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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Is Newsquest lying about taking BNP money?


    by Sunny on 19th May, 2009 at 4:50 pm    

    Today I rang up local newspapers owner Newsquest to find out why they were happy to take money from neo-Nazis and racists for party political advertising. The BNP may be a legitimate political party but they are still a party of fascists and racists.

    A salesman at Newsquest who said his name was James, said that Newsquest was obliged to carry advertising from the BNP as it was a “legitimate political party” and that not taking any money would be against “democratic rules of party political advertising” or some rubbish like that. He said, at any rate, that Newsquest was obliged to take money from the BNP and carry their ads because it was a political party. He referred me to the Advertising Standards Authority, who he said had codes that they had to follow.

    I rang up the ASA who said that they had no such codes and that their codes specifically exempted the press from their codes. See this page. They said I should speak to the Electoral Commission.

    So I rang up the Electoral Commission. They just called me back with a statement saying: “Under electoral law there is no obligation for a newspaper to carry any party political advertising. They are free to reject them if they wish to.”

    Which means a representative from Newsquest either lied to me or didn’t know the rules. In other words - Newsquest and their stable of local newspapers can reject advertising from the BNP if they so wished. Would you take money from fascists? Looks like Newsquest is happy to since I haven’t found any code that obliges them to. Am going to chase up Newsquest tomorrow morning.

    The NUJ have already condemned them.



      |   Trackback link   |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Media, Race politics




    34 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Leon — on 19th May, 2009 at 5:00 pm  

      Heh great bit of telephone journalism Sunny!:D

    2. Lancaster Unity — on 19th May, 2009 at 5:26 pm  

      Whether there is a requirement to carry BNP ads or not, Newsquest appears to have stopped (at least temporarily). See here: http://torytroll.blogspot.com/2009/05/have-newsquest-pulled-their-bnp-adverts.html or here: http://lancasteruaf.blogspot.com/2009/05/have-newsquest-pulled-their-bnp-adverts.html for more info.

      Ketlan

    3. Refresh — on 19th May, 2009 at 5:33 pm  

      Nice work Sunny. More of the same please.

    4. Is Newsquest lying about taking BNP money? | Free Political Forum — on 19th May, 2009 at 5:50 pm  

      [...] Original post by Sunny [...]

    5. sarah — on 19th May, 2009 at 6:52 pm  

      Why wasn’t this cross posted to LC Sunny? It should be!

    6. Sunny — on 19th May, 2009 at 8:15 pm  

      Lancaster UAF - TT has updated to say the contracts havent been broken or anything. So the ads may come back. And anyway - the ads may turn up locally within the newspapers if not the website.

      I’d like to see them clarify their stance.

      More tomorrow ;-)

    7. platinum786 — on 20th May, 2009 at 8:06 am  

      Good work Sunny.

    8. Sarah Ditum — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:52 am  

      Nice work. What the bloody hell is Newsquest up to?

    9. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 11:00 am  

      Would we take money from fascists?

      Well let’s see - what about the government?

      Don’t know - like i said on the other thread, if you are going to crusade against the BNP in the way you are doing, i can’t help feel it only makes it more attractive to those who feel they are ‘the underdog’.

      The best thing for the BNP -if one is trying to show them up for who they are - to let them make their mistakes openly, and show they’re not much competition/or a real option as a political party. Treating them - somehow massively differently from other political parties - is not the right strategy here.

      Yes - talk about their flaws etc. But this kind of ‘witchunt’ really plays into their hands, i can’t help but be sure of feeling. Its the same question of how you deal with Islamists. The more you isolate them, say you’re anti-them, the stronger they feel about what they are trying to do. same with the bnp. the more anti-bnp sentiment you reveal, the stronger they feel. what we need is to point out what the problems are. and that involves standing up - not just against the BNP, or the Islamists, but a lot of other institutions and government policies.

      the bnp are not the only “problem”, and we risk making them more of a threat the way this is all being approached.

    10. bananabrain — on 20th May, 2009 at 3:13 pm  

      you know what i wonder? i wonder if, at the same time we’re jumping up and down telling people why not to vote for the bnp, we are considering who else they are going to actually vote for instead? isn’t that whole “nobody speaks for us” idea what they play on in the first place? why aren’t they voting for mainstream parties? how do mainstream parties attract them if not by promising them immigrant-free jam tomorrow?

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    11. Mellie Agon — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:06 pm  

      sonia at comment #9 says that standing up to the BNP makes them more popular.

      What rubbish! I suppose the way to defeat Hitler was to shake his hand and give him Poland? Neville Chamberlain tried that approach and he has been derided ever since.

      The threat of Neo-Nazism grows year on year in this country because of the ongoing climate of Islamophobia and racism particularly against immigrants and asylum seekers. We should not concede one inch to them anywhere.

    12. Links and stuff from between May 19th and May 20th - Chicken Yoghurt — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:12 pm  

      [...] Pickled Politics » Is Newsquest lying about taking BNP money? - 'A representative from Newsquest either lied to me or didn’t know the rules.' [...]

    13. Rumbold — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:14 pm  

      Good work on this Sunny.

    14. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:35 pm  

      heh, well that’s not what i said is it - i said, its how you ’stand’ up to them. Yes - if you want to be intelligent - you’ve got to work out why someone like the BNP is popular, and you’ve got to ensure you don’t - unwittingly - go along with that. You can disagree with that if you choose.

    15. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:35 pm  

      good point Bananabrain, precisely.

    16. chairwoman — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:52 pm  

      Forget Newsquest, Nick Griffin has procured a ticket to a Buckingham Palace by devious means, and apparently there’s nothing Her Majesty can do about it!

    17. Ravi Naik — on 20th May, 2009 at 6:03 pm  

      why aren’t they voting for mainstream parties? how do mainstream parties attract them if not by promising them immigrant-free jam tomorrow?

      There is a considerable number of people who voted Labour and other mainstream parties and moved to the BNP, so there is definitely room to get them back without promising racist policies. Obviously, if you are a one-policy voter and that policy is having a white-only Britain, then there is nothing you can do to convince that voter to move away from the BNP.

    18. Dave S — on 20th May, 2009 at 9:26 pm  

      The postman delivered the BNP election leaflet today.

      I was grateful for this later on, when my cat ate his dinner too fast and promptly threw up on the carpet.

      I’d like to personally extend my thanks to the BNP for providing me with an instant disposable cat-vomit scoop. The density of the paper and the glossy ink on your leaflet made it perfect for the task.

      Anyone else found any creative uses for BNP election literature? ;)

      Ravi @ 17:

      Obviously, if you are a one-policy voter and that policy is having a white-only Britain, then there is nothing you can do to convince that voter to move away from the BNP.

      I used to hold this view, but recently I came across the Nonviolent Communication work of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, and I began to believe that, with enough compassion and good listening skills, it may actually be possible to communicate with racists in a way that is sufficiently genuine and non-judgemental that it would enable the permanent deconstruction of their racist views.

      I think it all comes from recognising that behind their apparent hatred of foreigners, is actually a misplaced, alienated expression of a different unmet need. Perhaps it’s one that they aren’t even aware of on a conscious level, because goodness knows - don’t we all feel that “something is badly wrong” at times, yet we can’t always work out what it is?

      Perhaps it is the need to feel secure in their communities, or safe in their jobs, or even just their need to feel heard, cared about as a person, and not exploited left, right and centre. I’m sure there are as many reasons for racism as there are racists themselves.

      If we really want to - if we really take the time to listen and communicate with someone, and genuinely empathise with their fears (while not necessarily agreeing with their diagnosis), then we can offer them the first hand up out of the pit of misplaced hatred that is racism and fascism.

      I admit that this is perhaps no easy task, but clearly something is causing some people to develop racist points of view. We can either fight against those points of view and further marginalise those who hold them, or we can extend the hand of compassion to them and guide them through the exploration of their misinterpreted unmet needs.

      I’m no apologist for fascists or racists, but I still try to recognise that behind those hateful views is a human being with needs and fears of their own. If we can break through the hardened outer shell and expose enough of our own humanity, then we may just be able to find theirs too.

      I’m not saying it will work every time, but I think it’s a at least a viable and positive approach to try on the floating BNP voter.

    19. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:06 pm  

      Good points Bananabrain, the traditional view was to ensure there wasn’t an economic vacuum ie high unemployment. we may not have had high unemployment, but what we did have was low value jobs. And a government obsessed with middle england. And the tendency to criminalise people.

      The response by Blunkett to the far-right instigated riots of 2001 was a turning point in the fortunes of the BNP. Blunkett thought the unthinkable, leaving us to pick up the pieces.

    20. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:07 pm  

      ‘I’m no apologist for fascists or racists, but I still try to recognise that behind those hateful views is a human being with needs and fears of their own. If we can break through the hardened outer shell and expose enough of our own humanity, then we may just be able to find theirs too.’

      This is exactly right. Of course it excludes the the category Ravi mentions. I am not sure if there is an answer for them.

    21. Ravi Naik — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:25 pm  

      If we really want to - if we really take the time to listen and communicate with someone, and genuinely empathise with their fears (while not necessarily agreeing with their diagnosis), then we can offer them the first hand up out of the pit of misplaced hatred that is racism and fascism.

      Good stuff, David S.

      In another thread, I have been debating something along these lines - that we should engage with non-violent Islamists even if we find their views extremist or hateful. It is a pity that some find this approach of engaging people we do not agree with, as appeasement, as compromising our views and ideals, or giving credence to extremist views.

      I admit that this is perhaps no easy task, but clearly something is causing some people to develop racist points of view. We can either fight against those points of view and further marginalise those who hold them, or we can extend the hand of compassion to them and guide them through the exploration of their misinterpreted unmet needs.

      Totally agreed.

      This is exactly right. Of course it excludes the the category Ravi mentions. I am not sure if there is an answer for them.

      I might be wrong on that account, Refresh… the fact that is harder, doesn’t mean it is impossible.

      Has anyone wondered why people become racist?

    22. Dave S — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:45 pm  

      Ravi @ 21:

      Has anyone wondered why people become racist?

      Practically every day, at least at the moment.

    23. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:58 pm  

      My view on the ‘one-policy voter and that policy is having a white-only Britain’ is that there is a psychopathic tendency involved, which would make it pretty difficult. I compare that to the voter who says ‘its them poles, or darkies taking our jobs’. As an example.

    24. Jai — on 21st May, 2009 at 12:49 pm  

      My view on the ‘one-policy voter and that policy is having a white-only Britain’ is that there is a psychopathic tendency involved, which would make it pretty difficult.

      Agreed.

      Some people are obviously going to be open to negotiation and reason (even though it may take a lot of time and effort), but others have the aforementioned psychiatric disorder which results in a severely diminished (even non-existent) level of basic human empathy towards (and identification with) their “targets”; the subsequent distorted perceptions cause them to view & treat the latter as subhuman or even inhuman.

      In those cases, force has to be met with force. The only way to deal with psychopathic people like that is to be smarter and stronger than they are.

    25. Mellie Agon — on 21st May, 2009 at 3:35 pm  

      “Has anyone wondered why people become racist?”

      Racism hasn’t always existed, it became widespread during the creation of the European empires. They needed an excuse for why they were murdering and enslaving many thousands of human beings. So they said the indigenous populations were inferior and it was for their own good.

      To this day racism is encouraged because it provides political scapegoats. It’s much easier for our rulers to blame unemployment, the housing shortage etc on minorities than to solve those questions, which would require social investment they don’t want to pay for. Or Islamophobia is used as an “excuse” for killing thousands of innocent people to take control of their oil.

      The rise of the BNP is assisted by Islamophobia, attacks on immigration and asylum-seekers, etc. If right-wing Labour hadn’t conceded to the racist narrative on these matters, the BNP wouldn’t have been given the ammunition they now have.

      It’s not a psychological problem but a political one.

    26. Sofia — on 21st May, 2009 at 3:43 pm  

      racism isn’t just a european issue…there are plenty of racist indians i’ve met…and the whole concept of conquering nations was about some sort of superiority and power complex which is also present in modern day racism

    27. sonia — on 21st May, 2009 at 3:59 pm  

      Yeah Mellie..there have been empires long preceding European ones..btw.

      Is politics not about manipulating psychology in any case?

    28. chairwoman — on 21st May, 2009 at 4:03 pm  

      The English and French have always loathed each other, the entente is not as cordiale as they would have you believe.

    29. Jai — on 21st May, 2009 at 4:44 pm  

      Racism hasn’t always existed, it became widespread during the creation of the European empires.

      Mellie’s actually correct, in relation to Britain specifically, at least with regards to genuine race-based prejudice towards non-white people and assumptions of the latter’s inherent inferiority (as opposed to just disliking people because they’re from a different country to oneself).

      Racism against, for example, South Asians only became really prevalent from the early 19th century onwards, because of a combination of Victorian-era evangelism, the theories about race which became widespread during that era, and the corrosive effect of imperial success and colonial expansion.

      There’s a mountain of historical material confirming that white British attitudes towards South Asians (and the subcontinent’s culture & history) had been very different prior to that period, both here in Britain and amongst the majority of East India Company officers who were in the subcontinent (not to mention the various mercenaries from Britain, other parts of Europe, and even America who were also present there at the time).

      I mentioned this briefly on the “token ethnics” thread, but William Dalrymple’s book “White Mughals” goes into an extensive amount of detail about the matter (there are plenty of other sources of information around as well, of course, many of which are referenced in Dalrymple’s book).

    30. Ravi Naik — on 21st May, 2009 at 4:52 pm  

      Racism hasn’t always existed, it became widespread during the creation of the European empires.

      Around the 18th century, European powers began to conquer the world and become immensely rich, enlightenment started the rational age in the Western world, and “scientific” ideas about race and white supremacy came about at that time.

      Still, I feel that the mindset of “us” against “them”, be it along caste, ethnicity, race or class lines, have been with us for a long time. Irish were considered niggers, lazy, drunks, in the 19th century. It is amazing how stereotypes remain, while the actors change. And in every generation, there seems to be a number of people who are tolerant, and a number of people who are bigots.

      I am guessing that perhaps, this is all about the capacity to empathise with your fellow Men, and to put yourself in someone’s shoes.

      Perhaps this is a simplistic explanation.

    31. Refresh — on 21st May, 2009 at 5:02 pm  

      ‘And in every generation, there seems to be a number of people who are tolerant, and a number of people who are bigots.’

      Kane and Abel syndrome perhaps?

    32. Rumbold — on 21st May, 2009 at 7:10 pm  

      Racism/xenophobia has always been around in Britain (as well as all other countries). Look at the way the Turks/Ottomans were demonised. Or other foreigners. Or the Jews. All that really happened in the nineteenth century was that more Brits came into direct or indirect contact with minorities (like when Brits in Britain read about the Indian mutiny). Obviously the empire reinforced a sense of superiority, but I wouldn’t say it created it. The East India Company wasn’t non-racist, it was just more interested in making profit. Plus it wasn’t in a position to do anything.

    33. Dave S — on 22nd May, 2009 at 5:34 am  

      Ravi @ 30:

      in every generation, there seems to be a number of people who are tolerant, and a number of people who are bigots.

      From everything I have read up on as a new parent, I am convinced that parenting style - particularly in the early years of life - has a lot to do with this.

      Books like The Continuum Concept, Why Love Matters and Three In A Bed hold the keys to the beginnings of being able to repair ourselves, and it starts from birth. (Actually, it starts from BEFORE birth!)

      Speaking for myself, even as an adult who was not parented in this way (though was parented with love) it has been valuable to read these books and come to terms with my own missing crucial life experiences. Doing this has helped me to understand the shaky emotional foundations that my life has been built upon, and to recognise some ways forward, to help me become a more secure person with less emotional problems.

      But this is a really slow process, and I know it’s going to take me perhaps ten years or more of quite serious effort and emotional turmoil to undo the damage that missing out on these crucial life experiences has caused me.

      I’m already finding that in sharing certain life experiences with my baby daughter, I’m beginning to “close” certain problematic chapters of my life that ideally should never have been “opened” in the first place, and could easily have been avoided.

      We really can repair much of what has been taken from us, but much better would be to not bring our children up to need “repairing” later in life - as I require now.

      I am thankful that despite missing out on huge sections of my emotional foundations, I’ve somehow managed to survive far enough to recognise that I have problems, and that with some sustained effort from me, a few lifestyle changes, and support from my partner and friends, I’ll hopefully be able to to something about it.

      I’m hopeful that despite having two emotional wrecks for parents, our new-found awareness of what lead us to become this way will help our daughter to have a much better chance of avoiding these type of problems as she grows up.

      But I’m not surprised that racism exists in a world where despite genuine best intentions and a lot of love from many parents, most (if not all) children in our society are raised - from day one - in a way which is really damaging to the foundations of their emotional and psychological development.

      As my partner put it after reading “Why Love Matters”, a more appropriate title would have been “Why Love Is Not Enough”.

      Our society is raising most of it’s children - even “nice” children from loving homes - in ways which are hugely damaging to them.

      We are systematically denying them (thus ourselves) a whole list of essential developmental experiences - experiences that without which, we can only ever hope to turn out fragmented, emotionally stunted human beings. (Myself included.)

      Unless we recognise this and put in the effort to remedy it (which if I’m honest, requires a massive overhaul of the way we think about things like “school”, and probably ultimately a remodelling of our entire society to one which cares about and has time for people a whole lot more) then social problems like racism are unlikely to go away.

      I believe that a different type of world can be created - if we want it hard enough, and put in the effort with our children and with ourselves. I also believe that the solutions to many of our current environmental and social problems lie down this route, and that in due course, we may have few choices left other than to pursue them.

      But unfortunately, a society of stable, caring, emotionally self-sufficient, non-needy human beings would present a much harder marketplace for the people who want to sell us products to fill the gaping voids in our life experience.

      There are entire industries devoted to maintaining the status quo, and keeping us in the emotionally fragile state to be “good little consumers”. Spend 5 minutes reading any “women’s mag” or deconstructing the actual message behind a billboard ad, and perhaps you’ll know what I mean. (Though again, we’ve all been conditioned to be completely unaware of being manipulated by marketing and the media in this way, and that is hard to unlearn.)

      This is the same emotionally fragile state which leads us to pursue alienated expressions our own dissatisfaction with ourselves, such as the empty promise of “a career path”. (A career path to WHAT? Unless we fix ourselves, we will never be truly happy, no matter what.)

      Unhappy people make good consumers, a docile workforce, and an easily manipulated population - they are good for the economy. While the state and multinational corporations can profit from maintaining this situation, it is unlikely to change.

      Thus, to conclude, I believe that we will ultimately be rid of racism when we are rid of capitalism and authoritarianism. Which is why politically, I am a libertarian anti-capitalist - better known as “an anarchist”.

      Nothing exists in a vacuum - everything is interconnected. Racism is no different.

      Make of my ramblings what you will.

    34. Jim — on 8th June, 2009 at 1:16 pm  

      Sunny,

      A few questions for you on the above:
      1) Is it worth posting a statement from a company with 8,000 employees made by a junior sales member?
      2)Why in any way whatsoever would this same person “lie” to you, what actual real benefit would he see from it?
      3) When you quote conversations, why do you not do just that? Does it not fit well with the point that you are trying to make?
      4) When someone clearly says ” i do not wish to make a statement”, is there anything that can be clearer?
      5) If you have access to the internet, why did you not contact the actual newspaper/site that ran the advertising? You do of course realise that you rang completely the wrong centre?
      6) Not a question, more a statement- I’d suggest that the “lying” you refer to is proved in someway. You’ll be hearing in due course…



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