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COMMUNISTS ON LEVESON: "Leveson has produced a safe pro-establishment report"

"Leveson has produced a safe pro-establishment report", writes Robert Griffiths CP general secretary, who outlines Communist Party proposals that would really regulate capital in the newspaper and communications industry.

It is no surprise that a panel stuffed with establishment figures misses the main point: Britain has a monopoly press owned by transnational corporations, tax dodging millionaires and pornographers. 
Britain's 22 daily and Sunday national papers are owned by just nine companies. Five of these companies control more than 90 per cent of the market, owing their monopoly position largely to their massive advertising revenues and marketing budgets.
Some of the biggest press monopolies also own substantial sections of the broadcasting and social and internet media.
Almost all of the big business press titles are in favour of privatisation, nuclear weapons and Britain's overseas wars. With the exception of the Morning Star, they are hostile to trade unionism and the political left.
With only a handful of exceptions, these papers fail to investigate the crimes of the super-rich and powerful, preferring instead to deal in trivia and celebrity. 
We need policies to ensure that the mass media reflect our society, with more diverse ownership and more inclusive and factual reporting of news and current affairs. These could include measures to share advertising revenues, guarantee retail distribution and display, and give tax relief to new, small and cooperatively owned titles. 
Because the vital issue of press ownership was excluded from Leveson's remit, except in the field of cross-media ownership, public debate is being steered into a largely bogus debate about regulation.
On all sides, the myth of Britain having a 'free press' will be upheld. Those who would expose that myth, including the Communist Party of Britain, will be excluded from that debate by the monopoly controlled mass media as usual.
 
To summarise the Communist Party's position:
  • Leveson has producded a safe pro-establishment report which aims to concentrate public debate around marginal and bogus issues of regulation.
  • Britain's press monpolies should be broken up by measures to limit multiple and cross-media ownership.
  • Measures are needed to diversify media ownership in Britain and to allow a genuinely free press to investigate the crimes and corruption of the rich and powerful.