Posts tagged: LBC

James O’Brien on Jeremy Corbyn: “I Believe in Faeries”

Listening to the podcast of the Thursday edition of LBC’s James O’Brien’s radio show, I was surprised that he’d admit that he might be wrong about The Labour Party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Previously he’d said that Corbyn supporters were akin to people who “believed in faeries.”  He’s repeatedly said that Corbynites were not pragmatic, that Corbyn isn’t electable, and the end of the Labour Party was near if he wasn’t put down.

Then came the Oldham West and Royton by-election on Thursday (December 3rd, 2015):


Now O’Brien is starting to ask if all the media is wrong about Corbyn.

I don’t think that the British public has had a change of heart since the national election in May. Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership mandate because people are looking for an opposition party.  Corbyn voted against the Iraq War and he’s anti-austerity,

In the USA many people support Bernie Sanders, for the same reason that many people in the UK support Corbyn. Blair/Brown’s “New Labour”  party of the 00’s moved the Party to more centrist right corporatist party in the same way that “New Democrats” transformed the Democratic Party in the 90’s  in the USA.

It’s hard to tell if this revolution in politics will be sustained or win elections in the coming years, but as per normal the revolution will NOT be televised.


Why I’m Angry at Conservative, Corporate Media

In a Twitter discussion with LBC radio presenter, Julia Hartley-Brewer asked me:

I AM angry. I’m angry because corporate conservative media outlets are engaging in a propaganda war against the poor. She and her station posted this:


I posted a response, saying that I thought this was just an attack on the poor. She responded by saying:

Since her housing benefit is .0003% of the benefit budget, the problem isn’t one of impact. In America we call this dog-whistle politics.

“Dog-whistle politics is political messaging employing coded language that appears to mean one thing to the general population but has an additional, different or more specific resonance for a targeted subgroup.”

“You should be outraged that lazy people are getting over on hard working people!” That’s the dog-whistle that British conservative media are sounding. If you actually read the story, the woman has lived in the area for 5 years and the reason rent is so high is because the housing market changed around her, not some special deal she has received. This does anger me, because this kind of political propaganda has an agenda, and that agenda is to incite class division. It’s done to mask real issues that matter, instead blaming the poor, immigrants, and the disabled. The most vulnerable people are blamed for the ills of Britian, but as I said in my previous post:

You can logically argue what banking practices caused the financial crisis in 2008 that still haunts the global economy, but you can’t say it wasn’t the fault of bankers.

The underlying push by conservative corporate media is that the economic collapse that happened in 2008 was due to immigrants, or the strain of the housing or employment benefit budget. I asked Hartley-Brewer what the percentage of the benefit budget housing is and she said:

But data from The Guardian will help put that amount into perspective: Public-spending-on-Benefi-001 Around 20 billion? According to the Guardian data, it’s more like £16 billion, but why quibble (if I was going to quibble, she still doesn’t give a percentage)? By my crude math, that’s about 12% of the total benefit budget. Pensions are about 44% (£74 billion) and paying interest on the debt is around £48 billion. If Julia is right, and the housing benefit is “huge”, then you’d have call pensioner’s pull on the economy as “gigantic” or “massive”. With that being true, why doesn’t Hartley-Brewer/LBC dedicate more time to pensions and debt reduction? I’m guessing they push immigration reform and benefit cuts for the same reason that UKIP pushes a false narrative about immigration. It might not be true, but it sure pushes buttons of angry, frustrated people. That in turn, brings listeners/voters. Talking about pensions and the strain they put on the budget would especially alienate (mostly older) conservative listeners/voters. Why do I care? Because the people who are the most vulnerable are used as scapegoats, while the rich and blameless continue to receive corporate “benefits”/”welfare”.

Oligarchy lives.

That is why, Julia, I’m so pissed off.

update: (10/30 1800 GMT)

Because oligarchy media scapegoating has consequences:

Fullscreen capture 10302014 121026 PM

Above is what British people think, verses what the reality actually is. Who is at fault? I’m looking at you, corporate, conservative media….

update November 09th, 2014:

Cost of benefit as a percentage of GDP:



Scroungers, Benefit Cuts, and the Tory Media

This morning I was listening to LBC radio and the radio presenter, John Stapleton (who was sitting in for James O’Brien), took a call from someone that said the Tories don’t care about benefit cuts and people in poverty:
[soundcloud url=”″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
Stapleton called the caller “harsh,” then parroted the government line. I had a brief conversation with him on Twitter, of which there was little response. I’ve noticed that when callers hit pay dirt on talk radio, the presenters don’t like to talk about it.

You can logically argue what banking practices caused the financial crisis in 2008 that still haunts the global economy, but you can’t say it wasn’t the fault of bankers.

When I read Howard Zinn’s “The People’s History of the United States of America”, I often wondered how people could be duped into supporting policies that actually suppressed them. I now understand how that can happen, because I’m seeing it happen globally today. In the United Kindgdom some will blame the floundering British economy on immigrants, some will blame the fiscal malaise on the NHS budget, but still others will blame the UK benefits system. The media willingly promotes this myth by producing shows like Benefits Street, that seek to build a narrative. But that narrative is simply fiction when applied to the majority of people claiming benefit. If you look at the benefits pie as a whole, a solid majority of it goes to pensioners. Do you see UKIP/Tories going after pensions/pensioners? If they really were concerned about the economy, they’d focus on the majority of the burden. But that wouldn’t win them any elections. Pinning immigrants against the poor, has always been a tool of the wealthy ruling class to keep the lower classes busy. This war is no different.

It’s hard to form policy around the actual data that shows the rich will get richer, and the poor will get poorer, because that won’t fire many people up. It’s all rather glum. It’s a much easier task to blame those who can least defend themselves. The poor, disabled, and the disenfranchised don’t have friends in places of power to advocate on their behalf, but the rich do.

Apparently they also have their mouthpieces in the media, as well.

Another example of this use of poor to forward an agenda:

WordPress Themes