New Establishment attack on the SKWAWKBOX


The SKWAWKBOX is regulated by IMPRESS, the UK’s only independent, Leveson-compliant press regulator. The Establishment media tried – and failed humiliatingly – to shut down IMPRESS via the courts, leaving IPSO – which the media transparency organisation Hacked Off calledthe illusion of reform‘ – as the only regulator standing.

The large, mainly billionaire-owned press publications subscribe to IPSO, the intriguingly-named ‘Independent Press Standards Organisation’ – essentially self-regulation: until recently, the chair of IPSO was Paul Dacre, the editor of the Daily Mail.

Some months ago, the SKWAWKBOX lodged a complaint against the Daily Mail and the S*n about their ‘fake news’ allegations against this blog. The most surprising thing about IPSO’s decision to reject the complaint and support the two newspapers was the inordinate amount of time it took the organisation to reach it.

The decisions have just been published on the IPSO website – and already, right-wingers on social media have started to smear this the SKWAWKBOX based on them. The Murdoch Times also plans to publish an article on them tomorrow.

A Times journalist contacted this blog asking for comment in preparation for the article. Our response will not be published in full, so here it is in its entirety:

IPSO’s judgment was a disappointment but no surprise to us. A body for the oversight of the press that is run by the same publications it is meant to oversee is intrinsically problematic. The recent chair of that body has just celebrated 25 years with one of the publications we complained about. The Times’ sister publication, the Sun, retracted its story quickly and it’s a shame the Mail didn’t have the grace to do the same.

As for the ruling on the allegations of fake news regarding the D-notice article, our story was carefully written to convey the status of the reports accurately and to avoid inaccurate claims. The opinion of the author of the article that the reports felt credible has been treated by IPSO as equivalent to a statement of fact, when it clearly was not.

It’s a sad commentary on the state of mainstream journalism that the care and clarity of the article was ignored and indeed ridden over roughshod by a judgment that allowed two large publications to attack the Skwawkbox on the basis of allegations that were clearly straw men.

The judgment also ignored the fact that the Skwawkbox published a clear clarification very shortly after the original article. It appears that, according to IPSO, anything that later requires clarification merits description as ‘fake news’. By that standard, given the number of such clarifications that mainstream publications make every week, it appears that the mainstream press is the main source of fake news in this country.

That the ‘MSM’ is prepared to try to use this against the Skwawkbox shows the extent to which we are upsetting the Establishment status quo.

The content and angle of the Times article will not be known until it is published, but the social media attempts to smear this blog based on IPSO’s decisions have already started to appear, with even the Tory ‘joke-Momentum’ Activate claiming the judgments mean that IPSO has ‘confirmed’ that the SKWAWKBOX is ‘fake news’.

But the fact that the judgments are being used in this way – and so quickly – suggests three things.

First, that those defending the status quo will use the non-Leveson-compliant process to try to intimidate anyone from daring to complain – complain about the media to the organisation run by the media and when you lose, it can be used against you.

Second, that the Establishment really, really doesn’t like the SKWAWKBOX and other ‘new left media’ (NLM) threatening its power and the status quo it exists to defend. That the IPSO judgment is considered news shows how rapidly that threat has grown.

Third, that the Establishment fears the NLM – resorting to measures like using a far from neutral ‘judgment’ to attack the complainant does not imply confidence.

These latest attacks in reality do little more than underline the importance, to our society and democracy, of the independent, left-wing media that many feel represent the only way to obtain news and perspectives that are not controlled by vested  interests.

So whether that’s the SKWAWKBOX or another outlet, please support your favourite independent left media. Their importance is only underlined by the attacks on them.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.


  1. Without sites like this I would be in a much darker place. How these people hate the truth!

  2. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

    Those who try to eclipse that sunlight truly are a danger to our democracy.

  3. Yes Schwakbox keep up the excellent work – you all are a stars! Yes for the free press read pro-capitalist press free to say what the rich owners want and to try to de-educate the public whilst presenting the system as how things are naturally?
    Oh and the wonderful Mail supported the Blackshirts in the 1930’s “Hurrah for the Blackshirts!” and even opposed the Kinder Transport in getting Jewish children out of Germany. Time for more democracy in the media and for democratic regulation. Power to the people!

  4. I’ve come to rely on the SB for proper information. Keep up the good work.

  5. “Unfortunately for His Excellency the movement is likely to grow with ridicule as it is certain to flourish on repression.” – Ghandi

    Hang in there, SKWAWKBOX, we’re with you all the way!

  6. When it comes to the MSM you can always be sure there is another side to an article not being told that the public have a right to know about and that is where the NLM fit in and if they don’t like that tough luck they only have themselves to blame.

  7. I’ve been refreshing my memory on this story and came across this dated 17 June:


    in which Skwawkbox says, referring to deaths in the fire, “They already know of 200+ ”

    and this:


    in which Skwawkbox says “….it’s common knowledge that at least 150 bodies are already in a makeshift morgue”

    The word “knowledge” is a link to this:


    which is the story of one person saying that there are 60 bodies in a morgue and that 200 is the figure that “everyone is saying locally”

    It seems that the “D notice” element was only part of the exaggerated hearsay based reporting around this tragedy.

  8. Keep at it, with al the other scandals surrounding this government the quango’s they have created and influenced will do anything to protect their corrupt position. A new tact would be to discredit the MSM as the stone has moved and needs to keep rolling. People are not as stupid as they used to be. Austerity has woken up a lot of people to the lies and corruption. Especially the youth. The MSM needs to be afraid. Keep up the pressure as the message is getting through.

  9. I’ll repost this as the links seem to put the comment into “awaiting moderation” which can take a while to clear.

    I’ve been refreshing my memory on this story and came across this dated 17 June:


    in which Skwawkbox says, referring to deaths in the fire, “They already know of 200+ ”

    and this:


    in which Skwawkbox says “….it’s common knowledge that at least 150 bodies are already in a makeshift morgue”

    The word “knowledge” is a link to this:


    which is the story of one person saying that there are 60 bodies in a morgue and that 200 is the figure that “everyone is saying locally”

    It seems that the “D notice” element was only part of the exaggerated hearsay based reporting around this tragedy

    1. I wondered how long it’d take you, hindson.


      Take your degree from the goebbels academy of enlightenment, and shove it right up yer ‘arris. You’ll be telling us the reason foodbank use has increased exponentially is because: ‘People are having cash flow problems’ , next.

      1. Nothing to say on the substance of Skwawbox’s flawed reporting then?

      2. Christ, hindson – will you never learn?

        It’s like trying to teach quantum physics to an effin’ horse ffs.

  10. To be fair to the Daily Hail, it does publish the truth once per issue.
    It’s on the top right corner of the page. Yes, your right first time it’s the day of the week and the date!

  11. The MSM’s behaviour brings to mind the words of Robert Greene – “These villainous vipers, unworthy the name of men, base rogues,… being outcasts from God, vipers of the world, and an incremental reversion of sin” – or as we would say nowadays, a nest of vipers. They writhe about, spitting forth their venomous lies, every time you publicise the truth You are doing an amazing job, Skwawkbox, and we are all behind you 100 percent.

    1. Inquests have been opened and adjourned into 67 as at the end of September.

      As for the total, this from the BBC may be helpful.


  12. All of these unwarranted, unfair attacks on the inestimable SKWAWKBOX is something you could do without, Steve. I am so sorry that this is happening to you.

    I’m constantly, wholeheartedly saying: “Thank heavens for the SKWAWKBOX for publicising material that only one other publication gives me – The Canary.”

    Keep up the good work. The British people need you.

    Aren’t these publications also breaking the law on freedom of expression?

    “Article 10
    Freedom of expression

    1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
    2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

    1. I don’t follow that. Are you saying that Skwawkbox’s freedom of expression is somehow being suppressed?

    1. I’ll refer you to the answer I gave yesterday evening.

      PS. I thought you were a stickler for correctness over ambiguity? Seems like a question mark’d be more appropriate than an exclamation mark if you’re guessing…

      Poor form, hindson.

      1. So you have nothing to say on Skwawkbox’s flawed reporting.

        Statement of fact – no? nor ! required.

      2. I’ve said what I need to say.

        You’re the self-professed ‘expert’ in these matters – YOU figure it out.

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