The response of British broadcast media to the death of Prince Philip.

The special complaints page set up by the BBC

When the death of the Duke of Edinburgh was announced yesterday (9 April 2021) the BBC immediately switched into mourning mode. A newscaster changed into a black suit in a live broadcast, whilst continuing to voice over a prepared video clip. The BBC Radio dance music broadcast switched mid-track into the national anthem. The broadcasting schedule across the entire network was changed, to a rolling broadcast on all channels of hagiography and interviews with pundits over the Prince’s contribution to British and international society over the past 70…

Satirical take on the UK campaign slogan from the beginning of lockdown in 2020

Propaganda — can it have a positive purpose, especially in the case of a common enemy — a pandemic? The definitions of propaganda presented by dictionaries and encyclopaedias commonly hold negative connotations, but should it be deployed in the current national and global crisis?

Undoubtedly we see propaganda every day, even when we are not in a state of declared war. The output of the right-wing press and Fox News in the US is unashamed propaganda. The BBC in the UK, though termed a ‘public broadcaster’ is constitutionally a state broadcaster, funded by a punitive TV tax and with an…

This weekend, British Summer Time will end once again and the clocks will go back one hour. But in 2020, in the middle of a global pandemic, has time ceased to mean anything at all?

Fonda’s watch from Easy Rider (Columbia Pictures, 1969)

At the beginning of Easy Rider, sitting astride his distinctive chopper motorbike, Peter Fonda pulls off his wristwatch, looks at it disdainfully, and then tosses it into the desert. The watch symbolises ‘the man’, the restrictions that society imposes, division and regulation of daily life and experience — everything that the Woodstock generation opposed. …

Can we Build Back Better taking inspiration from the iconic War of the Worlds character?

Photo by the author ©MichaelAbberton 2020

At the beginning of the pandemic, one of the books that went right back to the top of the bestseller list was War of the Worlds by HG Wells. Its descriptions of the end of the British Empire, with the then unthinkable devastation that British soldiers had meted out on other cultures and foreign cities being dealt on the familiar streets and suburbs of London. …

The poster for the event

Another antimasker rally in London, this one marketed as “medic-focussed with expert speakers”. But who exactly are these so-called experts, and what is their agenda? If you are genuinely concerned simply with civil liberties and the way the pandemic is being handled, please think again before giving your support — and your money — to these people.

Once again the rally was MC’d by suspended nurse Kate Shemirani. I wrote about her previously and you can read that here. …

Who are the organisers, and what is their agenda?

Web banner for the event — note reference to New World Order

Last Saturday (29 Aug) there was a protest in London attended by thousands of people who believe that COVID-19 is a hoax, who refuse to wear masks or social distance. The press have normalised the protest to an extent, some outlets making clear that the beliefs and conspiracy theories these people hold to be true are nonsense. However, this was very far from normal and the far right influence and links associated with this protest have been largely ignored. Just who are “Unite for Freedom?” Let’s unmask the anti-maskers.

Kate (Kay)…

Can anyone sing this song whilst recognising the history of the British Empire?

Empire? photo ©MichaelAbberton 2020

The row over the jingoistic anthem ‘Rule, Britannia!’ appears wholly to be a construction of the British right-wing press, but one that the Prime Minister saw to fit to ‘personally intervene’ — when he didn’t think that the A-level scandal (the biggest government education failure in decades) warranted the same level of attention. It serves as a convenient distraction from the latest government failures, and appeals to the Tories right-wing base. It’s another opportunity to divide — rather than unite — along lines of class, race and…

Science Denial and Conspiracy Theory all in one

Anti-masker. Another neologism with its genesis in the US, that is now on the rise in the UK, as we belatedly adopt the same minimum safety measures that have been in place across Europe and elsewhere for months. But who are the anti-maskers, why are they determined to ignore the science and wealth of evidence from other countries on the efficacy of these measures? And why has the simple issue of wearing a mask for twenty minutes at the supermarket been blown completely out of proportion and politicised?

Anti-masker has a ring…

We assume that those we consent to govern over us share a common decency and fundamental moral values — what happens when they reveal that is not the case?

Niccolò Machiavelli — remind you of anyone?

Dominic Cummings broke quarantine. That’s indisputable. What is claimed since is that, although uncounted thousands of families found themselves in similar or much worse circumstances and observed the regulations, the option was always there, for everyone, to ignore the rules based solely on their own judgement at the time.

This argument is clearly nonsense, and shows complete contempt for the public. Numerous instances have been posted on social media of direct…

It’s easy to see the parallels in lifestyle between Moon’s lone worker and those of us in living solitary isolation — but we must take inspiration from Sam as we prepare to return to the world. (Warning — Spoilers!)

Moon (Duncan Jones, 2009), is an SF film set in the not too distant future. Sam Bell (played by Sam Rockwell) is a blue-collar working man supervising a lunar mining operation, with his only companion being an industrial robot, Gertie (voiced by Kevin Spacey). …

Michael Abberton

Tomahawk thrower, writer, trade unionist, Japanese speaker and all around good guy. For fiction, please go to

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