“Today’s Institute for Fiscal Studies assessment of the Conservatives is clear: their plans would damage our economy and public services. They also confirm that the Tories have not specified any additional funding for the NHS, meaning a continued crisis in our health service if they are re-elected next month. The Tories plans on schools will mean continuing to sell away our future, with continued real terms cuts to per pupil spending.
The only numbers we saw in the Tory manifesto were the page numbers. But what has become clear today is the choice at this election – continued austerity and falling living standards under the Tories, or higher wages and increased investment in our public services and infrastructure under Labour.”
Britain has one of the most concentrated media environments in the world, with 3 companies in control of 71% of national newspaper circulation and 5 companies in command of 81% of local newspaper titles.
The hacking scandal and its aftermath demonstrated how that power has been used nationally, whilst at local level community after community is losing the means to publicly hold power to account.
Urgent reform is needed to reclaim the media in the interest of the public.
– Who owns the UK media? – Media Reform Coalition
Update: Also read…
updated: 16:34 20 May 2017
“We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion.” So begin the familiar tones of Adam Curtis….
Watch HyperNormalisation here in full.
We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, random bomb attacks. And those who are supposed to be in power are paralysed – they have no idea what to do.
This film is the epic story of how we got to this strange place. It explains not only why these chaotic events are happening – but also why we, and our politicians, cannot understand them.
It shows that what has happened is that all of us in the West – not just the politicians and the journalists and the experts, but we ourselves – have retreated into a simplified, and often completely fake version of the world. But because it is all around us we accept it as normal.
The film has been made specially for iplayer – and is a giant narrative spanning forty years, with an extraordinary cast of characters. They include the Assad dynasty, Donald Trump, Henry Kissinger, Patti Smith, the early performance artists in New York, President Putin, intelligent machines, Japanese gangsters, suicide bombers – and the extraordinary untold story of the rise, fall, rise again, and finally the assassination of Colonel Gaddafi.
All these stories are woven together to show how today’s fake and hollow world was created. Part of it was done by those in power – politicians, financiers and technological utopians. Rather than face up to the real complexities of the world, they retreated. And instead constructed a simpler version of the world in order to hang onto power
But it wasn’t just those in power. This strange world was built by all of us. We all went along with it because the simplicity was reassuring. And that included the left and the radicals who thought they were attacking the system. The film shows how they too retreated into this make-believe world – which is why their opposition today has no effect, and nothing ever changes.
But there is another world outside. And the film shows dramatically how it is beginning to pierce through into our simplified bubble. Forces that politicians tried to forget and bury forty years ago – that were then left to fester and mutate – but which are now turning on us with a vengeful fury.
Listen to the Adam Curtis interview from Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service
The award-winning documentarian Adam Curtis speaks to Jarvis Cocker to talk about his new BBC iPlayer film, ‘HyperNormalisation’. HyperNormalisation tells the extraordinary story of how we got to this strange time of great uncertainty and confusion – where those who are supposed to be in power are paralysed – and have no idea what to do.
Politicians used to have the confidence to tell us stories that made sense of the chaos of world events.
But now there are no big stories and politicians react randomly to every new crisis – leaving us bewildered and disorientated.
And journalism – that used to tell a grand, unfurling narrative – now also just relays disjointed and often wildly contradictory fragments of information.
Events come and go like waves of a fever. We – and the journalists – live in a state of continual delirium, constantly waiting for the next news event to loom out of the fog – and then disappear again, unexplained.
And the formats – in news and documentaries – have become so rigid and repetitive that the audiences never really look at them.
In the face of this people retreat from journalism and politics. They turn away into their own worlds, and the stories they and their friends tell each other.
I think this is wrong, sad, and bad for democracy – because it means the politicians become more and more unaccountable.
I have made a film that tries to respond to this in two ways.
It tells a big story about why the stories we are told today have stopped making sense.
But it is also an experiment in a new way of reporting the world. To do this I’ve used techniques that you wouldn’t normally associate with TV journalism. My aim is to make something more emotional and involving – so it reconnects and feels more real.
BBC iPlayer has given me the opportunity to do this – because it isn’t restrained by the rigid formats and schedules of network television. It’s a place you can go to experiment and try out new ideas.
It is also liberating – both because things can be any length, and also because it allows the audience to watch the films in different ways.
The film is called Bitter Lake. It is a bit of an epic – it’s two hours twenty minutes long.
Continue reading Adam Curtis’ post and watch the trailer here
Writer chosen to write Assange-inspired comedy advocates murder over democratic free speech in production due to be broadcast in the run-up to the general election. And that’s the way the BBC works, because every little bit helps.
“if the met want to regain my trust they should drag Assange out the embassy + shoot him in the back of th head in the middle of traf square” – Writer Thom Phipps’ tweet https://twitter.com/thwphipps/status/236073062531997696
“Written by Thom Phipps and Peter Bowden, the comedy is part of a BBC season next year called Taking Liberties, celebrating 800 years of Magna Carta and exploring democracy in the run-up to the general election.” – http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/dec/11/ben-miller-bbc4-comedy-asylum-julian-assange
Propaganda works best when its subtlety woven into the media fabric.
Noticing he’d been rumbled, Thom Phipps removed the guilty tweet. But before he did, we took a full screenshot and present it for you here – please share. Download Thom Phipps’ Guilty Tweet