Dave Crouch

Press freedom

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Should socialists support the findings of the Leveson inquiry? Dave Crouch argues that real freedom of the press should not be the freedom of powerful media owners to exercise influence, break unions and erode journalistic standards

There has been an avalanche on Bullshit Mountain. Set off by a timid stamp of Lord Justice Leveson's foot, the landslide of press outrage has buried the real scandal at the heart of Britain's newspapers.

Politicians and senior journalists have queued up to attack Leveson's report as a coup by the liberal establishment (the Daily Mail), opening the door to Stalinist state regulation (the Sun), threatening North Korean-style control (the Mirror), and giving succour to dictatorships such as Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan, China and Russia (more or less everybody).

Ricin!

Issue section: 
Author: 

Lawrence Archer and Fiona Bawdon, Pluto, £13

On a September morning in 2005 police stormed the home of the sleeping Maloud Sihali and restrained him with such force that he was permanently lamed. At the same instant they broke down the door to the flat of Mustapha Taleb - he was so terrified that he vomited.

The two Algerians had been acquitted several months earlier at a massive terror trial in which they and three other defendants were accused of an Al Qaida mass murder plot using the poison ricin.

Kill Khalid

Issue section: 
Author: 

Paul McGeough, New Press, £13.99

This is the closest that political writing gets to a John le Carré thriller. Kill Khalid is a highly readable introduction to the politics of the Palestinian resistance, focusing on Hamas.

The book takes its title from the botched Israeli assassination attempt in 1997 on Hamas activist Khalid Mishal, which effectively propelled him into the leadership of the resistance.

Conditioned to kill

Issue section: 
Author: 

As the war in Afghanistan continues without an end in sight, Dave Crouch delves into the testimony of serving soldiers to reveal the full horror of an unwinnable conflict.

The shell that killed seven year old Shabia was fired by British troops. As the mortar landed, fragments of molten shrapnel sliced into her fragile body while phosphorus burned through her thick hair. The patrol called an ambulance. But Shabia was transferred to a squalid Afghan hospital. Within hours she succumbed to her wounds and died.

When no news is bad news

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The rise of blogging, "citizen journalism" and free online content has been held as partly responsible for the demise of the newspaper industry. Dave Crouch argues the media corporations' greed is to blame for the thousands of journalists losing their jobs

Away from the newspaper headlines about the damage done to parliament by the scandal of MPs' expenses, democracy is under threat in the press itself. The recession is tearing great chunks out of the industry, which has already been squeezed by a long-term decline in readership.

The BBC bows to Zionist pressure

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The Zionist lobby has been deeply damaged by Israel's assault on Gaza in January. It is now trying to claw back some of the ground it lost - with the help of its friends in high places, namely in the senior management of the BBC.

Last month the BBC Trust censured the corporation's Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, for breaches of the BBC's guidelines on impartiality in his coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The complaints concerned an article by Bowen on the BBC website two years ago, and a radio broadcast in January 2008.

BBC: Whose side are you on?

Issue section: 
Author: 

The refusal of the BBC's top management to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Gaza aid appeal focused public anger over media coverage of the Israeli assault.

The BBC Board's position had nothing to do with "impartiality". When a dog savages a child, it is not impartial to stand back and watch the child bleed - that is siding with the dog. Hiding behind the shibboleth of impartiality in reality meant that the BBC sided with Israel.

Socialist Review (nearly) sells out

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Congratulations on your Obama: What next? issue (Socialist Review, December 2008). It was sustained, quality writing on a key issue from some of the most inspiring figures on the left and all with the feel of a worker's boot on the boss's butt.

Suitably uplifted, I bought ten copies to sell at work. So far I am only £3 down on my investment, well worth the feeling of working with nine other people who read the magazine.

Keep up the excellent work!

Dave Crouch
London

Nato and Russia: Georgia on their minds

Issue section: 
Author: 

What lies behind the conflict between Georgia and Russia? Dave Crouch explains why the Caucasus has become the new front for US imperialism.

The British media coverage of the war that erupted in the Caucasus last month almost universally portrayed a fragile little democracy terrorised by its big Russian neighbour. But a closer look at what happened reveals something different - a frightening escalation of the "war on terror" that masks the US drive for markets, oil and influence around the globe.

N is for national liberation

Issue section: 
Author: 

"Imagine there's no countries," sang John Lennon. "Nothing to fight or die for." It's a sentiment that any socialist would identify with.

How it sticks in the throat to hear Gordon Brown drone on about planting the union jack while he deports asylum seekers and sends more troops to occupy foreign lands.

So if we're so down on nationalism, why do we make it a point of principle to stand side by side with national liberation movements?

On one level the answer seems obvious. We wouldn't dream of saying "England for the English", but "Iraq for the Iraqis" is an excellent slogan in the anti-war movement.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Dave Crouch