Guardian journalists react with outrage to Canary editor invite as Black History Month speaker

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Mostly-white journalists at the supposedly liberal Guardian newspaper have reacted with outrage at the invitation of The Canary‘s Kerry-Anne Mendoza to deliver the National Union of Journalists’ Claudia Jones Memorial Lecture for Black History Month, an email disclosed by the Huffington Post‘s Mark di Stefano has revealed.

di Stefano included details of the email in a tweet claiming there had been ‘chaos’ at the Guardian over the invitation – and the NUJ’s email to journalists makes clear that ‘several’ at the Guardian had complained:

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The full email made clear the level of consternation occasioned by the announcement:

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Claudia Jones was a Trinidad-born radical journalist who was given asylum in the UK after being deported from the US. In the UK, she became a leading activist for equal rights for black people until her death in 1964.

And a bunch of primarily white journalists at a faux-left mainstream publication feel entitled to object to one of the few BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) editors in this country being invited to deliver a lecture in honour of a woman who overcame huge adversity for the rights of black citizens.

Ms Mendoza told the SKWAWKBOX:

I’m a proud member of the National Union of Journalists and honoured to be invited to give the Claudia Jones Memorial Lecture this year. It’s a sign of the entitlement of our establishment journalists that they would behave so poorly in response.

I think we’ve reached peak Guardian. A group of mostly white, middle class journalists trying to stop one of Britain’s only working class, BAME editors in chief from giving a speech for Black History Month.

The Canary is one of the leading publications among the ‘NLM’ (new left media) and, unlike precious Guardian ‘journalists’, Ms Mendoza and her colleagues – like the rest of the NLM – have built up their readership and profile from nothing entirely through their own efforts, with meagre resources and while overcoming considerable prejudice in various forms.

That legacy media journalists think themselves in a position to turn up their noses at listening to a speech by a leading NLM editor says far more about why their readershup and influence are falling than it does about the merits of the invited speaker.

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  1. I would love to see a list of the Guardian idiots who are making the objection.

    1. Aye. Showing support for the s*n shows the rag’s already bankrupt.

    2. But I think I read it is supported from something like a billion pound trust fund and apparently it loses money hand over fist and whilst it could be argued it seems to support free markets if it wasn’t for this massive subsidy it would have bitten the dust a long time ago!
      So perhaps we need to politically educate the middle class liberals!

      1. The Guardian is a neoliberal megaphone which is supported by numerous faceless corporations, all of whom have a vested interest in the Guardian’s political tone and output.

        It’s why it’s rare to see negative film or concert reviews in the Guardian, because somewhere along the vast spider’s web a film may be directly and indirectly attached to a Guardian sponsor.

        The Guardian calling for the Iraq War cannot be forgotten.

  2. I thought this invite was for a journalist to speak at?

    So what’s the grauniad’s crib?

  3. Working class heroes:

    Hadley Freeman – St Anne’s College, Oxford

    Martin Kettle – Balliol College, Oxford

    George Monbiot – Brasenose College, Oxford

    Jonathan Freedland – Wadham College, Oxford

    Zoe Williams (Columnist), Hertford College, Oxford

    Peter Preston – St John’s College, Oxford

    Alan Rusbridger – Magdalene College, Cambridge

    Janine Gibson – St John’s College, Oxford

    Rowena Davis – Balliol College, Oxford

    Polly Toynbee – St Anne’s College, Oxford

    Paul Lewis – King’s College, Cambridge

    Madeleine Bunting – Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

    Jackie Ashley – St Anne’s College, Oxford

      1. A more up-to-date list needs creating…

        I think some Guardian columnists went to Eton as well. I’m not sure.

        It’s a world I know nothing about because I’m from the wrong side of the tracks.

    1. Says it all, really!

      What a lot of gobshite rot these so called ‘liberal-lefty’ (read entitled white middle-class Blairite w%kers) speak!

      I read their ‘objections’, but nowhere does it say precisely why Mendoza should not speak at the Claudia Jones memorial lecture. I’m sure that Jones herself would more than approve of the choice. She would certainly have no time at all for the insincere ‘centrist’ posers who masquerade as journalists working for the Guardian.

      I commend the NUJ for their choice. I can think of no-one better!

    2. Yes perhaps people with the best memories at regurgitating facts and whose middle class parents paid for extra tuition and coaching to make sure there was NEVER a level playing field between their children and working class kids?
      Labour’s FIRST education policy has to be: END POVERTY!

      1. Then Labour’s Education policy 2: Build a society of critical thinkers!

      1. I suspect you rather missed the point – and the tone – of Ella’s post.
        I’m not particularly an Owen Jones fan, but I think his left wing credentials – despite Oxford – are pretty sound.
        “Jones was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England and grew up in Stockport, Greater Manchester, and briefly in Falkirk, Scotland. His father was a local authority worker and trade union shop steward, and his mother (Ruth Aylett) was then an IT lecturer at the University of Salford. He describes himself as a “fourth-generation socialist”; his grandfather was involved with the Communist Party and his parents met as members of the Trotskyist Militant group.” – Wikipedia.

  4. “…the independence of our media is one of my country’s greatest achievements. And it is the bedrock of our democracy.”

    Theresa May (at the UN in New York yesterday)

    1. There are two ‘our'(s) and only one ‘my’ in that statement when I believe there should be three ‘my'(s) only.

  5. Not that I have any sympathy, but you have to appreciate what this means to these people.
    It is public acknowledgement that The Canary is a newspaper. It isn’t about Kerry-Anne Mendoza, it is about the death knell of the Guardian and the rebirth of journalism.
    I look at Ella’s list above and can only identify two journalists, the rest are bloggers who regurgitate their mediocre middle class dinner party chatter onto the online pages of the Graun. Who wants it?

    1. “bloggers who regurgitate their mediocre middle class dinner party chatter”

      Very good, I like that. It made me laugh. So true as well.

  6. It was their Chapel who pay for it perhaps. The Canary is a rival as is Skwawk because the Grauniad have been so abjectly biased against Corbyn and our socialist policies. Well done to Black History Month and Kerry Anne. Hope she is helped with her research by Corbynistas. She could do no better than to also talk to Gary Younge in advance (see below). The Grauniad have only two journos – who are BAME and great in my view -Aditya Chakraborty and Gary Younge. Unfortunately they do not write enough for the Guardian. Viner needs to be replaced or the paper which has a circulation of 143,000 will find it has a circulation of under 100,000 by next year.

    1. As well as The Guardian, I stopped reading the Canary.

      I found the Canary’s headlines irritating. Hyperbole was shamelessly employed more often than not. Stories in many of their articles seldom matched the explosive headlines which screamed out above them.

      I sometimes felt duped after reading a Canary article. I had become just another victim of their cynical click-bait strategy which was the real reason it had garnered such high readership figures.

      But the Canary’s blatant pro-EU stance irritated me the most. Lots of working class people, including myself, voted to leave the EU. I resent the middle-class narrative that suggests the plebs who voted Leave didn’t know what they are doing. We just need a second chance to rectify our mistakes.

      1. I also stopped reading the Canary, on clickbait and tabloid issues.
        But they aren’t the issue here. The Canary is of the Left, much, much more than the Blair-loving Guardian, and the G-NUJ chapel’s objections should be an embarassment to any vaguely left guardian readers. If there’s any left left.

      2. Many Brexiters including w/c and m/c were mislead by Boris and Gove. Labour Policy was to remain. Labour Policy is to embrace free movement of Labour. It works both for the benefit of our economy and our people. What does not work is inequality of riches within our borders. I will never forget that complacent Bollinger-boy Cameron lead us into this in order to shut up UKIP. . I agree Canary hypes it up far too much and are certainly not as skilled and experienced as Skwawk. But Skwawk also gets some (a very few) things wrong, and has been known to be a little too conspiratorial on a few issues. But both Canary and Skwawk need our support with stories and information and finance where we can.

      3. poetry museum – a very debatable view. It has not been universally good for uk. Maybe the chattering classes can now get a cheaper nanny from Warsaw but have seen jobs for skilled tradesmen on just £10/hr. Remember too that the EU is a neo-liberal insitiution dedicated to deregulation, privatisation and outsourcing in the name of spurious competition and would no doubt attempt to sabotage a Labour govt seeking to reverse privatisation. The mass importation of cheap labour has resulted in a whole generation of UK kids with no skills, no training and no hope as they are ignored by employers

      4. I really think we need to try and take the emotion out of the Brexit debate. The advantages of leaving the EU are nominal. Faced with a Democratic Socialist government outwith the EU the US would start a trade war that could destroy us. The US damn near destroyed the British economy during the Wilson government because Wilson wouldn’t join the Vietnam war. We could survive, but only with the heartfelt commitment of the whole population?? and some very clever economic footwork on our part.
        If we stay in the EU we are comprehensively protected from the US but have to fight the neocon establishment of the EU. But in the EU we have socialist allies in all countries and a tradition of ignoring any rules that don’t suit you. I think the latter option is the easier.
        Either way, look at the six conditions, they mean the Labour Party hierarchy is committed to staying in. Whatever they may call it it boils down to the same thing.
        My goal is a socialist society. I am not going to let myself be pixy led by Brexit. One way or the other.

      5. I dumped the Canary for the Skwawk when a rainbow appeared on the masthead. Seems to have gone now, but there were too posts to keep up with…

  7. As far as I am aware, the Guardian is the only paper (or broadcaster) who covered the bomb threat/hoax, and even THEY distorted it in such a way as to give the impression it was a “Jewish event”, as opposed to an event – a film – exposing an example of a false and phony accusation of A/S:


    And needless to say, there was no Comments section!

    1. The spineless Guardian!

      They always disable the comments section when they print politically dodgy articles. I remember an article they once printed which was written by a Greek woman who was heralding EU imposed Greek austerity as an “economic success”.

      If a spike of 500 Greek male suicides equals ‘success’, then I wonder what defines tragedy. Needless to say comments on that particular article were disabled.

  8. “The middle class liberals are revolting!
    And they mayeth demandeth a vote!
    Oh soothe us with middle class liberals?
    Don’t educate us with a BAME socialist journo of note!”
    On a personal note I occasionally get the Guardian for the occasional genuinely decent radical writer but flick the pages on most of their dire middle class liberal commentators.
    I generaly like Steve Bell’s cartoons and the business pages are useful (to see what capital and the rich are up to) and some international stuff can be good to ok but Latin American reporting is generally appalling and anti-socialist in my humble opinion (so I generally flick those articles).
    I quite like rhe sport though if often goes to print before some football results are in (ie if extra time) but finding more and more it my case it is taking less time to read overall!
    Thank Goodness for the New Left Review (although you occasionally need to have a dictionary at hand) but for daily news as newspapers go there’s nothing much else but getting sick of the broken record – anti- Corbyn, pro Right Wing Labour, Labour and anti- semitism, and calling for a People’s Vote on the EC (the first People’s vote must have been by the ‘wrong people’?). So in my humble opinion like most newspapers, The Guardian has gone down the nick, lucky to get 5/10.
    Bazza, first in working class family to go to university as a mature student, working class left wing democratic socialist.
    PS – The left social media are putting the mainstream media to shame!

  9. Only daily paper worth reading now is the Morning Star. Apparently JC reads it too,so I understand. People need to remember that the Guardian is a neo-liberal rag, a so-called intellectuals version of the Torygraph

    1. As always it’s a question of time to read everything but a lot of useful stuff in Morning Star on-line.

    2. Its interesting that the new drama – the press – is based in a ‘liberal leaning mainstream newspaper’. LoL – there aren’t any now! Obviously I switched off at this point.

  10. Coming from a family of ‘mixed race’, I find ‘Black History’ month embarrassing. We are not Black or White, we are both. We do not seek to belong in any ‘construct of reality’ or revisionist history. Too much emphasis on guilt & hate.

    1. But the black and the white working class (and others) have generally been written out of history and perhaps it’s good to search back in history to try to give them all a voice.
      From the Chartists to Tolpuddle to the Peterloo Massacre to the black slave in the West Indies who led a slave rebellion and before he was hung cried: “I would rather die a free man than live one more second longer as a slave!” We need to learn from history!

    2. Steve: interesting point, but many others don’t. Maybe their experiences have been different to yours. Would you deny them their choices?

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