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The Guardians Of The Establishment

stevebell2When I started this website I spent a while pondering what to call it, and then I was inspired by a piece I read in The Guardian, in its Comment section, which as everyone knows is called Comment Is Free.

It was a defence of the banking sector. “All well and good,” I thought, “but when was the last time this section ran an article by a struggling single parent?”

We all know Comment Isn’t Free. It’s never been free in the UK. We don’t have a British version of the First Amendment. It doesn’t exist here. What we have is a media that both towers over and lies under the political establishment.

This is why I find Steve Bell’s loathsome, abhorrent, racist cartoon in today’s paper oddly humorous, but not for the reason he thinks or the reason many UKIP members or Labour activists needed a fresh change of underwear this morning.


I make no bones about publishing the cartoon here. I also know that it’s a violation of copyright. I don’t expect this site will be the only one that figures doing so will be better than giving The Guardian any more hits.

I dare them to sue, it’s as simple as that, because that will unshackle me from reporting this cartoon to the authorities as an example of hate speech, which I am loathe to do as I support free expression.

This though … this takes the piss. This doesn’t belong in a national newspaper.

It belongs in a bygone era, in a bygone publication. Like Der Sturmer.

Bell might think at times that he’s channelling the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo …. Actually he’s tapping into the psyche of Julius Streicher.

Of course, what makes it amusing is that aside from showing us how Bell has slipped over the years from being one of the sharpest and most astute political commentators out there (his cartoon on the morning after George W Bush was re-elected President, of Bush the Monkey replacing Lincoln on the Lincoln Memorial, was one of the most subtle, yet brilliant, statements on that result I saw anywhere, and it was my desktop background for months) to becoming a bitter little man who’s drawings and humour have become more crude and less funny, it also taps into the strange myopia which is now rampant amongst the London metropolitan elite.

See, our crime up here is not being that which they accuse of us.

If you read their editorials and you follow their logic, Scotland is a welfare dependent country of layabouts subsidised by the taxpayers of the south and the capital in particular, and content to be that forever.

Yet apparently, the very suggestion that we should break free from the Whitehall tit and stand on our own two feet, that we should seek to move out from under their roof, to break the dependency forever, it offends them on some level.

Because we’re not being true to type. Because we want out. Because we aren’t dependent on anyone.

During the referendum, we were treated to a quite appalling level of abuse for seeking to “break up the union” and go our own way. That union, we were told, is good for the whole of this island. That union is equal.

Of course, the union is no such thing as well we know, and that was revealed, sharply, when London’s parties told us we could not keep the £ if we voted Yes. Now, in the run up to this election, where it looks increasingly like the SNP could hold the balance of power, we’re being reminded that it’s not an equal political union either … and never was. The level of abuse now is even worse, and more hysterical than I’ve ever seen it.

The notion that voters in Scotland should hold the balance of power is simply unfathomable to these people, despite the extremely moderate politics of the SNP and the very high calibre of its political representatives. It has a manifesto which is leftist on some issues, centrist on others and, if you believe Jim Murphy (stop laughing!) actually Tory Party right on a few more … like business taxes, as if it made good sense to give Scottish companies an incentive for moving a hundred miles south, taking revenue and jobs with them.

It’s revealing that many Tories would rather climb into bed with the clown-suit brigade at UKIP, with their seedy candidates, far right lunatic fringe and a manifesto which is about as realistic as a Transformers movie and as set in stone as a plate full of jelly.

It’s equally revealing that a number of voices within Labour are willing to go even further to the fringes and embrace the unionist parties of the Six Counties …. because “you can’t have a minority ruling the majority for its own ends.”

It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so disgusting.

The sad truth is that for those who make up the metropolitan London elite, they like Scotland just where it is.

As a producer of oil, and cheap labour. As a political dumping ground and punching bag. As a second-rate, second-class “partner” in a system that is designed to serve England and English interests and more lately London and its wants, needs and whims.

So yes, I do find the cartoon vaguely amusing … but as I said before, it’s not because Bell is still funny or sharp, or even relevant – if Wings hadn’t published this, I honestly would have gone to the grave without ever having seen it; I thank Stuart for that nonetheless, because it ought to be seen – but because in using the word “incest” Bell forces us to think on not only how we’re viewed by these people but at the way in which it’s their own system and their own little circle of mutual back scratching and self-congratulation that is really incestuous and part of what is destroying communities north and south of the border.

The media and our political establishment are joined at the hip and that’s why Leveson was such a damp squib and why in its aftermath nothing concrete has been done. Neither is a law unto itself; both are horribly dependent on the other, and as a result there’s almost no level of collusion they will not allow. Even when some of the papers catch our parliamentarians in the act – with their pants down, both figuratively and literally – they actually make excuses for them and work with them on limiting the damage.

See the soft soap recently lathered onto Straw and Riffkind for examples.

This is how the real scandals go unpunished; how child abuse allegations get buried for years, protecting offenders past and some who still sit in Parliament today; how wars are begun based on the most flimsy, shoddy basis; how the banks can bring the country to its knees but even our “liberal” media finds a way to blame it on disability claimants and single mothers.

For all these publications pretend to be on our side, you only need to look at where their registered offices are and you’ll know what you’re dealing with.

They are the Guardians of the Establishment.

Try to see that cartoon in this light.

This Bell-end was simply doing his bit, and scratching an itch for his own brothers and sisters.

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17 comments to “The Guardians Of The Establishment”
  1. Those people would not hesitate to clype on you or anyone else,if it suited their grubby purpose…….fire with fire !

  2. agree back to business as usual the pretence of this better together farce laid bare for what it is we are the last of their long gone empire they need someone to vilify jews-blacks-irish-immigrants its a long list but after hearing this tripe for so long like 1966 ad nauseam i for one dont give a toss anymore ,SKY news at the weekend on their views of the newspapers slot a lofty hasbeen who was once an advisor to the Torys or was it labour hard to distinguish between them now trotted out the statement “i mean we have given them (us) everything what more do they (us) want this was in reply to the assertion that the SNP might just have some say in the running of this country god forbid makes you want to have another fixed referendum ha ha

  3. Excellent article. I too saw this cartoon on Wings this morning and have since complained to IPSO for the same reasons you outline, although without your eloquence.

  4. Bell is merely jacking up the hysteria but misquoting the great Thomas Beeching…try morris dancing and incest once. Need his head flushed down the cludgie along wae Massie and McTernan

  5. It’s amazing that this fool seems to believe that we,(the Scottish people), would take anything like this gibe at all seriously. It only goes to show that the press and their masters in Whitehall are running scared and for good reason.

  6. After the comments made by Max Hastings

    then Allan Massie’s
    and now this nonsense from the Guardian,one get’s the feeling that racism is alive and kicking down south,strange that it was only a few short months ago they were begging us to stay in the Union.

  7. They wanted us because we were important. Now they want us, but grind us into the dirt. We are lazy scroungers with racist hatred of the English according to them, so why exactly do they want to keep us? They need a place far from Westminster to dump nuclear waste and the build new nuclear power stations .. not for Scotland (which doesn’t need them) .. to EXPORT electricity to ENGLAND !! They also need to dump their nukes 20 miles away from the second most populous city in the UK! Where was the UK’s first nuclear power station? As far away from Westminster as it is possible to get without leaving mainland UK !! Now we look like we might have found a voice, as an equal partner, they are doing anything and everything to prevent that … we are being undemocratic by even thinking that we can hold the balance of power! Well, Westminster, we are coming and if you try any tricks with the election results in Scotland this time, you may find rather more civil disobedience than you can handle !!

  8. The thing that most confuses the metropolitan media is that we have in the current Scottish Cabinet a generation of politicians who operate from principle and passion. Nicola and her cabinet did not enter politics as a career, seeking the big salary and expenses, because they could have not imagined getting elected never mind gaining power when they started. The SNP polled at 5% when Nicola joined as a teenager.
    The idea that millions of us trust and admire Nicola and her team just confuses the poor souls so used to the red blue and orange troughers.
    Steve Bell has revealed his true colours many times recently. Does he realise that Murphy is an arch blairite? ISTR he wisnae a fan of Mr B Liar – the man that destroyed the Labour party and the BBC.

  9. Brilliant James.

    You speak for many. But deep down the biggest laugh will be the 8th when they realise we are not feart anymore.

  10. I dont think you should self censor in the name of freedom of speech. Its a false principle to begin with. Firstly, people dont really want freedom of speech, they just think it sounds good until they realise that words have power and they are being systematically dehumanised by the speech of others, secondly, the type of freedom of speech that most folk think about (saying whatever the hell they want) would be socially untennable and disasterous, and finally, the rallying call for freedom of speech is really a play by people in power pushing their own agenda, it only ever serves folk that dont beleive in freedom of speech. In this sense it is very much like the neoliberal principle of free markets. Do they want free markets ? No, absolutely not, they want markets that are highly regulated i favour of big business. Rupert Murdoch for example, and the other big players who own the british media… do they beleive in free speech that they go on about? Well, as long as it isnt speech that involves criticising their private financial interests in foreign conflicts, shares in arms or gas companies or whatever their thing happens to be. No, they dont beleive in free speech, its just an easy argument to let them use their power as they see fit, say what they want about people, and manipulate public opinion, no matter the end, no matter the truth or the justice or the effects on peples lives, or deaths.

    It takes mass meida to manipulate the masses into dehumanising a group of people. And that has to be done before its ok to murder them in their hundreds of thousands or millions. That is the power of words and i am quite sure i dont need ot give examples. So no, I dont beleive in free speech mate and neither i think do you. Neither do we beleive in free markets. I beleive markets have great power over poeples lives and deaths and they should not be controled by the private personal interests of a tiny minority. I beleive they should be controled by true democratic decision making for the betterment of the people whose work makes those markets. And I beleive that words have great power and should not be held in the hands of a few privilaged and powerful private interests.

    I beleive in the democratisation of markets and the democratisation of censorship. So dont be holding back, they are using words of power to impose power. Tha shit has to be brought to light and resisted.

    • One thing I am heartily glad about,Murdoch not getting into bed with the SNP.
      Many were saying we needed all the help available back in September,God,it would be like getting into bed with old Nick himself.

  11. I wonder if either Nicola or Alex are incest survivors? The crassness of this cartoon removes all taint and potential of humour. Just for a moment, imagine you too have survived incest, and have horror of seeing yourself lampooned in a way that leaves the deepest most vulnerable part of your psyche exposed.

    Now try to defend Steve Bell on any level.

  12. A horrible idea Ro, and all the more effective because of it.

    There is NO defending the guy mate … and he can hide behind all the pseudo intellectual fluff he likes, as some have tried to do on his behalf today.

    It’s inconscionable.

  13. I found what Steve Bell printed to be offensive, racist, & xenophobic. And I DID complain to IPSOS. And I think the more of us who would, could at least draw attention that we are not just going to sit & take their S**T, when WE who supported Independence, or even the SNP, have Been a target for the BBC, The Printed media, & especially the ENGLISH Journalists & broadcasters. The INSULTS have grown to show a real hatred for the country the love bombed to stay with them.

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