Thursday, July 4, 2019

George Monbiot - After urging land reform I now know the brute power of our billionaire press

After urging land reform I now know the brute power of our billionaire press

This actually from Dump The Guardian. More outrigbtl lies in the media again. According to them, the Labour Red Army is coming!

I went out with my girlfriend the other day and met her friends, and they were all complaining about their work: how their bosses were too hard, the long unpaid hours they put in, how their apraisals were severe to make sure they didn't get the full pay rise, how their company was getting rid of staff and using more and more agency workers instead, so they better keep on their toes, and so on, but they all voted Conservative. They didn't like Corbyn, or Labour. Telling them otherwise was like a foreign language to them.

All billionaires want the same thing – a world that works for them. For many, this means a world in which they are scarcely taxed and scarcely regulated; where labour is cheap and the planet can be used as a dustbin; where they can flit between tax havens and secrecy regimes, using the Earth’s surface as a speculative gaming board, extracting profits and dumping costs. The world that works for them works against us.

So how, in nominal democracies, do they get what they want? They fund political parties and lobby groups, set up fake grassroots (Astroturf) campaigns and finance social media ads. But above all, they buy newspapers and television stations. The widespread hope and expectation a few years ago was that, in the internet age, news controlled by billionaires would be replaced by news controlled by the people: social media would break their grip. But social media is instead dominated by stories the billionaire press generates. As their crucial role in promoting Nigel Farage, Brexit and Boris Johnson suggests, the newspapers are as powerful as ever.

They use this power not only to promote the billionaires’ favoured people and ideas, but also to shut down change before it happens. They deploy their attack dogs to take down anyone who challenges the programme. It is one thing to know this. It is another to experience it. A month ago I and six others published a report commissioned by the Labour party called Land for the Many. It proposed a set of policies that would be of immense benefit to the great majority of Britain’s people: ensuring that everyone has a good, affordable home; improving public amenities; shifting tax from ordinary people towards the immensely rich; protecting the living world; and enhancing public control over the decisions that affect our lives. We showed how the billionaires and other oligarchs could be put back in their boxes.

The result has been four extraordinary weeks of attacks in the Mail, Express, Sun, Times and Telegraph. Our contention that oligarchic power is rooted in the ownership and control of land has been amply vindicated by the response of oligarchic power.
Some of these reports peddle flat-out falsehoods.

The Guardian 

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