe winter and frigid temperatures driving the brutal escalation in fatalities.

Murdoch media smear British Labour leader


This video from Britain says about itself:

‘Liverpool has never forgiven the Sun for Hillsborough disaster front page‘ – Liv Echo editor

25 April 2015

Liverpool Echo news editor David Bartlett joins Afshin to discuss the issues of Liverpool in the run up to the election. From homelessness activists occupying the former Bank of England building to provide living space for rough sleepers, to government cuts eating into household budgets, to memories of the 96 people that died in the Hillsborough disaster, we look at what makes Liverpool tick.

By Nathan Akehurst in Britain:

Friday, February 16, 2018

Team Corbyn laughs off ‘ridiculous’ cold war spy smear

ALLIES of Jeremy Corbyn responded with bewilderment to today’s front page story in the Sun accusing the Labour leader of a 1980s spy novel-style plot involving Czech security services.

The story alleges that Mr Corbyn was placed on a Czech list of foreign sources.

But those around Mr Corbyn pointed out that a junior back-bench MP would not hold any privileged information to leak.

His spokesman flatly denied that Mr Corbyn had provided intelligence, adding: “In the 1980s he met a Czech diplomat for a cup of tea.

“During the cold war, intelligence officers notoriously claimed to superiors to have recruited people they had merely met. The existence of these bogus claims does not make them true.”

The 1980s Czech files on Mr Corbyn revealed by the Sun provide no new information. They do confirm that Mr Corbyn was “negative toward the current politics of the Conservative government.”

A Labour source said: “The Sun should stick to its normal brand of cheap fiction and avoid trying to channel John le Carré.”

See also here.

US Vice President Pence, Fox News and the extreme right


This April 2017 video from the USA is called Fox News is extremely racist.

From Newsweek in the USA, this update about the Rupert Murdoch empire:

Fox host Laura Ingraham shares neo-Nazi tweet

08 Jan 2018 at 10:48 ET

Fox News host Laura Ingraham caused controversy Sunday by sharing a tweet by a British neo-Nazi with links to former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.

In the tweet Ingraham, who has nearly two million Twitter followers, shared a video from the account of Mark Collett apparently showing rubbish left on the streets of a city and people sleeping rough.

That video was also posted by nazis on YouTube, with as music ‘Coon town’, an anti-African American hate song by the late pro-Ku Klux Klan country singer ‘Johnny Rebel’.

“How about a romantic walk through Paris? This is what third world immigration does to Europe”, the tweet by Collett read. Ingraham, who hosts a show on Fox’s 10 p.m. slot, shared Collett’s tweet …

The Ingraham tweet was first flagged by liberal media watchdog Media Matters.

Collett is the former chairman of the youth division of the British National Party, a British ultranationalist political group. He was eventually dismissed from the party after making death threats to its then leader.

He has expressed his admiration for Adolf Hitler, declared AIDS a “friendly disease because blacks, drug users and gays have it” and referred to immigrants as “cockroaches”.

Collett is a frequent guest on Duke’s radio show, in which the two propagate anti-Semitic and other racist views, and Duke has endorsed Collett’s book.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes criticized Ingraham for sharing the video. “Gonna share this one next?” he tweeted, about a video in which Collett compared refugees to raccoons.

A spokesman for U.K. charity Hope not Hate, which campaigns to counter racism, described Collett as a “Jew-hating Hitler admirer.” The spokesman told Newsweek, “He’s on the extreme end of the far right in Britain and no-one in their right mind should, even out of ignorance, share his stuff on social media.

“He currently collaborates with ex-KKK leader David Duke and has a long and inglorious history on the fringes of the white supremacist scene in the UK.”

President Donald Trump in November retweeted videos posted on the social network by British ultranationalist activist Jayda Fransen, which allegedly showed Muslims committing crimes. At least one of the videos did not show what Fransen claimed it did. Trump’s tweets were condemned by British Prime Minister Theresa May, whom Trump then attacked for rebuking him.

In September, Fox News host Tucker Carlson was criticized for promoting Gab on his show, a social media platform favored by the alt-right. In December he apologized for sharing a tweet from the white nationalist and anti-Semitic Red Ice website.

Fox News had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

United States Vice President Mike Pence shares ‘intimate’ dinner with right-wing pastor who prays for deaths of liberal justices: here.

If you haven’t read George Will’s brutal takedown of “the worst person in government,” Mike Pence, rectify that now.

PENCE BACKS REPORTER BAN Vice President Mike Pence has stood by a White House decision to ban a CNN reporter from a press event last week, citing the need to maintain “decorum.” According to a Washington Post report, Trump has repeatedly tried to ban reporters he doesn’t like. [HuffPost]

These old columns by Mike Pence musing on how a president should behave have aged rather badly.

Rupert Murdoch’s Sun boycott in England


This video from Britain says about itself:

Liverpool’s Boycott Of The S*n: As Relevant Now As In 1989

13 April 2017

It’s 28 years since Kelvin MacKenzie presented a press agency report sourced from senior members of South Yorkshire Police and Tory MP Irvine Patnick on the front page of The S*n as ‘The Truth’ of what happened at Hillsborough on April 15, 1989.

The newspaper has been boycotted in Liverpool ever since.

In more recent times, newer campaigns ­– Total Eclipse Of The S*n and Shun The S*n – have pushed for retailers in the city not to sell The S*n, while in February of this year Liverpool FC announced S*n journalists are not welcome in Anfield’s press box or at the Melwood training ground.

Earlier this month, Roger Alton argued in [Conservative weekly] The Spectator that the club’s ban is wrong. Here Gareth Roberts argues the opposite, and says the ban, and the boycott, are as relevant as ever.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Posties refuse to deliver Sun mail

Friday 8th December 2017

Thousands of festive leaflets marked return to sender

POSTAL workers in Liverpool are refusing to deliver thousands of “festive” leaflets issued by the hated Sun newspaper in a continuing boycott by the city over the paper’s coverage of Hillsborough.

Boxes of leaflets bearing the words “Happy Christmas from the Sun” arrived at Merseyside sorting offices — but staff refused to even open them.

A spokesman for postal workers’ union CWU said: “As soon as the boxes came in, our members raised the alarm and told the union.

“Our members believe it is an insult to the city of Liverpool for the Sun to have tried to get these delivered here.

“This was a unanimous decision by postal workers all over the city — it was a surprise that they turned up on Merseyside.”

The spokesman added that the offending leaflets will not be delivered and will be sent back.

The posties’ action is the latest in the city’s 28-year boycott of the Sun after the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster in which 96 Liverpool fans were killed.

In a shocking front page article, the Murdoch hate rag blamed the fans for the disaster.

It accused them of being drunk, of causing the crush which led to a stampede, and stealing possessions from dead bodies.

Liverpudlians reacted furiously to the lies and launched a boycott of the paper.

The boycott had a devastating effect on Sun sales in Merseyside, reportedly costing the paper millions of pounds.

It maintained momentum alongside a determined 23-year campaign for a public inquiry into the disaster by families and friends of the victims.

An inquiry by the Hillsborough Independent Panel led to a new inquest into the deaths returning a finding that the fans were “unlawfully killed,” overturning an original verdict of “accidental death.”

The verdict was followed by the prosecution of some of the officers involved in policing the game at Sheffield Hillsborough stadium.

In February this year, Liverpool Football Club banned Sun reporters from its ground.

At Liverpool matches fans carry banners stating “Total eclipse of the S*n” — they will not even use the paper’s name.

Secret British Conservative-Rupert Murdoch deal


This video about Britain says about itself:

20 July 2011

At a rowdy emergency session of Parliament, British lawmakers grilled U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron on his relationship with Rupert Murdoch and his now disgraced executive team, reports Elizabeth Palmer.

By Julie Hyland in Britain:

Former UK minister indicates Brexit referendum “deal” between Rupert Murdoch and David Cameron

7 December 2017

The campaign over alleged “Russian meddling” in Britain’s 2016 referendum on membership of the European Union (EU) has now rumbled on for months.

With little substance, the claim is regularly made that the Leave vote was the result of the Putin government in Moscow planting “fake news” to achieve a desired political objective.

Such allegations are the British corollary of the campaign initiated by the Democrats and sections of the military-intelligence establishment in the United States, which also finds an echo throughout Europe. The aim is to justify both accelerating war preparations against Russia and massive state censorship of social media.

A remarkable admission by former Conservative justice secretary, Ken Clarke, to a government committee, raises far more substantive evidence of an insidious, pervasive and systematic effort to subvert the democratic process, also centred on Brexit, and involving wholesale manipulation of the news.

In contrast to the campaign against Russia, this has gone largely without comment because it concerns Clarke’s suggestion that former Tory leader David Cameron struck a “deal” with Rupert Murdoch in the run-up to the 2010 general election.

The former cabinet minister made his comments before the non-ministerial Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), part of an investigation into a proposed £11.7 billion takeover of the UK TV company Sky by Murdoch and his 21st Century Fox.

The deal would give Murdoch just under 20 percent of the TV news market and 45 percent of the radio audience in the UK, making him the largest competitor to the British Broadcasting Corporation. However, Murdoch’s reach is far more extensive, as he already controls the largest circulation share of any newspaper group in Britain—including the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Times and the Sunday Times.

The Fox/Sky move comes just five years after Murdoch’s now defunct News of the World was accused of criminality on an “industrial” scale, involving widespread phone hacking. Since then, it has settled at least 1,000 cases.

A key element in the rehabilitation of the Murdoch empire was the whitewash inquiry into press standards, led by Lord Leveson. Clarke noted in his interview—the transcript of which just became available—that the second part of the inquiry was never held because the government was scared it would “upset Rupert.”

For more than a decade, and through three general elections, the oligarch had been a strident backer of Tony Blair and his New Labour government—so much so that Murdoch was described as an unofficial cabinet member.

This changed in the run-up to 2010. Clarke said “quite how” then Conservative Party leader Cameron had “got the Sun” away from Labour, “I shall never know.” Murdoch “would never let Tony down because Tony had backed the Iraq war,” he said, so “Maybe it was some sort of a deal. David would not tell me what it was. Suddenly we got the Murdoch empire on our side.”

Clarke said he assumed the appointment of Andy Coulson, former editor of News of the World between 2003 and 2007, as Cameron’s director of communications “was part of the deal.”

After the Tories’ surprise win in 2010, Clarke met with Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of Murdoch’s British arm, News International. Referring to Brooks’ law-and-order campaigns, Clarke said she “was instructing me on criminal justice policy… as I think she had instructed my predecessor…”

Brooks told Clarke that she was “running the government now in partnership with David Cameron” and instructed him to buy “prison ships because she had got some more campaigns coming,” he relayed.

Coulson was forced to quit as Cameron’s communications director in January 2011, just before he was arrested, accused of conspiracy to intercept voicemails. In June 2014, he was found guilty. He served just five months of an 18-month sentence.

Brooks’ plea of incompetence—that she was unaware of the illegal activities of the newspaper she had edited for three years—was accepted. The following year, she was made CEO of News UK, the relaunched News International.

Clarke is not the first to suggest a deal. At the time of the 2010 election, Labour’s [Lord] Peter Mandelson said Murdoch had agreed a “contract” with Cameron. This was denounced as sour grapes by the Tories. Cameron categorically denied any agreement stating, “There was no overt deal for support, there was no covert deal, no nods and winks.” There was no “trading policies for that support.”

Clarke’s account of Brooks’ remarks suggest that the former prime minister perjured himself. At any rate, it is a matter of record that Cameron met with executives of Murdoch’s News Corp and its UK subsidiaries on more occasions than with all other media outlets combined over the same timeframe. Murdoch told a committee of MPs investigating the phone hacking scandal that he “often entered Downing Street by the back door.”

As the World Socialist Web Site commented following the conclusion of the Leveson Inquiry, successive Tory and Labour governments “bent their knee at Murdoch’s court,” as the media mogul exercised “close to veto power over state policy! Democracy is a façade behind which plutocrats and their political hirelings operate as a law unto themselves.”

Clarke’s remarks confirm this appraisal. And not only prison ships are involved.

In 2004, Blair infamously made a sudden reversal on Labour’s opposition to a referendum on EU membership. That year, the EU agreed to draw up a constitution. In response, the Tories forced a vote in parliament demanding a referendum to veto the move, which Labour opposed, and was lost. Murdoch’s press ran with denunciations of Blair and Labour for “treachery.”

Murdoch had long campaigned for a British exit from the EU, which he accused of imposing unnecessary regulatory burdens on big business. His titles functioned as the main outlet for the euro-sceptic wing of the bourgeoisie.

Within weeks, Blair had changed his position. After a holiday, in which he returned home by way of Washington and New York, Blair announced he would support a referendum—to the astonishment of his cabinet, many of whom had not been informed.

According to reports, Blair’s change of mind on a referendum came after a visit from Sunday Times columnist Irwin Stelzer, who informed him Murdoch’s media would come out against him unless he did so.

Blair gave himself wriggle room, however, stating that the referendum should be held only after a constitution was agreed. In the end, referendums in the Netherlands and France vetoed the planned draft. The EU simply moved ahead regardless under the guise of the Lisbon Treaty.

In 2009, Cameron committed an incoming Conservative government to support a referendum. Having won office in 2010, with Murdoch’s backing, he vacillated several times in implementing this pledge—not least because of concern at the possibility of a Leave vote—before officially committing in 2013 to hold a referendum by 2017.

The 2016 referendum vote narrowly went to Leave—heavily backed by Murdoch—and Cameron, who led the Remain campaign, was forced to quit as prime minister. He was replaced by Theresa May, also a Remain campaigner, but who leads a cabinet committed to Brexit.

Murdoch was one of the first people May met as prime minister, using a visit to New York in September 2016—where she was making her maiden speech to the United Nations—to hold a private audience with the oligarch.

It is suggested that it was Murdoch who instructed May to appoint arch-Brexiteer, Michael Gove, to her cabinet, despite him backing Boris Johnson against her in the post-referendum leadership contest. Gove returned in June.

Talking about Rupert Murdoch: usually, wildfires in California in the USA hurt mainly not so rich people. However, this time the wildfires in Southern California ravaged the expensive Bel Air area in Los Angeles; destroying over half of Rupert Murdoch’s 30 million dollar vineyard there.

California fires – live updates: High winds intensify blazes as they hit Los Angeles. Live Blog. Fires are continuing to spread across Southern California: here.