- Labour leader has brought in Stop the War Coalition chief Andrew Murray to help with his general election campaign.
- Murray is a former communist party member who believes in a “socialist” solution to the press.
- Murray called for the takeover and defeat of British media.
LONDON — Jeremy Corbyn has brought in Unite union official and Stop the War Coalition chair Andrew Murray to work on the final stages of Labour’s general election campaign, according to Paul Waugh at the Huff Post.
Murray is a former Communist party member, who has previously expressed “solidarity” with the regime in North Korea. He also has some pretty hardline views on British media
In September last year, Murray told the conference of the Corbyn-supporting Momentum group that British media organisations must be taken over and “defeated”.
Speaking at a Momentum meeting on “Jeremy Corbyn and media bias,” Andrew Murray said there had to be a “socialist” solution to media ownership in the UK, insisting that there must be a “change in ownership” away from the “tax exiles and ne’er-do-wells” who currently own most newspapers and broadcast media.
“In the end when we address media power, we have to address the question of ownership,” he said.
“People say we need better regulation, but the problem is ownership and control. That is the heart of it. And socialism applies to the media just as much as any other industry.”
He said the Corbyn movement was engaged in “hand to hand combat” with the media but he believed the battle could be won.
“As bad as the media is, it is not all powerful, it can be defeated,” he insisted.
He added that any socialist solution to media bias against Corbyn must include the BBC.
“[There is] a narrow clique at the top of the BBC increasingly controlled and appointed by government,” which needed to be removed, he insisted.
“[There is] a narrow clique at the top of the BBC increasingly controlled and appointed by government.”
Murray singled out the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg for criticism.
“It was completely wrong that the criticism of Laura Kuenssberg was turned off like a tap,” he said apparently referring to an online petition that was closed down following misogynistic abuse against her.
“Laura Kuenssberg, no more than any other woman, should not have to face misogynistic and sexist abuse… but the fact that misogynistic abuse is directed at Laura Kuenssberg does not make her a good journalist and we have to keep the pressure on the BBC to rebalance its coverage to actually start taking seriously the fact that half a million people have joined the party led by Jeremy Corbyn.”
At the meeting, a representative from the Corbyn-supporting ‘Media Response Unit’ called for Momentum to engage in mass complaints against the broadcaster.
“We’re building an army at Momentum so let’s use it,” he told the meeting.
Another member of the audience suggested that the group should campaign to force the BBC to put blue stickers on newspapers to make it clear they support the Conservative party.
“The BBC has a programme called ‘What the Papers Say,” he explained.
“Why can’t we rebrand that programme to be called ‘What the Tory Papers say’ and when Andrew Marr has his newspapers across his coffee table, why can’t we have a blue sticker that says this is a Tory newspaper that doesn’t pay any tax in the UK and start some kind of campaign, because people trust labels like the Telegraph and the Times as if they’re impartial. They’re not impartial and we need to point that out more.”
One woman compared the British media to the spoon that Keanu Reeves’ character holds in The Matrix.
“In the Matrix Neo goes to see the Oracle and he sees a child bending a spoon and he wants to know how can I bend the spoon, and she says it’s not the spoon that bends, it’s you that bends and I really feel that it’s the media that needs to bend towards this newer type of politics that Jeremy Corbyn is trying to create.”
A Labour spokesperson confirmed that Murray had been seconded by Unite, but would not comment on staffing matters.
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