Analysis comment

Tories ban Sunday Times and C4 from asking questions at daily briefing

Cowardly-bully Tories desperate to evade scrutiny reduce list of ‘approved’ media still further

The Tories have added the Sunday Times to their list of media banned from asking questions at the government’s daily coronavirus PR-exercises, because the paper has been critical of their performance – or lack of it – over the pandemic. It joins Channel 4 on the banned list.

The Sunday Times has recently described Boris Johnson ‘sleepwalking’ into the coronavirus crisis and highlighted Johnson’s failure to attend any of the first five ‘COBRA’ emergency meetings convened to plan for it.

Like most bullies, the Tories are cowards – running desperately from scrutiny and hoping that banning any media that ask hard questions or reach unpalatable conclusions will frighten other outlets into toeing the line.

But with the disastrous track record of Johnson and his sidekicks, avoiding scrutiny and allowing only the friendliest media to participate in question-and-answer sessions is the only way the Tories can continue to fool the public into believing they have been anything but a catastrophe.

In early February, ‘MSM’ journalists staged a walk-out when some of their number were banned from a Downing Street briefing. Interestingly, there seems to be no sign of any similar action over the Tories latest perversion of democracy and accountability.

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  1. So much of for transparency and scrutiny, lasted less than a day
    Keir Starmer the ball is in your court especially as, I believe the artist previously known as sicknote, agreed to cross party working this morrow.

  2. It is somewhat ironic that the figures for China have vanished from the daily briefing charts because the Tories doubt their veracity.

  3. We seem to be getting a lot of medical support from China,despite not one single death blamed on the virus.Lockdown was enforced strictly but it looks like we didnt need too much help but it shows solidarity with a neighbour and that the Chinese have spare capacity and are thinking for the future rather than planning for mass burials.

  4. The people of Cambodia along with Veitnam and Laos seem to have a inbuilt ability to cast off a virus ,despite these Tropical areas being a breeding ground for most of the viruses that would drop even a elephant

    1. Now, Joseph, you seem to have a grasp on the fact that the virulence of this virus is dependent on much more than the political colour of a government.

      There is some evidence, for instance , that one group of factors are related to latitude and climate, with *higher* latitudes more susceptible to Covid-19.

      Then there is a possibility that the widespread nature of other viruses in the Far East leads to a general enhanced immunity to this one.

      …. and so on.

      Blame Johnson & Co. for things they actually control – if there’s the evidence – as there is for prior failures and preparation. But trying to blame them for everything just distorts the picture and leads to false MSM-type conclusions – like the certain efficacy of lockdown or quantity of testing as ‘cures’.

      The UK has a particularly high rate of deaths – but France, Spain, Italy and Belgium – with different regimes have higher rates and differing responses. Sweden, with basic social distancing in place has a lower rate of death. Simple nostrums don’t work.

      Yah-boo politics is beside the point where excessive government control based on flimsy evidence is a major issue.

      1. RH And nobody in Cambodia has been treated to the Tory care homes carnage…Stop the diagnosis of the virus and get on with making sure that the Torys own this virus and the planning process of mass murder.

      2. “… process of mass murder .. ”

        Sorry, Joseph. I was mistaken

        … the concept that you might be perceptive was entirely mistaken.

        Carry of fantasizing as you transfer allegiance to your latest favourite country (with a pretty good history of ‘carnage’)now that France (the last) has more Covid-19 deaths than most other countries (including the UK)!

        Was it all down to the French Revolution or just Macron?

  5. On the subject of newspapers,this mornings Express is reporting Bunter as “glowing with renewed vim” so it would seem he has been following Trumps advice.

  6. Where is this reported in the MSM ? Nothing in the Times or on the Twitter feeds of Times and ST journalists ? Can you source this ?

  7. Thanks for informing us Skwawkbox. C4 and the ST’s non-adherence to the Fourth Estate’s compliant adherence strategy is encouraging, but hardly revolutionary or radical otherwise both would have explained the distinctness of ‘antisemitism’ and pro-Palestinian rights.

    Misinformation, omission and smear are still key weapons in their arsenal to protect and promote the status-quo.

    1. Not just our thanks Skwawkie, but, once again, parts of the the MSM are following your lead:

      “A few days ago The Guardian ran a piece listing all of the NHS staff alleged to have died of Covid19. So did the Telegraph. And the BBC.” – Off-guardian, Coronavirus Fact-Check #4: “Why are so many healthcare workers dying?”

  8. Interesting the Sunday Times was banned by the Tories, yet, the Murdoch stable of propaganda rags were in the vanguard to denounce, decry and despair at the mere notion of having a democratically elected socialist Labour government. Moreover, they, along with the rest of the right wing and so called Liberal, and I use this word very loosely, News outlets plus the State “ impartial “ Broadcaster were singing the praises of Bojo and his merry men from the high heaven. Yet, within a very short space of time he has been found wanting and been found out, except of course for the misguided who still think he is doing a good job. The power of propaganda never ceases to surprise me.

  9. Democracy deficit
    MSM and toilet papers are fundamentally corrupt and anti democratic
    So what to do when we win power
    How do you ensure a free press and impartiality

    1. Remove unaccountable billionaires from total control of editorial policy; facilitate Bottom-Up neighbourhood -based communication channels ; and, of course, encourage extensive COST FREE education?

      Democracy, participation and socialism = indivisible and inevitable (and why the Few own and control our fourth estate)

      Is course even a weak implementation of Leveson would be a massive step forward in the meantime

    2. Well, Doug one of the first steps is continue with the Leveson 2 enquiry, reenact the powers of the monopolies and mergers commission, reform the law of libel which reversed the onus on the accused to prove their innocence .

      Hence one reason why the gutter propaganda rags can produce such sensationalist blatant lies such as all the concocted fabrications against Corbyn and also ordinary people by for example secretly listening to people’s voice mail plus dead children’s like a thief in the night and walk away letting it go down the memory plug hole again.

      However, the truth is perhaps there is no such thing as an impartial press and it’s a question of redressing the balance so there is a plurality of voices instead of the right wing and so called “ liberal “ billionaires who use the propaganda organs to crowd out any dissent to their goals of creating a corporate socialist state to get politics and the state to create monopolies to enrich themselves even more.

      The old adage there is enough for everyone on earth but never enough for greed comes to mind.

  10. I believe that Freedom of Speech is a fundamental pre-requisite of any democracy…………but I too would ban Channel 4 News (along with the Guardian). both unable to differentiate comment & opinion from fact..

  11. It really does indicate how far the MSM is to the right when C4 and the Sunday Times are banned from briefings because of their very mild criticisms of the Tory government’s handling of the Corona virus pandemic.

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