It is clear to anyone who has been witnessing the media frenzy around UKIP, or has been campaigning on issues of national importance like Fracking and Disabled People’s rights, that there has been a media blackout on progressive voices in society and a strengthening of the voice of reaction.
This can be roughly traced back to the end of the Occupy protests, when after the rise and rise of anti-establishment protest movements, and societal reaction against austerity and police brutality (as in the riots), the new heads of the BBC, (who are Tory peers), aligned with the rightwing press, to avoid discussing progressive politics in totality, even to deride it.
Instead the cultural message propagated across the media has been one of hyperbole around immigration, cultural snobbery, the demonisation of the poor, and some fantastical pummeling of meaningless distraction in the shape of obsequious royal family fanaticism and nationalist celebration of sports and war (though we did enjoy the Olympics).
Reporting social security news becomes even more biased towards 10 Downing Street, head of news at Department for Work and Pensions - DWP joins the BBC
Please sign petition regarding 'Bias in Election Reporting' & Respect Petition
More friends of the Conservatives take over lead positions within the license funded broadcaster. BBC News communications chief brings in Department for Work and Pensions head of news Jonathan Reed
Reed’s move follows two years at the DWP, including time working as press secretary to Chris Grayling. He joined the department after working as a political reporter for a number of regional titles.
One BBC insider added the move was a part of a broader effort to "sharpen up" the BBC’s operation.
This cannot go on.
This is our first communique/brief on the subject but there will be more to follow. In it, we wish to briefly sketch our hopes for reclamation of the national debate for the people, and of a plan of action to achieve this.
After writing on welfare and issues of economic and social justice over the past 12 months, we believe there is an ongoing war on our minds.
This war of the mind manifests itself in distraction and false debate. We wish to challenge this paradigm.
We want to talk about aspiration and positivity. To borrow Plan C’s audacious slogan, we believe in a world of luxury for all.
We live in a world of abundance, of eternal resources of energy from natural sources, to eternal resources of creativity, from the minds of humanity.
Some people are already living the changes we all wish to see in the world. The changes towards less pointless unfulfilling work, less damage to environment, less violence towards each other and more time and freedom to be the person you want to be.
We wish to hold up these examples, promote them and show that, yes, another world is possible.
We also want to talk about misdirection and reality/rationalism. Not all debate can be rational, or should be. The emotional is valid, even if that manifests itself in scorn and anger at points.
We must recognise that sometimes that the way people feel about something cannot necessarily be reasoned with in pure logic and facts alone. This is why we need a politics of aspiration.
But it is also why we must change the terms/premise of the debate. Arguing about racism and immigration, the size of poor people’s TV’s and ASBOs, are the wrong debates.
They are divide and rule tactics by the elite, expressed through the political and media establishments, to distract us from tackling the genuine causes of societal problems. Those causes almost always have one root, and that is the search for profit.
We need to talk about freedom and liberty. We need to talk about inequality and wealth. We need to talk about the environment and resources. We need to talk about alternatives and achieving them.
To be part of this movement for change, RealFare are undertaking a variety of projects over the next 12 months in the lead up to the 2015 elections – and hopefully beyond.
The first is the Real Tour. Our intrepid contributor Thomas Barlow is going to bike across Britain for 8 weeks in search of Middle England/Britain. To do this he will be visiting 12 swing constituencies, as well as stopping at key campaign sites like Reclaim the Power, Anti Fracking camps, and festivals like Shambala.
He will conduct interviews with notable campaigners from the area, as well as surveys and vox pops, and he will distribute the soon to be printed RealFare news-sheet.
This will hopefully help us build a network of interested people who will help promote and share news and contributions from RealFare (and other sources).
Following this in early winter there will be Real Talks, a conference with a twist. We will have big name speakers who will drop their motivating knowledge bombs like all the other conferences. Except these speakers will be in a room with only a camera for company, where their talks will be live streamed and archived for free internet distribution.
This is because the real juice will be in the other activities at the conference.
There will be networking and stalls from a huge array of community and activist groups.
There will be skill-share workshops running concurrently all weekend, to learn about everything from video activism to direct action planning.
There will be live theatre, music and poetry, sometimes intervening directly in unexpected places.
There will be, in short, plenty of fun to be had and connections to be made, as we try to move away from a world of internet networks, to a world of concrete human connections.
Following this we will have a plan of action for all participants to freely engage in, that should be easy to squeeze into the most marvellously crowded of lives.
This will be involve targeting media institutions and putting pressure on them to engage with alternative subjects, and move away from the politics of distraction and divide and rule.
This will culminate in a Spring campaign to target the Daily Mail, surely one of the most spiteful publications in existence, with a number of secret, but developing, actions and stunts that should hopefully give us the energy in the lead up to the elections to get real issues talked about.
This won’t just be about talk, it will be about creating and showcasing alternatives, and about campaigning and working together to create a better world.
Viva la revo-love-tion!
To find out more or to pledge help email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will keep you updated on our action.
Examples of Media Blackouts:
Bias and the BBC
50-70,000 strong NHS protest in Manchester
Disabled People Against Cuts Protests
Cops Off Campus student protests
Part Re-blogged from RealFare
More info: from REALFARE