I'm not exactly a fan of Nick Clegg...

(54 Posts)
miffybun73 Thu 03-Oct-13 10:52:35

...but love the fact that he has said this, "if anyone excels in... vilifying a lot about modern Britain, it's the Daily Mail."

Full article here:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24379322

perfectstorm Mon 07-Oct-13 19:45:13

Claig, I honestly thought you were bonkers. grin You just made this grumpy, flu-laden pregnant woman's evening!

claig Mon 07-Oct-13 19:50:54

Bonkers, I'm a Daily Mail reader, how can I be bonkers? grin

But I do like having a bit of a laugh and exaggerating the case for the mail's preeminent position in British journalism a little bit.

perfectstorm Mon 07-Oct-13 20:08:54

It's basically Grazia for free, isn't it. With swivel-eyed lunacy on the side.

My Facebook feed is covered in Mail piss-takes this week. I'm sure you've seen them, but just in case:

How Much Are You Hated By The Daily Mail?

The Internet V the Daily Mail.

The Daily Mail "hates Britain and everyone in it, experts have confirmed" says the Daily Mash.

And last, but never ever least, The Daily Mail Song.

claig Mon 07-Oct-13 20:17:54

Yes, they are good, I have seen most of them.

I did the Hated by the Mail survey and the result was that even I was "loathed" by the Mail and I said yes to Gove, so I think that survey is a bit biased grin

But seriously, the Mail is very powerful politically and there was an interview with Jonathan Powell, Blair's former Chief of Staff, after Murdoch was humbled, and he said something like the paper the politicians really fear is the Daily Mail.

I think the reason is that it has so many readers and they do (like it or not) represent the mainstream opinion in this country.

The battle over press freedom will be fascinating but I think it is one that teh politicians will ultimately lose due to the power of the press. I don't think that is a bad thing because the politicians do not really represent the mainstream opinion whereas some parts of the press do. A system of checks and balances and pressure groups of all sorts exerting influence probably guarantees that democracy works well in the end.

perfectstorm Mon 07-Oct-13 21:22:29

Yeah, as a white married straight person I wouldn't imagine myself as a primary target for Mail loathing, either! Have to try answering wholly as the Mail would approve, and see what happens. grin

That's really depressing, frankly. Though to judge by the comments, even their readers haven't been happy with the Miliband thing - they overplayed their hand there. And I wonder if the power is as great as people believe - I mean, if the Mail really were that mainstream, no Labour government would ever have been elected, and there'd be no welfare or abortion provision to speak of. I also wonder if their very successful online version hasn't diluted their influence, because it's so US-oriented for advertising reasons, as well as celebrity-heavy. I do think most people in this country are quite socially conservative, but I don't think they're as resentful and lacking in compassion as the Mail portrays.

I agree on press freedom. I think for private individuals there should be a public interest requirement before their privacy is invaded/lives upended simply for circulation, and hefty fines should be levied if that is ignored. I don't think public interest and public prurience are the same thing. But a healthy democracy does require diversity, absolutely, and people wanting a role in public life, or even to hold a position of power/influence, should expect to be minutely scrutinised. In the States, political parties employ researchers to muck-rake on opponents - find out if there have been accusations of spousal abuse, child support payment defaults, tax evasion etc. Here, the media are needed for the role.

I do think there's an issue in the way most of the press are owned and managed, though, because there isn't an awful lot of diversity when you need so much money to run a paper. Interesting to see what the internet will mean for us all in the future - more access, but less fact-checking and accountability, perhaps. And the way journalists are paid less and less as the internet supercedes print is also really problematic I think - it may become tricky to attract the very best into the profession if they're not paid enough to live reasonably well, in future.

claig Mon 07-Oct-13 21:41:12

The Mail reader is to the right but they aren't Tory.

I voted for Blair in 1997 and I read the Mail in those days too. I am for nationalisation of railways and water and electricity. Also a lot of people don't vote at all, so their views are not really reflected in general elections, and also our voting system is a joke with first past the post which means that people's views are not truly reflected.

"there isn't an awful lot of diversity when you need so much money to run a paper"

Why don't the unions set up a paper? There are also lots of leftwing millionaires who could set up a paper.

'Interesting to see what the internet will mean for us all in the future - more access, but less fact-checking and accountability, perhaps.'

The internet will eat into the newspaper business. The mainstream is often His Master's voice, whoever pays the piper calls the tune, and they will not give the full story and also they will often pump out propaganda (whether that is on climate change or on Syria etc etc). Readers know that and therefore supplement the mainstream with the independent media who take the facts and do commentary on it. Interpretation of what is happening gives a deeper understanding than plain facts. It is how the facts fit the big picture that is more interesting.

Yes, it is vital that our mainstream press remains popular because it is the mainstream press that is listened to and provides a check on politicians. That is why I like the Mail, because it represents the views of many ordinary people - such as over the Liverpool Care Pathway, for example - and in the end it forces the politicians to listen.

If we have a diversified media which does not have mass readership in the millions and where editors do not meet with politicians, then there will be no checks on politicians.

flatpackhamster Tue 08-Oct-13 11:11:59

perfectstorm

And I wonder if the power is as great as people believe - I mean, if the Mail really were that mainstream, no Labour government would ever have been elected, and there'd be no welfare or abortion provision to speak of.

70% of people in the UK get their news from a single source. That source is the BBC. Theirs is the dominant narrative, not the Mail's.

Didn't Hitler get Time Magazine's Person of the Decade award or something like that back then?

People really didn't know how horrific it was all going to turn out and what a fruit loop he really was.

Does the Mail stand behind a certain party like The Sun used to? I remember the uproar when The Sun changed political allegiance.

PetiteRaleuse Tue 08-Oct-13 12:15:54

The Mail are going to be seriously pissed off - the new guidelines they have cooked up with the Murdochs and others have been rejected by the Privy Council. I think they'll be turning heat up on their enemies. If that is possible.

NicholasTeakozy Tue 08-Oct-13 13:57:05

Neoliberalism is vile. It treats people as things, and neocons are always astonished to discover that without the checks and balances of democracy it always descends in to dictatorship. It is anathema to Liberty and anathema to humanity.

I've improved what you wrote. Neoliberalism is the flipside of the socialist coin, and has as much relevance to capitalism and the free market as soup. I'd love to see a free market; that would mean not bailing out the banks instead of saving them and blaming it on the poor, which is what the current shower are doing.

Chipstick10 Tue 08-Oct-13 14:07:24

More daily mail bashing. Yawn.

HesterShaw Tue 08-Oct-13 16:07:58

It's quite interesting actually chipstick.

MrJudgeyPants Tue 08-Oct-13 22:29:28

Big statism is vile. It treats people as things, and big statists are always astonished to discover that without the checks and balances of democracy it always descends in to tyranny. It is anathema to Liberty and anathema to humanity.

Fixed it.

NicholasTeakozy Wed 09-Oct-13 06:30:25

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

MrJudgeyPants Wed 09-Oct-13 23:20:19

Republicans, being the party who created the worlds most powerful military and a keen desire to deploy it, as well as the party who created Guantanamo Bay and the Patriot Act, are hardly small statists.

Similarly, a country with an unrepayable national debt approaching 17 trillion dollars can hardly be accused of being a small state.

Neither the Republicans, nor the Democrats are small statists. Their differences lie in how to spend lots of money, not in whether that money should be spent or not.

The few small statists in America, of whom Ron Paul (who does happen to be a republican) is probably the most preeminent, are very much in the minority.

NicholasTeakozy Thu 10-Oct-13 09:27:36

You forget the members of Congress who are responsible for shutting down government are Tea Party sympathisers. The Tea Party want small government.

Small government in action. But that's Bangladesh, I hear you say.

Green Bay bridge collapse and it's not the only one, all due to small government and refusal to invest in maintenance.

Here's an interesting fact: US states run by right wing Tea Party Republicans receive more Federal funds than those run by normal people.

MrJudgeyPants Thu 10-Oct-13 13:13:29

NicholasTeakozy The examples you provide are complete straw man (men?) arguments. It's well known that building safety concerns in Bangladesh are as a result of building owners either ignoring building laws or bribing officials to pass an unsafe building as a safe one. What you are doing here is (deliberately?) confusing small state governments with a lack of the rule of law.

As for bridges built, designed and owned by the US Department of Transportation (i.e. the US government) which have structural problems, I would have thought that that errs towards proving that government agencies aren't, by and large, fit to run a whelk-stand! How many privately built, designed and operated bridges have collapsed over the same period?

I don't think the 'evidence' you've put forward makes the case that you are trying to make.

NicholasTeakozy Thu 10-Oct-13 13:48:03

The states in which these failed and failing bridges are situated in have all been run by pro Tea Party Governors who have stripped their maintenance budgets to practically zero. Anybody with the ability to use a search engine should be able to suss that out for themselves.

...(deliberately?) confusing small state governments with a lack of the rule of law

Not at all. Your 'small state government' wouldn't be able to uphold the law.

I note you ignored my comment about US states with pro 'small government' governors requiring more Federal assistance.

MrJudgeyPants Thu 10-Oct-13 14:23:08

I ignored your comment because it was irrelevant. In exactly the same way as saying that "the traditionally Labour areas in the UK get higher government support such as unemployment benefits etc" would be irrelevant to a discussion about increasing or reducing the size of the state.

perfectstorm Fri 11-Oct-13 01:39:49

I ignored your comment because it was irrelevant. In exactly the same way as saying that "the traditionally Labour areas in the UK get higher government support such as unemployment benefits etc" would be irrelevant to a discussion about increasing or reducing the size of the state.

The Tea Party endlessly drone on about the necessity of reducing the state. The Labour Party do not. Thus Nicholas' comment is wholly relevant, indeed it is very pertinent.

HTH.

And please, do name three successful countries with small state government. Including information on the rights and standard of living of temporary workers, women and children; the presence or otherwise of the death penalty; and the provision of health, education, a functional and independent police/judicial system, a free press, and the democratic engagement of all citizens. Unless, of course, you think such things are inimical to "Liberty".

MrJudgeyPants Fri 11-Oct-13 08:12:24

Perfectstorm The mistake that you and Nicholas are making in trying to link the poorest states to their Tea Party representatives is that many US states have deep rooted poverty issues dating back to the civil war, whereas the Tea Party movement is only a few years old. When looked at from this perspective, voting for Tea Party candidates becomes the reaction to their poverty, not the driver for it. The Tea Party performs the same function in the US that Labour traditionally fulfils here.

As for a list of small state countries, there are many that have aspects that we would be wise to mimic. Hong Kong's laissez faire attitude to business proves that minimal legislation can benefit their population whilst avoiding the worst excesses such as collapsing buildings seen in Bangladesh as mentioned upthread. Whilst New Zealand is a country that has taken great steps to shrink the size of the state recently, its reduction in taxation has corresponded with a sustainable increase in its wealth. Australia and Canada are, in many ways, far freer and Libertarian than the UK is without resembling downtown Mogadishu. Now I, quite frankly, can't be arsed to google all of your questions, but I would be happy to live in the countries named above. I also find it damning that each of these countries is a former British colony which has remained freer than what we have become.

BTW, the state doesn't have to be the sole provider of healthcare or education. To insist that this is indicative of a small state suggests you don't really understand the whole point of a small state.

perfectstorm Fri 11-Oct-13 13:06:26

Oh dear. Sweetheart, I AM an Australian. The state there intervenes more and provides more for its citizens than the UK ever does. You're pontificating from a position of complete ignorance, I'm afraid - yes, nice shiny pie charts make Australia look like a low state country for an OECD nation but that's because the spend on pensions is low (youthful population) and defence extremely low (tiny armies tend to be pretty useful if you don't want to spend a lot on the state). And I can't help suspecting that your knowledge of NZ is equally... well, I'll be kind and call it "patchy", shall I?

Hong Kong has just acknowledged it has a serious problem in terms of poverty, with 1 in 5 families living on half the average income, and inequality is growing, not decreasing as the economy itself grows. There's a strong agitation amongst worker organisations to provide a minimum wage... and a decent welfare system. Some people would regard that as something called "progress".

You seem to have this decidedly odd belief that people are there to serve the economy, rather than the other way around, and that worshipping the free market as some sort of deity has an inherent moral weight and worth. This, of course, turns people into objects... while anthropomorphising human-created economic conditions. Interesting definition of "Liberty".

perfectstorm Fri 11-Oct-13 13:08:08

The Tea Party performs the same function in the US that Labour traditionally fulfils here.

Forgive me, I forgot to say that someone capable of typing that sentence cannot, surely, expect someone to waste energy responding to it. Perhaps a little Google might assist you? But then again, you said you "can't be bothered to Google." Believe me, it shows.

NicholasTeakozy Fri 11-Oct-13 14:17:44

The Tea Party performs the same function in the US that Labour traditionally fulfils here.

Oh dear. There's a quotation I saw t'other day which is tailor made for your assertion: "in an age where information is readily available ignorance is merely an option."

FYI, New Zealand and Australia are part of the same online surveillance scandals as the US and UK. Using the search engine of your choice will confirm that.

Governments in Southern Europe are shrinking due to bailouts (watch for bail-ins. They're next) and poverty is soaring. They should just have defaulted and told the banks to get stuffed, the same as we should've.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now