Monday, April 04, 2011

UK Anarchy - NOT

Ben Goldacre points out

'The Sun said: “Police have charged nearly 150 people after violent anarchists hijacked the anti-cuts demo and brought terror to London’s streets.” The Guardian republished a Press Association report, headlined: “Cuts protest violence: 149 people charged”. And from the locals, for example, the Manchester Evening News carried “Boy, 17, from Manchester among 149 charged over violence after anti-cuts march”.

In reality, a dozen of these charges related to violence, while 138 are people who were involved in an apparently peaceful occupation of Fortnum and Masons organised by UKUncut, who campaign on tax avoidance'.

IMO: Only a dozen "real" arrests after a demo of 1/2 million people sounds either like a good demo or inefficient policing. Probably both. And the media of course are ridiculous as usual. None of the major media seem to support the general public and it will presumably be worse after the Murdoch press are allowed to run things. (Leaving aside the BBC for s variety of reasons, the most favorable paper is perhaps the Guardian, but see Guido Fawkes on Polly Toynbee as the tip of the iceberg there.) I thought it was a bit of a joke when they let Rupert take over "News of the World" as in Australia most people had a view on the Murdoch press. But I assumed that the Poms would wake up enough quickly enough. They did not, and now anyone would feel sorry for the poor Poms. But clearly the Pom's own press is abominable, as the above extract illustrates. Let us hope they get AV and can clear out some of the worst politicians at least. But science reporting is uniformly bad everywhere in the English speaking world. I remember some comments made to me by Vincent Walsh some years ago about the terrible standards of the media in science reporting, and things have only got worse. Perhaps the "Big Society" could set up some Watchdogs with teeth. A firm like Carter-Ruck could even ensure a profit for that, if only they wanted to.

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