If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.

Malcom x

Exposed: The 9 Foundational Lies of GB News

GB News launched on Sunday 13th June with a declaration of intent from chairman and lead presenter Andrew Neil. Among other things, Neil proclaimed that the channel would give “voice to those who have felt sidelined or even silenced in our great national debates” and would cover “the people’s agenda.”

Neil has since taken a break from the channel, admitting to a “rocky start” (some of the funniest gaffes and technical mix-ups from the first few weeks are documented here), but GB News ploughs on – now with less taking the knee and more Nigel Farage!

As the mask slips further, revealing something that looks more and more like Fox News, we revisit Andrew Neil’s opening speech and pick apart the contradictions.

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Invisible Hands: The Unionist-Neoliberal Complex

Image Courtesy of Bing Creative Commons.

In the 18th Century, the Scottish Enlightenment philosopher and “father of economics” Adam Smith first described the “invisible hand” of the free market. Smith believed this was a benevolent force, a natural corrective in the capitalist system that meant those who had accumulated wealth would be (subconsciously) compelled to redistribute some of that wealth to those who had not.

During the campaigns for the 2021 Scottish parliamentary elections, the presence of another invisible hand could be felt. The opaque activities of several Free Market acolytes, many of whom also actively crusaded against Jeremy Corbyn in 2019, betrayed a less benevolent agenda in their attempts to influence voters and neutralise the SNP and independence movement.

In Scotland in 2021, the invisible hand was wielded as a fist.

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No Go Area: The Daily Mail and Islamophobia

With a GB News presenter describing England fans who boo taking to the knee as “not racist”, and the MailOnline labelling towns in Britain with Muslim communities as “no-go areas for white people,” British media is becoming more weighted to the right, setting a dangerous precedent for Islamophobia and racism to thrive, writes Free Press guest contributor Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead.

Continue reading “No Go Area: The Daily Mail and Islamophobia”

Anyone But England: Is the Media to Blame?

Scotland and Wales may be out of Euro 2020 but the tournament is far from over for many of their fans. There’s plenty still to root for – every remaining team that plays against England!

According to a YouGov poll carried out in 2018 “15 per cent of (Scottish) football fans say they will support the England team…while 28 per cent will back any country playing against them”.

Both founders of The Free Press are from Scotland and we can tell you that those numbers are probably a significant underestimate of Anyone But England (ABE) sentiment above the border.

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It’s a Man’s Game: Female Objectification at the Euros

Euro 2020 is up and running, a year late and with the usual gloss of corporate marketing and largely sterile games.

Diversity is to the fore of this year’s event. Players take the knee before matches (sometimes to boos, nice one England!) while UEFA’s official site promotes #equalgame, with Chelsea Ladies player Pernille Harder flying the flag for women’s football.

The Free Press would suggest that you do not need to look far beneath the surface to see that football is still very much a “man’s game”.

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Rachel Reeves: Shadows over the Shadow Chancellor?

Sir Keir Starmer reacted to Labour’s disastrous result in the Hartlepool by-election by demoting Angela Rayner and promoting Rachel Reeves. The move, according to the FT, was “designed to get the Labour party back on the front foot after disappointing local election results and a weekend of bitter infighting”.

Like many of Starmer’s “forward” moves, this appears like a backwards step.

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A Colour-Coded Guide to the Subversion of Democracy

Right-click and select “open image in new tab” to see an enlarged version of the mind map with a zoom function

The corporate media have finally caught up with the lies and cronyism of Boris Johnson’s government. Our mindmap may help you understand why they’ve been so reluctant to cover the scandals. Does democracy function in any meaningful way when politics, business and media are as intertwined as this?

Continue reading “A Colour-Coded Guide to the Subversion of Democracy”

“Without Fear or Favour”: The BBC and Political Protest

“The BBC is the world’s most trusted international news broadcaster, reporting to a global audience of more than 400m people weekly without fear or favour”

The BBC released the above official statement in February 2021. Such declarations are typical of British media outlets and journalists, who loudly proclaim their fearlessness, impartiality and willingness to stand up to power.

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Keir Starmer’s 10 Socialist Pledges: Forensic Gaslighting?

It’s just over a year since Keir Starmer swept to victory in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election. Front and centre of his campaign were 10 Socialist Pledges, a commitment to progressive manifesto pledges and policy statements forged under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

As centrist journalists never tire of explaining, Starmer is a canny political operator. Were his socialist pledges statements of principle or a cynical attempt to win the support of the contingent of left-wing members who propelled Corbyn to two leadership victories?

We look at the pledges a year on to see how long each one lasted..

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