Attacks on SKWAWKBOX intensifying and desperate. Wonder why..

wilde enemies

A week ago, the SKWAWKBOX reported on the Murdoch Times using a decision by IPSO (the so-called Independent Press Standards Organisation) on a complaint made about smears in the Mail and S*n to attack this blog’s credibility. IPSO is funded and run by the mainstream press to create what has been called ‘the illusion of reform’ – Mail editor Paul Dacre is its recent chair.

That attack has now been repeated and intensified across the right-wing press including, yesterday, Murdoch’s S*n.

Ironically but unsurprisingly, the attack is itself fake news – fake news that hints at a certain desperation.

The news is fake because it cherry-picks parts of the decision and fails to mention the fact of IPSO’s funding and management in order to treat the organisation – which is not Leveson-compliant – as an independent and official arbiter.

bloggs ipso

It omits, for example, the fact that the Mail – whose editor was until recently the chair of IPSO – corrected its smears even before the decision was issued. This is, of course, mentioned in the decision – but absent from the media coverage:

ipso mail.png

Similarly, the S*n had already issued a correction to its article and in fact withdrew the article completely.

The S*n also included quotes from two right-wing Labour MPs attacking the SKWAWKBOX and claiming that other Labour MPs shouldn’t give interviews to this blog – including a direct statement from one of the MPs to the S*n.

Unsurprisingly, he failed to appreciate the irony of talking to a right-wing rag that was exposed as having more IPSO decisions against it than any other publication. Happily, social media users were quick to point out what he was missing:

el4c news ukkinney streetrl16 street

The article also omitted the fact that both of the ‘Labour’ MPs have been inconvenienced and embarrassed by SKWAWKBOX revelations on more than one occasion.

Of course, the author of the article might, just possibly, not have known that. We’d have told him if he’d bothered to ask – but he didn’t.

Asking the target of an article the opportunity to comment – and including that comment in the article – is normal journalistic practice, especially for a negatively-slanted piece. The S*n did not bother to ask, nor did the Express. The Times did – but then left out the most relevant parts of our response. 

Of course, many would consider those publications to have a tenuous-at-best relationship with journalism these days. Those who wish to see the SKWAWKBOX’s full statement on the matter can do so here

However, shoddy journalism and hypocrisy are just what you’d expect from certain publications. The far more interesting question is why the Establishment – including some right-wing Labour MPs – is so keen to smear the SKWAWKBOX and attack its credibility.

In the case of the publications, this chart of their circulation may have something to do with it:


The huge increase in the popularity, significance and influence of the NLM (new left media) are a clear threat to that of the ‘MSM’ (mainstream media). With the power of the internet and social media to bypass the previous MSM monopoly on information, that threat continues to increase.

Closely linked to that, of course, is the threat to Establishment politicians – whether the Tories or right-wing Labour MPs who were used to being the ones that the media sought out and listened to and who are struggling to come to terms with the end of their relevance and their hopes of political career advancement – and desperate enough to feel relevant that they’ll even go whining to publications that despise the party they’re supposed to represent.

Oscar Wilde’s observation at the top of this article applies to media as well. If the NLM have made enemies of the billionaire-owned or Tory-controlled media and of those who wish their cosy relationship with them brought the relevance it used to, that speaks volumes – though not the story the MSM want you to swallow.

All of which means that for those who want information that hasn’t been filtered and twisted by vested Establishment interests, the new left media are more vital than ever and only growing more so.

And finally, just for context, we’ll just leave this here:

The SKWAWKBOX carries the IMPRESS trust-mark. IMPRESS is the UK’s only independent, Leveson-compliant press regulator.

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. Does it get any better? To be attacked by the trashy right wing media and their cohorts in right wing Labour, Skwawkbox can take a bow.

  2. Mainstream/corporate and even so called public media are making themselves irrelevant and in some cases harmful… to society as a whole but particularly the least well off who suffer the greatest under austerity, privatisation and ever growing wealth inequality.
    A misinformed and uninformed society puts democracy in peril, it is now up to us all to inform ourselves with the aid of NLM and many other independent and alternative sources. It is up to us to support these sources as we are able.

  3. The mass circulation newspaper industry has been with us for less than 150 years. In societal terms that’s a drop in the ocean and from the start its standards have always been pretty dreadful. Every newspaper editor today claims that it is their objective to “seek out the truth” and to be a “defender of the public interest” but in reality they spend most of their time rummaging around in the dustbins of B list celebs or hacking footballer’s mobile phones for stories. No one can be under any illusion that to them it’s the ‘news’ that sells which is of overriding importantance. The press’ rejection of Levenson was a clear statement of their intetion to continue with their appaling journalistic standards and for as long as they could.

    But nothing lasts for ever and a couple of days ago even Murdoch indicated that it is now a struggle to keep the print side of his media empire afloat.Your graph says it all we are witnessing the end of mass circulation newspapers . The mainstream press fears Skwarkbox not because of what Skwarkbox says but simply because of what it is – the “competition” – their P45’s. Within the next ten years what we know now as the printed national press will have gone the way of our local press. It will comprise of only a small number of titles that produce a couple of editions each week and they will contain a very low but syndicated news content.

  4. It is becoming increasingly probable that the next government will be a Labour Government and that Jeremy Corbyn will be our prime minister.

    There is zero probability that Wes Streeting will be a member of that government.

    Mr Streeting has no future in the Labour party and would be well advised to leave politics and find a new career.

    1. Is it possible to find out the position of Judas and his I’ll are in good order with their subs and in some cases whether or not they are actual members? I have my doubts about a lot of things re our great and good. ☮️

  5. Clearly there is a protectionist agenda here, based a desire to prevent readers turning to ‘alternative news’ sources. Clearly there is a political agenda too, from both the MSM (most of which, print media at least, has a clear right-wing bias) and right-wing political establishment. But that does not mean that one should dismiss criticism of ‘alternative news’ outlets out-of-hand.

    For the most, I think Skwawkbox does a reasonably good job of robustly reporting on topics of public interest, and acknowledging when mistakes have been made in its reporting/analysis. However I’m not sure the same can be said across the board. A certain bird-named outlet, for example, regularly publishes articles that are at best sensationalist, and at worst downright misleading, based on clearly bias analysis of evidence and data. One might argue that this is nothing different to what the likes of the Mail and Sun do every day of the week. But as unfair as it may seem, I think establishments like Skwawkbox and said bird-named outlet have to hold themselves to much higher standards than the likes of the Mail. Really, you should be asking yourself about every article you publish, whether a politically-neutral subject matter expert would agree with your interpretation of the evidence/data, or would consider your analysis flawed. Every flaky and clearly bias analysis published by left-wing alternative news outlets undermines not just the credibility of the outlet that has published it, but the credibility of left-wing alternative news outlets in general.


  7. The whole Neo-Liberal agenda is to transfer wealth and power into the hands of the 1%. The mass media is of course a part of that same agenda, and anyone that diverts attention away from their given norm, “which is do as I say not as I do”, then in their eyes it has to be destroyed.

    Only last night I watched Andrew Neil on This Week in a full frontal attack on RT, Russia Today, claiming it was just Putin’s propaganda machine. The journalist Afshin Rattansi was accused of spreading propaganda by Andrew Neil, you just couldn’t make it up.


    The BBC must be getting really scared now that people see it for what it is.
    Finally, after the funeral of one of my Uncles, I spoke to the clergyman who took the service…. about Newspapers, and he said he doesn’t buy them any more, for all the reasons mentioned above.

    1. “The whole Neo-Liberal agenda is to transfer wealth and power into the hands of the 1%.”

      This is correct. Many say the current economic dogma has failed but it has been a roaring success siphoning massive amounts of wealth up to the richest 1-5% in society, just what it was designed to do. We appear to be entering a neo feudal era where a rapacious class can loot the public and public sector which they keep in debt and live off the rent they extract from their ‘property’.

      Time for a whole new economic approach that puts banks back in their box as servants of society and industry and restores a civilized and moral system that works for a more cohesive, caring and forward looking society. The wealthy can be free to play their stock market games etc, but at their own risk, not with public underwriting and benefits.

  8. What is sad is that in its inception The SUN was a Labour paper until Murdoch got his hands on it. Creeping death of media fairness & unbiased reporting (by some) has been taken over by RW & Far RW owners. MSM is not even subtle anymore about parading Fake News, Fake audiences, Fake advents. Just today Tory MP Bradley argued that people at a local job centre were absolutely cock-a-hoop about UC. The fact that only people in the picture were Job Centre employees goes to show just how far cock-a-hoop locals were about this advent.

    @Conservatives talking about Labour’s black hole of £50billion required to carry out its agenda. I pointed out that was somewhat different from their economic failure that has increased UK deficit by £69billion and produced zilch.

    You know you are doing something right when not only MSM establishment and RW Labour are on your back. Right on the money Skwawkbox. I will be passing on my pennyworth to Mr Streeting in due course. I can’t send anything to Ms Creasy as she blocked me. Why? Because I dared to suggest her attack on Chris Williamson re train guards, had nothing to do with caring about women’s safety and more to do with clubbing Chris because he is a lefty and proud of it. They don’t like that. We should always question motives and agendas of these people till their eyes pop!

    1. Good points and the Tories have had what £1tr in quantitative easing since 2010 from The Magic Money Tree (£80b since the Referendum Result) perhaps as Streekt argued (New Left Review) because “the rich and powerful haven’t a clue what to do.” Need to scrap IPSO and enact Leveson with real teeth – take the paper tiger away from the boys! Keep up the good work Left Blogs!

  9. MSM (Especially press) knows it’s on it’s way out. Trust has evaporated and not without good reason – it’s all copy& paste lazy journalism these days.

    1. I know this site isn’t always 100% accurate, but there’s no need to follow the lead!

      Danny Cohen is no longer with the BBC

      James Harding has announced he’s leaving in the New Year

      Nicholas Hytner is not on the BBC board, neither’s Howard Stringer

      So that’s a 2.5/6 – could do better.

      1. Thanks for the update. There are many others in the BBC with similar bias’ whose photo’s could be substituted. Are the descriptions under their names accurate?

    2. I would be very careful about using words like “cabal”, which have a bad history in relation to antisemitic conspiracy theories. It is possible, and in my view preferable, to separate Jewish, even Zionist, views with the actions of the current apartheid Israeli government.

      Aside from that, I agree, the mainstream media clearly avoids mentioning the current situation in Israel. This is probably down to cowardice more than anything else. Any journalist with the bravery to comment on this issue is usually sidelined and excluded from the mainstream at best, or publicly humiliated at worst. This tendency is very bad news for the BBC who, to some extent. rely on their impartiality guidelines to justify the licence fee.

  10. @Jack Obviously the job titles are incorrect but I’ve got no idea about the other stuff. To be honest if it’s as well researched as the job titles it’s probably about 40% accurate.

  11. In answer to who’s who at Beeb and who is there and who isn’t. These following are still there (including James Harding). All Tories.
    Evan Davis – Tory
    James Landale – Tory
    Nick Robinson – Tory
    David Dimbleby – Tory
    Andrew Neil – Tory
    John Humphries – Tory.
    Laura Kuennsberg – Tory
    James Harding – Tory

  12. http://www.thejc.com/community/community-life/47916/signs-the-times-jcc
    This is from the article above in the Jewish Chronicle in 2011 where James Harding describes the BBC turning pro Israel. The web page has been deleted but it can be found on one of the ‘way back’ sites.

    James Harding of The Times has spoken about the pressures of being a Jewish editor when Israel is in the headlines.
    Mr Harding was interviewed by former Sunday Express editor Eve Pollard at a JCC event, discussing his career, antisemitism and the media and British reporting of the Middle East.
    “I am pro-Israel,” he said. “I believe in the state of Israel. I would have had a real problem if I had been coming to a paper with a history of being anti-Israel. And, of course, Rupert Murdoch is pro-Israel.
    “We report the news and we leave opinion to the opinion pages, where we try to do a mix. We wrote an editorial called ‘In defence of Israel’ during the Gaza offensive, but we also reported on the use of white phosphorus, which was the Israelis breaking their own rules.”
    Asked by an audience member for his views on BBC coverage, he said it was “not a pro-Israel newsroom and it has taken management to get some balance in there”. Mr Harding could understand upset at the perceived bias of the broadcaster. “It is frustrating because, unlike The Times where you can just choose not to buy it, you have to pay for the BBC.”

  13. The old order (Neo-Liberalism) is dying.
    But the new cannot yet be born.
    Perhaps we are all being tested.
    And only stars will ride the storm.

  14. Skwawkbox is adversarial. It isn’t “fake”. Fake news is pretty easy to spot, because it relies on reporting something that didn’t happen as fact. Hence the word: “fake”. This isn’t rocket science. From Jeremy Corbyn dancing his way to the cenotaph to Hilary Clinton setting up a paedophile ring from a pizza shop, anybody with a brain larger than a grape can work out the difference between informed articles with an obvious political slant and outright lies designed to plant what Corbyn himself referred to as “subliminal nastiness” (from the (in)famous Vice documentary). Because of their stupidity and snobbery, the right-wing press initially thought that peddling fake news about Corbyn would destroy his reputation and bring down the Labour party. People aren’t as dumb as the press think they are though.

    From what I’ve read, and I read this blog regularly, any speculation, opinion or going out on a limb is always highlighted as such. You may or may not agree with the conclusions being made, but those conclusions are never, ever presented as factual when they aren’t. The so-called “mainstream” need to learn that lesson and start actually publishing real news. Unless, that is, they intend to consign themselves to the oblivion they probably deserve.

    1. I would refer you this article:


      which would appear to contradict your view of Skwawkbox’s “MO”.

      1. The article is factually incorrect in that it refers to the ill “Mr Rachael” being accused of working, when the displayed letter clearly states that he is actually accused of not declaring his wife’s alleged earnings.

      2. The episode is described as a malicious attack. Skwawkbox has no possible way of determining the motive of the putative DWP informant. That’s mixing fact and opinion in the same article without making clear which is which.

      1. You assume that all the facts known are in the article. That is an incorrect assumption. The wrong letter was uploaded as a graphic – the article has now been corrected

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