BYPASSING THE MASS MEDIA

An exception to the near total absence of comment in the mass media (Morning Star excepted) of the BBC’s “institutional bias” in its coverage of Jeremy Corbyn has been Paul Myerscough’s analysis in the current edition of the London Review of Books. The fact that LRB is a low volume, specialist literary monthly illustrates the extent to which the capitalist press, including the Guardian, is united in its hostility to Jeremy Corbyn and explains why Corbyn’s team must bypass them and the BBC if they are to reach out to voters.

Myerscough’s article cites a number of occasions when the BBC’s editorial independence and objectivity when dealing with Corbyn’s leadership has broken down. Readers of this blog could no doubt provide many more examples. Interestingly, Myerscough identifies the cause not as the imposition of a producer’s or presenter’s personal views but rather the dislocation between the new state of party politics following Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour Leader and the broadcaster’s entrenched conception of what constitutes ‘impartiality’. The BBC’s idea of impartiality remains centred on the fine gap between the Tory-big business nexus and the Blairite rump in the Parliamentary Labour Party. They have failed to take account of the fact that the Burnham/Cooper/Kendall option, more of the same from Labour, was totally rejected by Labour members and supporters.

An opportunity to assist Jeremy Corbyn in his strategy of bypassing the mass media will present itself on Saturday, 7 November when John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor and Jeremy Corbyn’s principal ally in parliament, will open the Croydon Assembly at Ruskin House, Croydon. Registration is from 10.00 am and the Assembly will close by 4.30 pm. Other speakers include Christine Blower, NUT General Secretary, Andrew Fisher, economic adviser to Jeremy Corbyn, and Candy Udwin, the PCS shop steward the National Gallery sacked and were forced to re-instate. This is a stellar line up and, although you can turn up on the day unannounced, it would be appreciated if you could register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/croydon-assembly-fighting-the-tories-a-manifesto-for-action-tickets-18754943541. There is no entry fee.

The Croydon Assembly is an initiative by Croydon TUC to make contact, radicalise and organise the wider community. It has the enthusiastic support of the Communist Party members on Croydon TUC. A manifesto has been prepared over the last few months and will be debated and voted on at the meeting. This is definitely one meeting worth attending.

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25 Years of live music in the garden

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On Saturday 11 July we will be celebrating 25 years of live music in the garden at Ruskin House. The Communist Party in Croydon is supporting this event with enthusiasm and is encouraging local members and comrades from further afield to attend. We are planning to have a stall selling Party literature and the Morning Star will be on sale.

Ruskin House is not only the Party’s  national administrative centre, it is also one of the few labour and trade union centres left in the country. Its survival when many other labour clubs have folded is something to celebrate. This survival cannot, however, be taken for granted. Profits from the day will be donated to the Ruskin House Restoration Fund, much needed to fix leaks in the roof caused by the theft of lead and to repair window frames and brickwork.

Ruskin House is owned collectively by the local labour movement. This means that Labour Party branches as well as trades union branches share in the ownership. Historically, the former have not been particularly supportive – unlike the trade unions they provide no funding and in the past have supported moves to sell the building and pocket the proceeds  – moves that were only defeated by a combined effort by local trade unions. The Labour Party has, however, a chance, perhaps its last chance, to turn away from such discreditable behaviour by rejecting the three pseudo-Tories standing for Leader and electing Jeremy Corbyn, the Left candidate. In addition to the CP stall and the Morning Star sales, both supportive of Mr Corbyn, Jeremy’s supporters will be present in large numbers to state the case themselves. This need not be just a fun day for all the family, it could also represent a great political opportunity. Be there!

Croydon Communists and defence of National Health Service

John Eden

I am contributing a draft to a leaflet for the Croydon Communists, it is to be the basis of our intervention in the area by the party,it’s been many years since we have done this type of work.

In my previous blogs “Croydon and beyond” I have emphasised the world capitalist crisis as being the central driving force behind the “riots” in Britain and the “Arab spring”

In South West London including Croydon, a NHS review published this week says one of four accident and emergency departments and a maternity unit in the area will close, with the aim of saving £64.6million by the end of March 2013. How can you put a price on life  and health? but the capitalist system does. The NHS was part of the welfare state set up after the war, to prevent the  conditions that previously existed, where if you did not have the money, common diseases or accidents often meant death or being permanently disabled. In a civilised society health care should be an area of ever-increasing budgets as new cures are found.  In the last two or three decades with the acceptance of the neo-liberal agenda by all the main political parties including the Labour party, the NHS as become an internal market, where if you live in the wrong postcode, you may die because the local NHS trust as used up its budget, and now they are proposing to increase the internal market even further,which will drive down patient care, as lower tenders are excepted. It is said that nothing  exemplifies Britain like the NHS, all politicians have called it a national treasure, it’s what the people of Britain was prepared to accept in 1945, capitalism with a welfare state, Labour and the Con-dems all  say the NHS is save in their hands, but all agree on the need for market lead reforms. Andy Burnham Labour shadow Health secretary has criticised the present Tory-Lib coalition Health and social care bill, and if it helps to prevent it’s introduction good, but it should be remembered he  introduced GP commissioning in the NHS. His opposition as more to getting back in power and diverting attention from  Labours role previously of being the  main conduit for marketing of the NHS, just as they were for student tuition fees, they have become a stalking horse for the capitalist class. they are the means by which the profiteers get their foot in the door to public services. Here is what John Lister a leading campaigner in the defence of the NHS and against it’s privatisation, in an interview with Tomasz Pierscionek of the “London Progressive journal” 18th June 2010:

TP “There seems to have been a big expansion in PFI contracts (Private Finance initiative), in recent years, What is the reason for this?

JL: Well, PFI never happened under the Tories. The Tories devised the policy but they were never prepared to go as far as New Labour to placate the private sector and allow them to sign these deals with no risk to them whatsoever. The only piece of legislation New Labour passed in 1997 that pertained to the NHS, was short act : the National Health Service (Private Finance) Act 1997 which stipulated that in any PFI scheme that went broke, the debt would be picked up by the Secretary of State for Health” that is you and me the taxpayer, Labour bent over backwards to introduce the market to the advantage of the profiteers.