Who Are The Enemies Of The People?



The nation’s media is in trouble again. It started with a small story.

In the Sunday Times, critic Camilla Long horrified many with her condescending review of Ken Loach’s well-meaning polemic ‘I, Daniel Blake’. In doing so, she revealed the widening gap between the press and the public.

Last year Kate Winslet and Judy Davis starred in ‘The Dressmaker’,  a sort of revenge western with sewing machines. To the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw, a critic with narrow tastes and a slavish addiction to fashionable auteurs, it was a red rag; his innate good taste was trampled, so he helped to kill it.

The problem is that critics like Long and Bradshaw are strait-laced snobs. (Recently they voted David Lynch’s ‘Mulholland Drive’ the No.1 film of the 21st century.) There’s no-one as censorious as a good liberal.

But on the right wing things are now far worse.

The headlines of the tabloids concerning the ruling of the independent judiciary over Brexit this week were appalling. When high court judges operating within a democracy are labelled with ‘Came out as gay’ and ‘friend of Tony Blair’ as pejoratives, something is very wrong with the national press.

Former ministers have warned that the febrile tone of media coverage, which included the judges who ruled against the government being condemned by the Daily Mail, is poisoning public debate.


People who still read newspapers are always shocked when I tell them about some of the simple tricks used by copy editors – that’s when I realise that general readers have no idea how journalists’ editorial meetings work. Anyone who has worked for a national newspaper can tell you in advance what goes in on which day, and why.

One thing is obvious. It’s the press that’s out of touch and who are acting as enemies of the people. And the only way we can limit their power is buy not handing over money to them.


9 comments on “Who Are The Enemies Of The People?”

  1. Roger says:

    Judges are supposed to be out-of-touch. They are expected to decide cases without fear or favour and without being worried about what a millionaire editor paid by a non-domiciled billionaire say the Great British Public believe.

  2. SteveB says:

    Camilla Long had nothing to do with films before the ST suddenly made her film critic, did she?

    The BBC news app has a daily round up of the papers with images of each front page, if you dont want to buy them!

  3. Crprod says:

    Welcome to the 21st century! Who knows what will happen on next Tuesday here.

  4. Ian Schofield says:

    In the interests of balance, the Daily Mail is easily matched by the BBC and Channel 4 which regularly broadcast features, interviews and editorials aimed at undermining the referendum decision and casting doubt on the eventual outcome of negotiations (‘Brexit Street’, ‘Eastern Europeans in Brexitland’ etc etc). Oddly, the ‘former ministers’ are less than vocal about this.

  5. Wayne Mook says:

    Constitutional crisis, wow, MPs who we voted for to decide on the terms of Brexit as opposed to a Tory leader they voters didn’t vote for. I guess you can spin this anyway you wish.

    What makes them think the MPs would vote to remain, there were plenty on all sides who wanted Brexit.

    If the judged pictured are targeted in anyway will the paper be done for incitement.

    Judges making decisions on constitutional law, whatever next.


  6. admin says:

    I agree, Ian, with the cavil that the BBC and Channel 4 rarely make up stories completely from scratch, which the Mail has a long, long history of doing, especially after the ‘two sources’ rule was removed.

  7. Vivienne says:

    It makes me more confident in my prediction that Theresa May won’t last long. I don’t see how anyone wishing to be taken seriously as a statesman can so easily dismiss the considered judgment of thee senior lawyers.

  8. Helen Martin says:

    Law and the interpretation of same is the purview of lawyers and judges, isn’t it? Lawyers write the laws and judges interpret them in cases appearing before them. That’s where the expertise lies. If it doesn’t work out the way it should then the lawyers in the House have to rewrite it. It doesn’t matter how you want a certain situation to turn out, what matters is whether the relevant legislation was clearly written.

  9. Wayne Mook says:

    Vivienne – one word, Blair.

    I rest my case.


Comments are closed.