No State Control Of The Media


THE Leveson report into media standards has been given to Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of its official publication today.

The PM and deputy PM are set to meet to discuss the government response to recommendations on press regulation and are believed to have differences over the issue.

Cameron told MPs the status quo was ‘unacceptable and needs to change’ and will make a statement to the Commons today.

He said he wanted an ‘independent regulatory system that can deliver and in which the public have confidence’.

His comments come amid reports of a split in the coalition over the level of regulation and after more than 80 MPs and peers urged Lord Justice Leveson not to recommend a new law.

The cross-party group, including eight former cabinet ministers and London Olympics chairman Lord Coe, said a law would damage press freedom by giving too much power to the government.

The crisis over the freedom of the bourgeois media is part of the historical crisis of British capitalism.

Britain was once renowned as the country where there was no press censorship, and no need for it.

Marxists such as Leon Trotsky were able to point out that this regime was able to function adequately for the ruling class, because such was the security of its economic base, and such was its degree of class consciousness – that is the social solidarity of the ruling class – that they were able to rely on the ‘inner censor’.

This was that bourgeois editors and proprietors knew instinctively what should be published and what should be kept from working class eyes. They could be relied upon to voluntarily act for the good of the the ruling class as a whole.

This was the way that ruling class economic, social political, and moral issues were dealt with – on the basis of whether an issue was safe for the working class to know about, or not.

Some of this mentality hangs on today. Witness the code of silence that surrounded the misdeeds of the likes of Cyril Smith and Jimmy Savile and their friends that lasted till long after their deaths.

The break up of this social solidarity came about as a result of the decline of Britain as a great power.

One aspect of this was the rise of the modern press barons, who liked to buy and sell governments, cabinet members, PMs, and police chiefs.

This broke down the solidarity of the ruling class and even saw media barons getting their revenge on MPs by buying confidential information and revealing their expense rackets. Such a thing was unheard of in previous days.

The power of cash subverted bourgeois class consciousness to the point reached today, where sections of the ruling class see the security of their state depending on imposing a dictatorship, and state control, over the press, the TV and all the new media outlets – internet, e-mails, mobile phones etc – 24-7, in a way that George Orwell was only able to hint at in his book 1984.

The News Line is opposed to state control over the media because it is for the overthrow of this same state apparatus by the working class in order to bring in socialism.

Yes, of course, something has got be done about the Murdoch and other capitalist groups that believe, as do the bankers, that everything can be bought and sold and that everybody has his or her price.

What has to be done is that the rule of the bourgeoisie over society has got to be brought to an end by a socialist revolution.

This will expropriate the bosses and the bankers and bring in a planned socialist economy.

Part of this will be the expropriation of the press and the bourgeois media and its handing over by the working class to artists, writers, workers, youth and different professional groupings, to be used to play a vital role in the development of a socialist society, and cease for ever to be the property of power- and money-crazy capitalists.