Campaigning about Manchester Pride has opened my eyes when it comes to the mainstream media. Particularly since the ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman in 2015 about wristbands and the discovery of minutes of a meeting that was held in 2002 (visit FactsMCR.com for full details).
Since 2015, the mainstream and LGBT media have refused to print one word about what seems to have been a conspiracy at a high level to obtain money from the public by deception. Probably hundreds of thousands of pounds was paid needlessly. The City Council, police, registered charities, the tourist board and some gay village businesses were involved.
This contrasts with the attitude until 2014 when the media were happy to report protests in the run-up to the event. About fundraising and lack of inclusion. Campaigners came to the conclusion that this was seen as some edgy “icing on the cake” for Manchester Pride. A bit of activism and protest surrounding a stale weekend that lacked any itself.
Perhaps some thought we were plucky losers who would never get anywhere? So it was nice and safe… Until the Department For Transport put pen to paper in reply to us in 2014 and the Local Government Ombudsman ruled the following year.
Two weeks ago The Guardian published an article about the high cost of tickets, following the relocation of part of Manchester Pride to the derelict Mayfield Station.
Incredibly the article contains not one word about charity fundraising. Yet that was the sole reason why we started this event, as a jumble sale, back in the second half of the 1980s. And, while banging on about prices and inclusion, there’s no mention of the Manchester Pride wristband scam.
The unlawful charging of people just to walk on public pavements to reach businesses and blocking them if they wouldn’t or couldn’t pay (so much for inclusion) and the illegal blocking of access to homes. Every August Bank Holiday from 2003 onwards.
This is how news outlets work. They don’t need to lie (although some do). By reporting only some of the facts they create a one-sided impression which suits their agenda. On other occasions they don’t report at all.
When it came to the years of child grooming and assault in Rotherham and other towns it was decided not to report. Now it’s the same story with the Manchester Pride wristbands.
The veteran ITV journalist John Pilger describes not reporting certain facts and happenings as the most powerful form of censorship.
Whether they’re on the left or right, nearly all the mainstream news outlets in the UK know about Manchester Pride but have chosen to stay silent. In exactly the same way they chose not to report the abuse of children in Rotherham.
They fear speaking out about wrongdoing in the gay community in the same way they did about Asian people. Perhaps there’s the misplaced idea that staying silent is “supporting” these communities? But it isn’t.
Leaving us to be victimised by crooks, criminals and predators does us no favours. It harms us. And we don’t want our own particular community to look as if it’s above the law and scrutiny. That creates resentment in the end.
For many people in the UK, coverage of Brexit has been a revelation. The way news outlets operate has been exposed as never before.
It seems that hardly a day has passed without an article in The Guardian, fearmongering about life after we “crash out” with “no deal.” Ignoring the democratic result because it doesn’t suit and calling for a “people’s vote” — a second referendum because leave voters (52% of those who voted — 15,188,406m people) were too stupid to know what they voted for.
Ignoring those who voted leave. Some of whom did so because they had felt ignored for years.
This refusal to accept the result and relentless talking down of the UK for 18 months has damaged the future of every one of us.
The Guardian only has a circulation of about 137,000 printed newspapers and has been on a mission to recruit digital subscribers. Here’s something to think about…
“In October 2017 The Guardian announced it had 800,000 supporters globally – 500,000 making recurring monthly payments (as subscribers, members or recurring contributors), and 300,000 who had made one-off donations.” Source.
The same article continues “since The Guardian began asking American readers to voluntarily contribute in September 2016, it has received more than 230,000 one-time contributions from the US. In addition, it has secured 73,000 recurring paying relationships in the US, including members, recurring contributors, and digital subscribers.”
There’s another article here from October 2017.
Note that neither of these articles tells us how many paid subscribers are based in the UK. There’s a figure for worldwide in “100 countries” and other figures for the USA. So far I’ve been unable to find a UK figure. Let me know if you spot one.
To what extent is The Guardian now funded by people in other countries? As it busily undermines the Brexit result, and thus our democracy, and ignores certain stories and facts…
It seems to me that increasingly it is no longer about which newspaper or TV station is on the right or left. But a battle between the establishment media (which includes LGBT news) and the alternatives.
Twenty-five years ago I worked as features editor on a quite unimportant national magazine. When I think of our efforts to report accurately and check facts, it shocks me to see the behaviour of The Guardian, BBC, Manchester Evening News and so many others these days.
The BBC’s downright refusal to report the wristband situation and protect consumers is worthy of a separate post. The rot goes right to the top. To Tony Hall the Director General. He was an editor of BBC News 30 years ago when lesbians invaded the studio of the Six O’Clock News. The days when the BBC refused to report pride events at all.
But perhaps, even for us queers, that was better than the partial, uncritical reporting that we see now and which allows wrongdoing and corruption to flourish? I strongly believe in public-service television. But in its current form the BBC isn’t it.
What is their “plan B” for the day, not far off, when a large percentage of the population no longer believes these mainstream outlets?
For 15 years I’ve tried to report the truth and facts here on my site. Politically I consider myself to be centre-left. However I have enormous concerns about the authoritarianism, censorship and dishonesty that I see from many of those who characterise themselves as being on the “left” and their attempts to silence (no platform), bully and intimidate anyone who has a different opinion.