Who’s really demonising journalists?

The attack on Owen Jones was outrageous. So is the use of the attack to demonise the tabloid press.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill


There is a grim irony in the response to the assault on Guardian columnist Owen Jones. Which is that this attack on a journalist is being used by woke leftists, including by Mr Jones himself, to attack journalists.

No sooner had Jones been thumped by thugs allegedly on account of his political beliefs than Jones’ supporters were using the incident to thump journalism more broadly; to argue that it is the foul words of foul newspapers – especially the tabloids – that ‘embolden’ people to behave violently towards those they disagree with.

The attack on Jones is being described as an attack on press freedom more broadly. Perhaps. But the swift and opportunistic use of the attack to demonise certain sections of the media could prove to be the greater threat to press freedom.

It goes without saying, I hope, that the attack on Jones was horrible and outrageous. Especially if it is true that he was targeted for his leftish beliefs. That would make it not just a punch-up outside a pub, but also an act of political intolerance. That is out of order in an open, civilised society.

But that makes it all the more depressing that this alleged act of intolerance has been weaponised to a different cause of intolerance – the left’s intolerance towards free-wheeling, rabble-rousing press outlets. Or as Jones referred to them yesterday, when he was outrageously implying that they bear some responsibility for what happened to him, the ‘hate preachers’ of the media.

He claims his attackers were far-right activists. And he says such far-right activists have been emboldened by ‘people in the mainstream media who deliberately stoke tensions, who demonise minorities and who demonise the left’.

His target was clearly the tabloid press. He said: ‘We should just be honest about it. We live in a society where on the front pages of newspapers you have things like “enemies of the people”, “traitors”, “saboteurs” – that’s how people are discussed in politics.’

This reading of the assault has spread like wildfire in woke circles. But where is the evidence? Where is the evidence that the attackers were whipped up by those specific tabloid headlines? Where is the evidence that there is any link whatsoever between what certain newspapers say and what four men choose to do outside a pub at 3am on a Saturday?

Without evidence, this claim that the red-top press is partly to blame for violent assaults looks like little more than middle-class prejudice. Prejudice against certain newspapers, and more importantly prejudice against the people who read them, who are presumed to be so fickle, so easily warped by words, that a few spicy headlines can convince them to wallop a Guardian columnist outside a pub.

Why is the accusation of ‘hate preacher’ always made in one direction only – that is, towards the right-leaning press? Who, we might ask, is responsible for the violent assault on a 60-year-old feminist at a trans-sceptical event in Speakers’ Corner two years ago? Was it the virulently anti-‘TERF’ sections of the press, which includes Mr Jones himself, which frequently dehumanises certain feminists as bigots and haters? If the Mail is responsible for the violent assault of a left journalist, why aren’t left journalists responsible for the violent assault of a so-called TERF?

Or who is responsible for the attack on Andy Ngo in Portland? The so-called antifa forces who assaulted him, very violently, notably used milkshakes. They were clearly inspired by the middle-class milkshaking phenomenon in the UK and possibly by pro-milkshaking journalists at newspapers like the Guardian, one of whom said milkshaking is a valiant effort to ‘reduce men of pomp to figures of ridicule’. If the Express bears responsibility for right-wing violence, does the Guardian bear responsibility for left-wing violence?

We might also ask whether supposedly liberal media outlets have helped to stir up Islamist violence. We’re often told that right-wing newspapers embolden far-right terrorists. By the same token, might it be argued that the leftish media’s incessant, overblown claims about rampant Islamophobia fuel the violent victim mentality of people who carry out such atrocities as the Charlie Hebdo massacre or the Manchester Arena bombing? After all, that bomber was apparently convinced that Britain is a disgustingly Islamophobic society – where might he have got that idea from?

In spiked’s view, it is always wrong to blame news outlets for people’s violent behaviour. This lessens the responsibility of the violent person himself and also contributes to a view of the press as a dangerous thing in need of tighter control. Owen Jones is no more responsible for violence against ‘TERFs’ than the Mail is responsible for violence against Owen Jones.

Yet the fact that this has so swiftly become the story of the Jones assault – the idea that media speech fuels such violence – is testament to the censorious instincts of the woke left. It took them no time at all to marshal this horrible incident to their ceaseless and elitist endeavour of demonising the tabloid press in particular. The assault sounds like a horrible act of opportunism – but there is opportunism also in the attempted use of the attack to censorious ends.

No one should ever be attacked for what they think or say. That includes Owen Jones, Andy Ngo, Carl Benjamin, feminists who think men can never become women, and everybody else. There is illiberal menace in the air, that’s for sure. But the blame can’t be pinned on particular newspapers or articles. The problem is a broader culture of intolerance towards different opinions – and that ugly culture comes more from the PC establishment itself than it does from a few saucy front-page headlines.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

Rod Liddle and Brendan O’Neill in conversation at Podcast Live!

Rod Liddle and Brendan O'Neill
– live in London

Podcast Live

Podcast Live, Friends House, London, NW1 2BJ – 5 October 2019, 2.30pm-3.30pm

To get tickets, click the button below, then scroll down to The Brendan O'Neill Show logo on the Podcast Live page.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


Knickertwist Copperby

22nd August 2019 at 10:20 pm

Owen Jones is a virtual-signalling attention seeker who has a twisted belief in his own importance. His stand-up routine on the Today programme (I watched the clip afterwards rather than listen live to the British Brainwashing Corporation) began with an ‘amusing’ aside: ‘It was my birthday drink, mid-thirties, low point’. The men concerned ‘charged’ at him in a ‘very pre-meditated, very targeted’ way with ‘military precision’. They were, apparently, ‘far right’ thugs. How does he know any of this? He experienced a ‘flying kick to the back’. But guess what? He does not have a scratch on him. He is traumatised but somehow remembers every minute detail of what occurred. He was with his friends ’30 metres away’ from the assailants. People in shock don’t usually have such recall. Where is the CCTV footage? We are under surveillance 24 hours a day. I look forward to seeing an observer’s mobile phone footage. Someone, somewhere saw what happened. In this day and age, we are observed at all times. Owen Jones is a cynical opportunist if ever there was one. He could not be happier. He can play the victim and ‘dine out’ on this with his Guardian pals for evermore.

Hana Jinks

23rd August 2019 at 12:22 am

Berserk stuff. Wish l could understand what was going thru his mind to try this on so soon after the Smollett situation.

Anthony Dennison

21st August 2019 at 3:50 am

The media didn’t cause this apparent (although highly unlikely), attack on Jones. Jones caused it with his social media abuse of just about everyone, his calls for violence against anybody he disagrees with and his support of terrorist organisations, in particular the IRA.

alan smithee

20th August 2019 at 4:44 pm

Nothing was shown in the whole of Islington on CCTV and he couldn’t keep his eyes still in his latest rant about it. It’s only a matter of days until he’s sacked. Nothing happened.

gershwin gentile

20th August 2019 at 1:08 pm

Can we remind ourselves this is an ALLEGED attack. Jones has form for telling massive porkies. Me thinks Jones has done a “Smollett”.

Pater Bater

20th August 2019 at 11:49 am

He has one of those faces – sure they couldnt help themselves

William Brown

20th August 2019 at 11:14 am

I watched Jones on the BBC (imagine that), saying that “it was the far right wot done it, gov”. No sign of even the slightest graze. Was he whipped with daffodils, or somesuch flower.

Jusse Smollett anyone?

Colin Beehan

19th August 2019 at 11:54 pm

So four “far-right thugs” organised a premeditated attack on Owen Jones but were unable to even scratch him? That sounds very likely.

Winston Stanley

19th August 2019 at 11:25 pm

The little ferret squirt represents the British State, no massive surprise there. There is still plenty of time, wait and see what happens.

“There is a revolution coming.”


Winston Stanley

19th August 2019 at 11:41 pm

Hana Jinks

20th August 2019 at 2:07 am

Winston Stanley

20th August 2019 at 6:24 am

That was a JOKE btw, no serious insult intended. Obviously he should be free of harassment, the same as everyone else, and I urge all to excel at peaceable and rational debate. Let us make this a democracy fit to live in.

Hana Jinks

19th August 2019 at 9:10 pm

Beta No’Zeal.

Pray-tell why I’d want to be tolerant of the levt and their vile pe rver sions? And you shouldn’t need to be reminded that you’re a fake-news shill. Fey-gays used to be quite quickly disabused of the propagation of their lies, until your lot destroyed our schools.

John Little

19th August 2019 at 7:50 pm

Labour’s little Madam Defarge. I wouldn’t put it past him to have set the whole thing up. Even if it was genuine, the fact that he’s cynically using the incident to attack the press show what a moral dead zone he inhabits. Anyway. How are we to know it wasn’t simply a bunch of Momentum thugs who thought he might be Jewish?

Ed Lauber

19th August 2019 at 4:34 pm

Yes!! Keep Exposing the woke culture incapable of self-critique yet full of blame.

Jane 70

19th August 2019 at 3:48 pm

O J is unbelievably irritating and self righteous; could it be that this caused the attack? A group of blokes finally lost the plot and piled in?

Jerry Owen

19th August 2019 at 5:30 pm

I allude as such in another post.
Listening to the irritating little twerp crying on the BBC yesterday he couldn’t get the words , racist, homophobe, bully , thug, Trump, TR , rise of the far right, emboldened, hate, violence, out quick enough, and when he had, he spluttered them all out again.. and then again, so tedious.
‘We got a problem’ on Youtube has the BBC interview.
I wasn’t aware there were any ‘far right thugs’ in Islington I thought they were banned from that particular republic, anyway all pubs have CCTV so we will soon know. But if we never know, then we will know if you see what I mean !

Jane 70

20th August 2019 at 5:13 pm

I keep wondering why it is that so many of our progressive soothsayers make me see red: OJ, Lineker, Maitlis, Cable, Adonis, Geldorf, Markle, Lammy, Corbyn, selected beeb presenters, Abbott, Hope not Hate, Lucas, Sturgeon, etc, etc.

Why are they all so annoying?

Is it just me? Don’t think so.

Danny Rees

19th August 2019 at 8:04 pm

There are lots of media personalities that people find irritating and self righteous on both the Left and the Right and also minor celebrities like sanctimonious TV chefs who preach to us about what we should and should not eat.

If everyone went out and bashed any of these people there would be out of control anarchy.

Don’t be silly.

Pater Bater

20th August 2019 at 11:56 am

Man needs six of the best!

Puddy Cat

19th August 2019 at 3:33 pm

I think that the vigilantism that Caroline Lucas used in this instance, and which Owen reverted to, was not their most shining moment. I cannot agree, as implied here, that being beaten up is a good thing for anyone and decry those that resort to it. But in the phase of street violence we see in London at the moment it seems quite within the normal parameters of hooliganism. I just pray that this isn’t a Reichstag moment. I hope that Owen is beyond giving violence some sort of affiliation to any particular political view. As we know full well violence comes in many forms and, currently the Left has ownership of e-trolling. Owen is someone that can dish it out but is somewhat cowardly, no not cowardly, incapable, of taking it, witness him walking out on a celebrated TV debate. MP’s are egged, creamed and traduced regularly and shamefully. Perhaps it is a mechanism by which people become more diplomatic, by understanding that sometimes they are not pleading that they are treated exceptionally or unfairly when they themselves are the authors of some pretty grim writing and strident views. I hope he is not too hurt and recovers soon.

Jim Lawrie

19th August 2019 at 6:29 pm

Trolling is not violence.
Any form of physical attack is a crime and should be prosecuted.

Given that the violent overthrow of The State is in the political DNA of so many of the Spіked cadre, I do not know who they think they are fooling with this outrage that it is coming to this.

The well policed areas of central Islington are completely insulated from the street violence of much of the rest of London. So while I agree with you that the above incident is trivial, for Owen Jones it is cutting edge and revolutionary.

Neil McCaughan

19th August 2019 at 3:18 pm

I do hope little Jussie soon recovers.

Hana Jinks

19th August 2019 at 9:14 pm

No evidence, right? ..lol.

Danny Rees

19th August 2019 at 2:21 pm

Everyone slags off journalists.

The Right slag off journalist on the Left and the Left slag journalists on the Right.

Wake up Brendan.

James Knight

19th August 2019 at 6:02 pm

Erm, hello?! There is a difference between “slagging off” and implying they are responsible for an assault.

David Lindsay

19th August 2019 at 2:02 pm

Owen Jones and I have not been speaking for some time, and that suits us both. But a long time ago, the Blairite Right, which was then the Government, tried to murder me. Hands around my throat, and everything. It has now spent more than two years trying and failing to send me to prison. I am the victim of an active death threat from its pro-Modi and pro-Netanyahu allies in the United States. Through those common causes, it now has close ties to the Far Right, going to the very heart of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

So I send Owen all solidarity. If anything, I welcome him to the club. Not least because we now have a Prime Minister who was caught on tape conspiring with a professional criminal to have a critical journalist beaten up. Britain is rotting from the head down.

Jose M. Ruiz de la Orden

19th August 2019 at 1:24 pm

Is there any proof of said assault? Pictures, police report anything that would qualify as proof? I just want confirmation that this actually happened. Please reply with a link to some tangible like pictures of after the beating. bruises and what not, because until then I am loathed to believe him.

Andy Bolstridge

19th August 2019 at 6:43 pm

No idea about proof… but there are 5 CCTV cameras around that pub (must be a bit of rough, the kind of pub nobody should mince into and expect to walk away from without a bit of abuse)

Photos of the cameras are online, but no report of any CCTV or police report yet.


Jerry Owen

19th August 2019 at 12:36 pm

At two in the morning you should be deservedly and quite rightly pi**ed out of your trolley. O Jones is an irritating little weasel, and he was simply gobbing off and annoyed some people who saw him outside and had a go, these things happen. I’ve had issuess in nightclubs in my younger days, it happens, I never blamed the far right.
Attacking anyone is wrong , but O Jones milking it for political gain, which in turn ramps up tensions between the rancid left and the rest of us ordinarly Brexit voters cancels it out for me.


19th August 2019 at 3:41 pm

More likely he is so paranoid that he is looking about him all night and he ended up getting the traditional “you looking at my bird” and the subsequent punishment for the assumed action.

Jerry Owen

20th August 2019 at 6:00 pm

More like ‘you looking at my crotch’ I would suggest in Owen’s case.

Jim Lawrie

19th August 2019 at 11:59 am

He is prepared to laugh off and trivialise milk-shaking and by extension more serious assaults on the elderly, no matter his lip service condemnation. So he must be called upon to apply the same standards to himself, regardless of the motives. More so that he arranged for himself to be filmed in the thick of it, man of action style. He approves of violence to stop his opponents meeting and demonstrating.

There is more to human communication than the spoken word, and looking down your nose at people in a pub is a good way to provoke a reaction. More so at two in the morning when alcohol and cocaine are likely to be combined with the aforementioned resentment.

The fact that he is so quick to skip over what in fact happened suggests he does not want an investigation. His assailants must have been a right bunch of nancy boys if they had to be four handed to take that little scroat.

I am surprised at how quickly Spіked pass comment on such as this, based on what they have heard. I am not surprised at Jones’ eagerness to play the martyr, and I view the whole thing in this light.

Jerry Owen

19th August 2019 at 12:17 pm

Jim Lawrie
Owen had five mates with him, he was attacked by 3-4 people. he and his mates seemed to have earned the tag ‘soyboys’ in some quarters !

Jim Lawrie

19th August 2019 at 6:11 pm

3-4 people? Can’t they count? Does this put them in the same arithmetic class as Diane Abbott?

John Millson

19th August 2019 at 10:57 am

He didn’t ‘have it coming to him’.
It would be good if ‘tabloid’ media could sometimes edify rather than vilify especially in these times.
Can the stickiness and public shaming of a milkshaking be compared to kicks to the head, which could be fatal?

Deirdre Toomey

19th August 2019 at 12:00 pm

No reason to assume that the attack was related to his political position, unless this were voiced. Harmless young men get beaten up all the time for no reason. I talked to one in hospital recently.
However the Guardian making a meal of it is otiose.

David Lindsay

19th August 2019 at 2:03 pm

He’s 34. They don’t attacked regularly for no reason.

Jim Lawrie

19th August 2019 at 12:22 pm

Milk-shaking is public shaming? The deed becomes its its own self-evident justification?
That puts it in the gift of the perpetrators to make the judgement and impose the punishment?

On a pro-Brexit pensioner outside a polling station on election day? Would you have looked on in silent approval or would you have ban joed the guy?

John Millson

19th August 2019 at 2:51 pm

I would be lying if I said I found the milk-shaking of Tommy Robinson really upsetting, but I do appreciate the discouragement of it, especially in times like these. But it’s not ‘violent’ in the same way as pushing someone to the ground and kicking them. Does it differ from egg, flour or rotten tomato-throwing? The motivation is to ridicule and humiliate. To do it to someone not in the public eye though is wrong and cannot be defended and could justifiably lead to retaliation.

Jerry Owen

19th August 2019 at 1:19 pm

No, which is why the left want to ramp it up to ‘acid shaking’ !


19th August 2019 at 3:48 pm

Seeing as the milkshaking is premdiated seeing as they have to go and buy the milkshake it seems you think that the comparable pint (glass) of beer is the equivalent in this situation which would most likely have caused a lot more injury. Visible injury at least.

You are trying to fit the “reasonable force” rule here into unprovoked attacks and we don’t even know if this was unprovoked. Most “debates” don’t end in “we’ll agree to disagree” at 2am leaving a bar.

And someone below posts that most 34 year olds don’t get attacked regularly for no reason. I daresay that most 34 year olds don’t often leave bars at 2am!!! Wife and kids see to that.

Jerry Owen

19th August 2019 at 5:16 pm

John Millson
You clearly miss the point. physical contact against anyone is reprehensible, no matter if it’s a bovver boot or a milkshake.

Melissa Jackson

19th August 2019 at 10:45 am

The part of this I find particularly strange is that not very long ago Owen went to a Brexit Party rally and filmed it for the Guardian.

The crowd called him a tosser, and said that he was wrong and a commie agit-prop author. But that was that. No-one attacked him. The closest that it came to blows was some wag shouting “Do you want a milkshake Owen?” to which Mr Jones responded like a terrified squirrel and that got quite a laugh. No-one threw a milkshake, they just threw his own rhetoric back at him.

So, to have this event happen a little while later, having already discovered to his shock that most of his opponents are neither far right nor violent, is a bit bloody suspicious.

Who on the right even cares what Owen has to say? He has nothing of any value to say. He is not some dangerous opponent who needs to be shut up. He is doing more harm than good to the left.

I do not wish to sound conspiratorial, but I would suspect some opposing faction of Bolsheviks before I suspect the mythical far right.

James Hillier

19th August 2019 at 10:37 am

And I was only just growing accustomed to the unusual condition of feeling solidarity with and sympathy for Owen Jones.

Willie Penwright

19th August 2019 at 10:30 am

“Spare me the tears over a banana milkshake.” – Owen Jones.
Spare me the tears over a punch-up outside a pub.

Amelia Cantor

19th August 2019 at 10:22 am

The “grim irony” is that this attack confirms what Owen and all right-thinking people already know: that hate speech is not free speech, because hate speech leads inevitably to violence towards members of vulnerable communities such as the LGQTQIA+ community, the Jewish community and the Muslim community and other communities of colour. That’s why NONE of those communities believe in “free speech” for haters. Hate speech → violence → another Holocaust.

The “grim irony” is that O’Neill is now spluttering desperately to find some way of spinning this attack as something other than it is.

Jerry Owen

19th August 2019 at 1:24 pm

A Cantor… any news on the latest from ‘Neil Farage’ ?

Ven Oods

20th August 2019 at 1:06 pm


That’s a new one. I’m guessing Loud, Garish, Querulous, Tactless, Inane, Argumentative Plus?

Jane 70

20th August 2019 at 5:22 pm

Eventually we might well have to employ all 26 letters of the alphabet to do justice to the various victims of straight oppression.

Nathan Dale

20th August 2019 at 5:50 pm

Just because they are a “vulnerable” group, doesn’t mean they are right or that we should accept them. If we believe we are a liberal society than we can tolerate them – but that does not mean we need to promote or normalise their beliefs or practices.

Society needs moral and cultural norms and we ALL get to decide what’s in and what’s not – not just a cabal of left wing progressives.

I note how you missed out of that list of threatened groups – Christians. Even though they are globally the most persecuted religion by a mile and in the UK the focus of police heavy handedness and workplace discrimination.

Mark Lambert

19th August 2019 at 10:19 am

After the Orlando gay club massacre, Owen Jones was insistent that it wasn’t an Islamic attack which came right in the middle of Islamic attacks. He insisted it was an LGBT attack. That’s the Sky paper review where he go so miffed, he got up and left.

But here, he is not insisting that it was an LGBT attack but at far-right political attack.

Why has he done that?

Danny Rees

19th August 2019 at 9:54 am

Owen should shut up for the sake of diversity.

That’s what he would say right?

H McLean

19th August 2019 at 9:20 am

Jones blaming it on ‘far-right activists’ if, of course, wish fulfilment on his part because there’s probably no more that a few dozen ‘far-right activists’ in the country. The truth is the people responsible were most likely just ordinary men sick to the back teeth of him pushing Bolshy propaganda.
All journalists bring their own degree of partiality but Jones is simply the worst kind, one who’s commitment to radical ideology far outstrips any notion of journalistic balance or truth. A hundred years ago he would have been working for Stalin. He may not have deserved to be attacked but he certainly had it coming.


19th August 2019 at 3:53 pm

Gobby chap in pub, locals have enough of it. Some go the old school route. Happens every night somewhere.

Most times it ends up with Gobby chap saying sorry and keeping his head down but we know Owen likes to make a stand.

Danny Rees

19th August 2019 at 8:09 pm

So being gobby justifies assault?

Hana Jinks

19th August 2019 at 9:33 pm

You should know that better than anyone, Danny.

Danny Rees

19th August 2019 at 8:07 pm

He had it coming because you disagree with him

Ven Oods

20th August 2019 at 1:11 pm

Hardly ‘ordinary men’, else pub car parks would see regular carnage. They were thugs (if indeed it happened).

Jerry Owen

19th August 2019 at 9:03 am

It was of course absolutely disgraceful that the BBC allowed Jones a ten minute slot to attack the ‘far right’ , homophobes, Islamophobes, Trump, TR, ( these aren’t all exclusive to the ‘far right’ don’t forget ) etc without not one jot of evidence about his attackers.
So yes we can attack the media for it’s blatant bias, stigmatizing a certain section of society.
Apparently they uttered not one word when attacking him, this sounds very odd to me , surely if you attack someone you want them to know why you are doing it.
Jones upon being asked what his evidence he had that it was a ‘far right’ attack said he couldn’t divulge the information, upon being asked if he had presented evidence to the Old Bill, he also said he could not divulge… actually he could, but he didn’t ..why ?. This whole story reeks, as for his being kicked in the head 8 hours prior to his BBC slot ( didn’t hang around eh.. hotline no doubt ) that is also suspicious.
The media do have a care of duty to report with due consideration to evidence or not. The BBC should make it clear this is a totally unproven story.. but then why have it we know don’t we ! This could be the proverbial fake news which the BBC is apparently self appointed arbiter of sniffing out.
It wouldn’t surprise me one iota if it weren’t another faction of the left that did it.
My experience of the left is that factions fall out with one another as much as they do with the ‘far right’.

Jerry Owen

19th August 2019 at 9:05 am

Further to my last post ( moderating at present .. why oh why ? ) if the attackers didn’t speak at all when attacking him then just what is his evidence that he will not divulge ?

Andrew Leonard

19th August 2019 at 11:57 am

The far-left got away with the lesbian bus attack paint-job hoax, and now it seems they’re at it again.

Eliot Jordan

19th August 2019 at 8:51 am

Sussie Jmollet

steve moxon

19th August 2019 at 9:13 am

Indeed. Who would put it past the hate-mongering ‘PC’-totalitarian dishonest bigot to completely invent it?

Martin Bishop

19th August 2019 at 8:29 am

So are you saying the written word has no power of influence? Edward Bernays was just wrong? Der Stürmer had no influence either? No such influence as propaganda influence?

Melissa Jackson

19th August 2019 at 9:27 am

Propaganda cannot override a person’s ability to control their own actions. No matter what, you always have that autonomy.

Propaganda is unpleasant and contributes to an obnoxious public debate, but it’s not mind control.

Martin Bishop

19th August 2019 at 1:53 pm

The very point of propaganda is to influence the recipient into either action or inaction by influencing the thoughts and feelings behind the decisions that lead to action or inaction.

Our actions and inactions are based upon decisions we make. Those decisions are based upon how we think and feel, which can be, and often is, manipulated.

Ven Oods

20th August 2019 at 1:19 pm

M Bishop holds that “The very point of propaganda is to influence the recipient…”

I can’t disagree, but how effective is it? Were lots of Britons militating for surrender to Germany, or was Lord Haw-Haw just inept?


19th August 2019 at 3:56 pm

It does have influence but the individual is the interpretor and the one who decides upon the action. The article isn’t just about saying that it is the individual, it is examining the blindness of the left to their hypocrisy in that daily they do exactly what they are trying to complain about yet it does not register to them that they are doing it.

Steve Roberts

19th August 2019 at 3:56 pm

Martin Bishop, there is an aloof and dislikeable arrogance in your two posts, regards the “manipulation” isn’t it strange that there are those, presumably like yourself ,who can be objective, reasonable and rational , can absorb all manner of influences that are all around us all in society and yet remain as autonomous non acting beings, in control of your emotions and actions and then there are the other lesser beings who cannot . Those monkey see monkey do neanderthal uneducated, easily manipulated types who must be “protected” from their inadequacies. Protected, as you allude to from , the written word, from speech in fact from thinking autonomously, all that must be stopped in “their” interests of course. Authoritarianism writ large i would suggest under the guise of protecting the lesser beings, whose fault it is not that they don’t have your qualities . Tell you what, give us free speech, a free press , free expression and a basic understanding of the difference between speech and action anyday, i’ll take my chances with that in society rather than the lack of freedoms you suggest.

Hana Jinks

19th August 2019 at 9:39 pm

…and up pops Peeved Gobbett’s with some of the most incomprehensible drivel ever seen on here.

Bri -an

19th August 2019 at 8:22 am

Very powerful post, I find it right on target.
But the way to rebut it is to undermine the ‘facts’ being employed against our way of life.
Curiously the adopting carbon dioxide as Green politicians weapon of choice is absurd beyond belief (perhaps that is the problem?).
Without carbon dioxide there would be nothing ‘green’ on planet Earth, none whatsoever. Without photosynthesis from carbon dioxide there would be no life on land, no life in the oceans and no birds in the air.
Very Marxist, seeking to destroy what you claim to preserve.


19th August 2019 at 3:57 pm

And if they stopped cutting down the woodlands of the US to provide “wood pellets” and the Amazon to plant “bio fuel” then they might find the CO2 levels actually maintain a bit better.

Jerry Owen

19th August 2019 at 5:21 pm

Without carbon dioxide not only would there be nothing green , there would also be nothing alive shortly after.

Jane 70

20th August 2019 at 5:19 pm

I’ve just read a review of Saint Greta’s likely carbon emissions as she sails west with her poo bucket in her carbon fibre yacht.

Crew being flown to and from US to UK. Saint Greta supposedly being followed by some kind of power boat as she proceeds on her maiden voyage.

Apparently she can see CO2; good luck with that GT.

This is reminiscent in some way of the Children’s Crusade of 1212


Stephen J

19th August 2019 at 8:06 am

It seems to me that the main target of lefty hate are those other people who manage to swim easily with the bigger fish.

This is genetic, and worse than racism.

Bri -an

19th August 2019 at 8:05 am

Is there anything to reassure us that the attack on Jones wasn’t a set up job?
For me it reeks.

Danny Rees

19th August 2019 at 9:55 am

Yes you’d say that if this was an attack on a Conservative journo.

James Knight

19th August 2019 at 6:03 pm

Well it is what lefty journos suggested about an attack on an elderly Brexit campaigner.

Danny Rees

19th August 2019 at 8:05 pm

My point proven then.

Christopher Tyson

19th August 2019 at 7:45 am

No one in the liberal establishment batted an eyelid when Ton Blair called for an insurgency against Brexit, this is a man who has fought more hot wars than we can remember not just culture wars. When Cable and the Liberals used the slogan ‘bollocks to brexit’ thus was not crude and vulgar, you understand, this was a parody of what they think is the argot of Brexit supporters. The rich and the powerful say ‘why have a guard dog and bark yourself’ they have all manner of ways of getting what they want without getting their hands dirty. Indeed I would argue that the establishment are quite comfortable with provoking violence, they can use the violence of their opponents for propaganda but more importantly the state has the monopoly on violence, and come the crunch as Joe Strummer said ‘the British Army is waiting out there..’. What they cannot cope with is critique and debate, these they simply ignore.

Bri -an

19th August 2019 at 8:24 am

Reply to CHIS MARLEY below.

Bri -an

19th August 2019 at 8:25 am

I replied to CHIS MARLEY

Mark Williams

19th August 2019 at 3:56 am

Owen Jones couldn’t hide his glee over the spate of “milkshakings”. Predictably, the Left — well, the woke Left, which is basically the Left these days — claimed such actions weren’t violence. Not only weren’t such actions violence, they were celebrated by most of the Left.

Again, predictably, we saw such attacks make their way over to the US, Antifa using milkshakes in their “protests” and general thuggery.

Now Jones is attacked, and he’s [rightfully] angry. But where was his disdain when political violence started to ramp up?

I can’t stand Owen Jones. I think he’s a stain upon humanity, a far-left lunatic who knows — knows! — Marx’s failed ideology will bring salvation… despite Marx’s ideas having led to more than 100 million deaths in the 20th century.

However, he should not be attacked. And he should have denounced the violence when it began. He didn’t, and hence I have little sympathy for the guy.

I’m surprised the BBC actually called him a “Labour activist”. He’s definitely not a journalist.

Graham Hill

19th August 2019 at 1:52 am

“You are a virtue signalling child …except you are 38.” I have been reading Carlye’s The French Revolution. It is an anaysis for our own times. It is a salient fact that the proponents of “formula”, ideology cf reality, have little regard for “humanity.” Marx certainly exemplfies that in his poetic writings, was sexist and racist. But still remains unsallied by the left.. A further similarity to 1792 -1795 are the ages of the major players. Most were under the age of 38.

Winston Stanley

19th August 2019 at 7:10 am

Any system of economic or political ideas and ideals is an “ideology”. Democracy and capitalism are no less ideological than anything else. The Tories are ideological, Lib Dems, Christians, everyone with a system of ideas. There is no “neutral” system of ideas that is not “ideological”. The dominant ideas in any society are ideological, just as much as divergent ideas.

William Murphy

19th August 2019 at 7:45 am

I recall from my Civil Service trade union days back in the 1980s how “ideology” was weaponised by the assorted shades of Marxists. “Ideology” in their vocabulary meant the dominant set of ideas in a capitalist society. The suggestion that Marxism is an ideology did not fit into their world view.

Chis Marley

19th August 2019 at 1:16 am

Try this. A sick individual allegedly murdered 51 human beings in my city on March 15th. I cried.I would be ashamed if I hadn’t I listened to the helicopters passing over my home shuttling the victims to hospitals around New Zealand through the night.. The next day mention was made of a manifesto.It was suppressed. The Guardian mentioned white supremacists. The NZ Govt & MEDIA took the ball and ran with it. I would never read read such delusional bile anyway even if it hadn’t been suppressed. It would be an insult to the victims. Here`s the rub….I was reading a very good article on climate change Malthusian ism . My God.. I stumbled straight into the sick foliage of the manifesto the pond life that so hurt our city and our friends. I was not pleased. I paused. It upset my moral compass. Forgive me I read on. Then I got realy angry. I despise climate emergency extinction hypocrisy. The don`t love the earth. They HATE humanity. To find this drivel is used as justification to murder 51 souls in our city but to accidentally discover that the Labour/Green New Zealand Govt suppressed these salient facts because they didnt; want to spread hatred.? but were comfortable allow the impression linger that it was a far right white supremacist conspiracy sort of thing when if fact the majority this bile was the same venomous anti- human hate held to be virtue within the green movement.
But as for the disgust I feel the New Zealand Government. This is peak hate…this s informed apoplexy… I would hate to think this manifesto was suppressed to avoid the collapse of your shitty little coalition lest the cold light of day shone a light on the consequences Green Party and the bilious hatred it has already inspired.And the fact the victims religion was used to identify as immigrants which might embarrass the Labour Party because it pledged to reduce immigration. So I suspect a moral equivalency inherent in being economical with the truth in allowing only the alt right ` white supremacist` `usual suspects` trope to inhabit the public arena? Especially sick in my opinion as Christchurch has been routinely branded racist over the years pretty much because to North Island eyes there are very few Maoris on the streets we have a cathedral and like gardening. But to avoid embarrassing the Labour/Greens coalition you allowed Christchurch to be potentially smeared with the white supremacist trope. Wonder how that discussion went..let me guess `well all North Islanders think Christchurch is racist anyway so the mere mention of white supremacy should shut them up.`
And to think of you Prime Minister, in a hiquab embracing the grieving families.
You are a moral vacuum.
You are a disgrace.
You are a virtue signalling child …except you are 38.

Hana Jinks

19th August 2019 at 9:55 pm

The two Books’ of Kings are replete with warnings about the election of women and children to positions of authority, and you poor Kiwi’s have the quinella. What an utter menace. And how traitorous is it to be sympathising with them to the point of appropriating their garb?

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to comment. Log in or Register now.