Friday, 15 July 2011

The Nasty Media

First came the confession of the Nasty Party (source: T. May, 2002), then the outcry over the Nasty Bankers, and now the exposure of the Nasty Media.

Connecting all these strands is the political agenda for the Nasty Society. Simply put, an elite wants to make sure it can accumulate wealth and power by whatever means, and remove any effective constraint by a democratic state. So it gives ‘donations’ and demands to politicians (usually those in their own ‘rich people first’ party but also anyone sufficiently craven); it exploits financial systems to make vast sums of money at other people’s expense; and it distorts public perception of what is really going on with the support of media manipulators.

Amidst all the shock and anger over the MEANS used by Murdock’s media operatives, attention should be directed at the ENDS that the Nasty Media seek to serve. They want people to think that the public realm is inherently inferior to unbridled corporate interests because individuals could then be alienated from those who are their true allies, while the injustice in society is routinely overlooked.

Instead of allowing the toxic ethos of the Murdoch press to seep into British broadcasting, the standards for impartiality and public responsibility of British broadcasting should be established for the British press and global media more widely. We cannot attain a fair society when the only effective protection of our dignity as equal citizens is systemically vilified.

Public funding, public servants, public provisions are the real enemies of the Nasty Media. Stories about the private lives of celebrities and intrusions into grieving families are just sensationalist sideshows to distract the public from what they should be concerned about, namely, the Nasty elite shifting more and more power away from those dedicated to safeguarding the good of all, and handing it to those who only care about making a profit for themselves.

Take a look at the press coverage. We are short of public funds, so let’s cut public services even more. Equality before the law? The rich can always lawyer up and hire private security services. Tough luck on the rest. Why don’t we raise taxes to cover the shortage? No, cut taxes and deplete public funds even more, it would benefit those with millions saved in tax avoided, and only harm the undeserving poor.

But surely those who pay themselves 100 times or more than most hardworking employees could afford to pay more taxes? No, that’s the politics of envy. These top corporate executives are greatly valued (by the Nasty Society) and should get an incomparably better deal than the rest. Who should be squeezed? Go for the public servants, most of them don’t earn much but get a moderately better pension (than those without the fairer terms offered by the public sector), so let’s stir up envy and hatred of their ‘gold-plated’ pensions. Shouldn’t the terms of their employment reflect how much they are valued? Yes, and the Nasty Party does not value them.

So under-funded, overworked public workers would not be able to sustain the vital services for our country. Good, more stories on failing public services. That’d lend support to the need for ‘reform’ (i.e., passing the potentially profitable bits to private businesses which will wash their hands of the rest). What about the many dreadful failings of the private sector, and the risk of letting profiteers take over even more of our public services? Leave that to the likes of the Guardian and the BBC. Who’ll pay attention to them when they haven’t got headlines about philandering celebrities or inside stories about families hit by tragedies? Who indeed.

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