The central role the media has played in the General Election Campaign is undeniable. So is the pro Conservative party dominance of much of the national press together with its anti-Labour party bias. Social media has again offered alternative platforms for the parties and people to get their messages across. Since the last election we have seen increasing consolidation of media ownership, the latest takeover being announced at the end of November when JPIMedia sold the i newspaper and website for a reported £49.6m to the billionaire Lord Rothermere’s Daily Mail and General Trust, which owns the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline. Meanwhile press baron David Montgomery is in talks to buy JPIMedia which owns dozens of major local British newspapers.
So what new policies do the parties offer to counter these concerns and make our media ‘fit for purpose’? Continue reading Media reform – are the parties up to the challenge?
It was some 15 years ago that Craig Murray first became a thorn in the flesh of the British State. He’d had a distinguished career in the UK diplomatic service, but his last posting in 2002-2004 as British Ambassador, Uzbekistan brought him into conflict with the State. Responsible for the UK’s relationship with Uzbekistan, he found Western support for the dictatorial Karimov regime unacceptable having exposed the human rights violations of the administration. In October 2004 he was removed from his post for his revelations. Since then he has pursued a varied career as an author, broadcaster and human rights activist and was Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. At the 2005 General Election, he stood against Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in Blackburn as an Independent candidate, winning 2,082 votes. More recently he has turned his attention to the treatment of Julian Assange, still being held in prison in Belmarsh high security prison, awaiting a hearing scheduled for 25 February on his extradition to the USA.
Continue reading “Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed.” Craig Murray
Julian Assange is to remain in prison when his jail term ends because of his “history of absconding”, a judge has ruled. He was due to be released on 22 September after serving his sentence for breaching bail after fleeing to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012. But Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard there were “substantial grounds” for believing he would abscond again.
Continue reading No release for Julian Assange