‘I’ Newspaper Publishing Economist Articles to Promote Economic Orthodoxy?

The I proudly announced yesterday, 5th January 1919, that it had now made an agreement with the Economist to print articles from that magazine. Now the Economist has a reputation for excellent journalism, and for clearly explaining complex issues for a lay readership. But it is, unsurprisingly as a business magazine, firmly behind the current economic orthodoxy. Which is that capitalism is great, and state intervention and the unions are to be strongly resisted.

The I started out as a digest version of the Independent, which adopted its name in order to show that it was independent of party political bias. The I undercut its parent paper, which has now, I believe, gone on the internet. As for the I itself, while it is supposedly free of overall political bias, it has shown itself to be consistently and fiercely biased against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in the Labour party. If followed the rest of the press, for example, in promoting the anti-Semitism smears against the Labour leader and his supporters.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that capitalism in the west is now in serious trouble. In Britain a quarter of a million people now have to rely on food banks to fend off starvation, a sizable proportion of whom are actually working. Tens of thousands of people are homeless, and the present generation of young people in Britain and America are now looking at a future in which they will never be able to afford to buy their own home. Even rented property may be out of their reach. Recent polls show that 55 per cent of American young people now have no faith in capitalism.

And in Britain this is all set to get worse, much worse, with Brexit. Which is why Tweezer has set up a department to deal with food shortages, and has prepared to put 3,500 squaddies on Britain’s streets in the event that Britain crashes out without a deal with the EU.

This must worry the ruling elite, which worked hard throughout the Cold War to stop the peoples of the world taking up Communism and has consistently attacked, destabilized and overthrown liberal and left-wing governments and political leaders around the world. This has not prevented the business papers in the past recognizing that there were profound problems with current economic policy. In the 1990s, for example, the Financial Times carried a number of articles demonstrating very clearly that poverty was increasing, and that the majority of the new poor in America and elsewhere were actually working, not unemployed. This was when the newspaper supported the Lib Dems, though that didn’t stop one of its columnists telling his readers that he supported workfare. According to Private Eye the FT is, like the rest of the lamestream press, losing readers. It has tried to reverse this by switching its support to the Tories, but this hasn’t stopped its readers from leaving it.

Looking at this arrangement between the I and the Economist, it seems that these journals are also in trouble. The I‘s management seems to hope that this arrangement will encourage some of the Economist’s readers will also start reading the paper, while it can be inferred that the Economist’s management probably hope that some the I’s will start looking at theirs.

Now this doesn’t mean that the I will start having a strong political bias towards one party, although it has always attacked Corbyn and his supporters in Labour. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t have a political bias at all. It does. Like the Groaniad, it is biased towards the current worn-out Thatcherite political and economic consensus. Hence both magazines’ attacks on Corbyn because he and his supporters have rejected it and are determined to overturn it.

It seems to me very strongly that the I has therefore made this arrangement with the Economist, not just to boost sales, but also to try to reinforce and promote the popular acceptance of Thatcherite economic orthodoxy, an orthodoxy that is accepted uncritically by the Blairites and the Lib Dems outside the Conservative party, but which is rejected by the Corbynites. An economic orthodoxy that is increasingly shown to be wrong, and catastrophically wrong, to an increasingly large number of this country’s citizens.

The I and its owners, like the press, are terrified of this, as is the rest of the press. Hence the decision to try and bolster Thatcherite capitalism through the republication of Economist articles, even when claiming still to be politically independent. But it’s only independent of particular parties. Ideologically, it’s still Thatcherite.

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6 Responses to “‘I’ Newspaper Publishing Economist Articles to Promote Economic Orthodoxy?”

  1. Mark Catlin Says:

    Reblogged this on Declaration Of Opinion.

  2. Sandra Harvey Says:

    This reply is to let you know that I’ve being trying to access your brother’s website Vox Political for about a day now with no success, despite being able to do so for about 5 years now without any problems.
    I’ve just found out that Sky are blocking any access to your bro’s site because of copyright infringement apparently. I obviously can’t contact him via his site to let him know (assuming he doesn’t know already) so I thought I’d let you know instead. Please pass my message on to him…. I miss my daily ‘fix’ of Vox Political.



    • beastrabban Says:

      Hi Sandra, sorry to hear about this. I’ve had no problems getting through to Mike, so perhaps it depends on who your internet provider is. I’ve sent Mike an email about it to let him know you’re having trouble. Hope it all gets sorted, Beastie.

    • beastrabban Says:

      I’ve passed your message on to Mike. He hasn’t been given any notification of copyright infringement, and would like to know how you were informed that this was the reason you couldn’t get his site.

  3. Sandra Harvey Says:

    Hi Beastrabban

    I tried accessing Mike’s site about 10 times yesterday and kept being denied access. The same thing kept happening earlier today too. I don’t know how to do screen grabs, or whatever they’re called, so I copied & pasted what came up on my screen into a Word document, as follows:

    Secure Connection Failed

    An error occurred during a connection to voxpoliticalonline.com. SSL peer rejected a handshake message for unacceptable content. Error code: SSL_ERROR_ILLEGAL_PARAMETER_ALERT

    The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because the authenticity of the received data could not be verified.
    Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem.

    At some point this morning a link also appeared to click on for ‘more info’ so I clicked on it, and the following came up which I also copied & pasted; as follows:

    Sky customer Access Blocked
    Sorry, this website is not available through Sky.
    We are required by Court order to prevent access to this site in order to help protect against copyright or trademark infringement.

    More information on why this web site is blocked
    Go to Sky.com
    NOW TV Broadband customer
    More information on why this web site is blocked
    Go to nowtv.com

    The dashes are mine to shown the end of these messages as all the formatting has been lost once I copied & pasted on to your site. I have no idea what most of the above means, but the impression I was given, rightly or wrongly, is that there is some sort of court order out against Mike’s site.

    It was after clicking on the link that I decided to contact Mike via yourself about my, and presumably others, lack of access to his most excellent site. I still have the Word doc I copied & pasted all this stuff onto if Mike wants it as the hyperlinks still work on the word doc but not on the above copy & paste bits.

    Hope the above helps.

    P.S. My internet provider is Sky, so maybe only Sky customers are affected by this ‘court Order’, assuming that it actually exists!

    • beastrabban Says:

      Thanks for the info, Sandra. I’ve passed this on to Mike.

      In my opinion, this isn’t about a copyright infringement by Mike himself, but about a dispute between Sky and one of the other TV companies. If I recall correctly, Sky and another company – it might be the Beeb – fell out over the terms under which Sky would be able to broadcast programmes originally made by the other company. This resulted in the other company refusing Sky permission to broadcast their material. It looks like this dispute has extended to the Net.

      It looks to me that Mike has perfectly legally put up stuff on his blog, which comes from this other company, and you’re blocked from seeing it because you’re a Sky customer.

      I am not an expert, however, and this is just my view.

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