Monday, July 26, 2010

Giving up on The Guardian

The Guardian proclaims itself as a newspaper that supports progressive politics. It backs fair votes and therefore by implication, coalition government. As we all know, election results can produce interesting, challenging results. As politicians we have to work with what the electoral system produces. The hostility of The Guardian, and its sister paper, The Observer, to the Coalition Government undermines its own claims to being supportive of the new politics of cooperation. Their slavish support for any anti-Coalition comment by the Labour leadership contenders is frankly nauseating.

Only a few weeks ago, The Observer had a headline screaming doom and gloom for the Lib Dems based on a poll. It was only towards the end of the article that readers learn that the poll was conducted for Ed Milliband, not exactly an unbiased commentator on such matters. More recently, The Guardian screeched away as its front page lead that the Coalition was going to bring back selection in schools. The whole story was based on an allegation by Ed Balls rather than any practical evidence. His claim was based on the simple fact that the Education Department was looking at ways of reducing bureaucracy in schools. Again, it was some way into the story before readers discovered that the article was simply a Labour allegation rather than a report on hard facts.

The past few weeks has seen The Guardian and The Observer littered with hostile reporting and Labour propaganda. I know they were generally Labour supporting before the election (though backed the Lib Dems on polling day) but their tone is now different. If anything, they are slipping into reactionary postures that are hostile to the progressive political system they profess to back.

It is questionable that any newspaper that backs Labour is backing progressive causes. Look at the past 13 years of Labour rule. Look at the likes of the Labour party in my own North East backyard. They are hardly the embodiment of all things progressive.

The Guardian is no longer the guardian of my views. My newsagent has been instructed to stop delivering it. The Observer has been cancelled as well.
Sent via BlackBerry


Sol said...

So what will you read instead? The Independent? Somehow the Indie feels a little too lightweight to be a serious alternative IMO.

Jonathan Wallace said...

We are pondering this one. We have 2 choices: get the Indie (and I think you are right to suggest it is lightweight) or abandon getting a national newspaper. After all, I can get all the news I need on-line (though I won't be paying for it!) At the moment we have switched to the Indie but I'm not sure how long that will last.

Anonymous said...

yes, isn't government tough? :)

Anonymous said...

I have always found the Independent far superior to the Guardian. And I think it is unfair to describe it as lightweight; it is the only national paper that has consistently given prominence to issues such as global warming and opposition to the Iraq war. I also respect the fact that despite flaunting its opinions, it is the most balanced paper and tries to report both sides of the story.

Lorna Dupré said...

The only thing that amazes me about people making this decision now is that it's taken them so long. I gave up on the Guardian years ago.

Anonymous said...

Despite being owned by R Murdoch I find The Times OK. Danny Finkelstein & Libby Purves are particularly good writers.