Wednesday, 9 January 2008
The Super Soaraway Guardian Articles
Most of the people viewing this article will have been on The Guardian 'Comment is Free' site at some time or other.
Many bloggers actually started their own bloggs after The Graun started to censor-out the interesting contributors - ones like Mr Pike Bishop and Szwagier.
Many of us migrated to Frank Fisher's, now defunct, site once he showed us that the ordinary Gutty Herbert could make a contribution to political debate.
That's how I started. I still visit The Graun from time to time and it is sad to see how the site has been taken over by 'the powers that be'.
The following is a case in point.
Early this morning, I found the following Guardian Story about equal pay and the influence of no-win no fee lawyers.
The article was advertised on the front page of Comment is Free.
The subject of workers rights is very close to my heart and I have written about matters related from time to time, here and there.
I looked forward to making a contribution to the thread, today.
Surprise, surprise, when I looked for the article at lunchtime today I could find no sign of it despite my being well used to finding articles which are no longer on the front page.
Now, that is a strange one.
The last comment was at 2 a.m. from DeadLetterDrop.
Why should this be so?
Well the article was about equal pay and the authors are heads of the two largest unions concerned.
The article stated :
'There are three serious allegations here: that the unions did nothing to push for equal pay in local government; that unions lie to their members; and that we pressurise them to accept bad deals.'
Those posting comments appear to have had a fair amount of knowledge of the matters referred to in the article and were set to trash the Union Leaders.
Could this be why it was pulled so quickly?
Comments sometimes are deleted, we are told, on legal grounds.
None of the comments I saw were deleted.
The article wasn't deleted, just well hidden.
Extremely well hidden.
I only found it because I knew the name of one of the authors.
So, is this how it works?
The Union leaders can say that the matter was public and gave a chance to reply, when in fact that is not the case in practise.
The last time I was particularly aware of this kind of thing was when John Reid was comprehensively trashed - you can now see it here.
He had written one of the most pompous and condescending articles, ever, about the problems at the Home Office : 'If you renovate a house you start by taking the wallpaper off. Only then do you discover more problems.'
This went down very well.
For example :
'Who we gonna call? 'Colin and Justin'.
Wonderful, Mr Reid you have made my day.
The vision of this tough guy mincing his way through the bowels of the Home Office with two of Scotland's finest will stay with me forever.
Are Colin and Justin 'fit for purpose'.
'In nine days, the team transforms a Home Office, not shying away from full-on renovation in its effort to take the Home Office from blah to brilliant.
The budget ranges from $zillions to $godzillions; the Government pays for nothing 'to maintain control of a project'.
'We have fun with the Home Office Ministers, but we also listen to them and try to incorporate their dreams in to the design,' says Justin.
When asked about ugly details that will send them reeling, Colin says it starts with the outside of the house. 'If you walk up to the door and you see gnomes or clay-pot sculptures or (images of) Labradors on the floor mat, you know it's going to be awful.'
Bring 'em on.'
The Odious Mr Reid was sent away with his tail between his legs (hence the picture of Mr Blair's favourite attack dog at the top of this article which was stolen from Stef's site).
Not only was Mr Reid's article pulled, it disappeared from the Graun archives as well as from the 'list of articles' attributed to Reid.
It just didn't exist anymore.
Orwell must be spinning in his grave.
NOW THAT IS CONTROL OF THE PRESS ISN'T IT?
Postscript : The Reid article eventually made it back into his 'list of articles' after a few months. This occurred only after someone else had posted the thread to a mirror site.
If that had not been the case, I would have had no proof of my allegation of media manipulation by the powers that be.
Such a mirror site is hosted by DeadLetterDrop
More to follow, I am sure.