The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

4th April 2021

About

There is much concern that The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would threaten the right to peacefully protest. Protest is an important part of democratic process, to provide a voice and oppposition. To restrict protest is to silence opposition and quash debate; potentially the roots of a fascist state. Friends of the Earth and Liberty, the human rights organisation, led a coalition of 245 groups in expressing such concerns about this "draconian legislation" in a letter to the government.

Police and media disinformation

A Kill the Bill protest in Bristol on Sunday 21st March 2021 erupted into violence. Police used claims that officers had bones broken to justify actions then quietly retracted those claims. Mainstream media reports (examples: Daily Mail, Telegraph, BBC) contradict first-hand accounts (examples: 1 | 2). Such disinformation by the mainstream media is common. It is important to understand UK media ownership. The Media Reform Coalition's March 2021 report, 'Who owns the UK media?', shows that:

  • 90% of printed media, and 80% of both printed and digital media is owned by just 3 companies: News UK, Daily Mail Group, and Reach.
  • Almost 70% of all local commercial analogue radio stations, and 60% of national commercial digital stations are owned by just 2 companies: Bauer and Global.
  • Facebook controls 3 of the top 5 social media services used in the UK to access news.
Why is this important?

As expressed by the Media Reform Coalition, "Concentrated (media) ownership creates conditions in which wealthy individuals and organisations can amass vast political and economic power and distort the media landscape to suit their interests." Contrary to what many of us believe, the UK does not have a free press. This Open Democracy article provides reasons why. And Noam Chomsky's 'The Five Filters of the Mass Media Machine' is, I think, brilliant in showing us the true nature and function of the mainstream media. We are being deceived by those who oppress us.

Correspondence

Robert Buckland MP supports the bill. Do the points he makes stand up to scrutiny?

Robert Buckland responded but not on the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. Hence:

Awaiting response...