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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 April 2017

Fight the Sun's bigoted lies

photo Serg Stallone/CC

photo Serg Stallone/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Walsh, Liverpool Socialist Party

Once again, self-styled 'man of the people' Kelvin MacKenzie is making the news with more anti-working class smears against the people of Liverpool - as well as comments about mixed-race Everton FC midfielder Ross Barkley.

In his column for the Sun, the tabloid's former editor compared Barkley to "a gorilla at the zoo" and said the only other people in Liverpool with high pay packets were "drug dealers."

The newspaper has now suspended MacKenzie and distanced itself from his comments - saying the article was "unfunny."

Even this suggests it was printed without the editors first checking it. Hard to believe, given McKenzie's history with Liverpool and the fact the article was published the day before the 28th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Under his editorship, the Sun carried inexcusable lies attacking people at the 1989 stadium catastrophe which killed 96.

Of course, both the Sun and MacKenzie have a long history of reactionary views.

In his column last year, MacKenzie wrote about Southern Rail strikers: "Sack them all and get in East European drivers and guards before the Brexit door closes."

Also last year, columnist Katie Hopkins described refugees as "cockroaches," and in 2015 the rag's front page falsely claimed one in five Muslims sympathise with jihadis.

When MacKenzie was editor, gay vicars were labelled "pulpit poofs." And four days after the rape of Jill Saward, he used a legal loophole to publish her photograph.

The fact is the article was timed to cause maximum outrage, and so gain maximum publicity. The Sun exists to defend the bosses and sow division, including by making racism, homophobia, misogyny and all forms of bigotry acceptable.

It supported Tony Blair because Rupert Murdoch knew he was one of theirs. It is now backing Gerard Coyne against Len McCluskey for Unite the Union general secretary for the same reason.

Hillsborough justice campaigners have virtually eradicated sales of the Sun across Merseyside. Many shops refuse even to stock it, and hundreds of taxis are plastered with livery saying "don't buy the Scum." Its journalists are now banned from both Liverpool and Everton football clubs.

The Socialist Party calls for democratic control and public ownership of the mass media, so ordinary people can decide editorial policy rather than billionaires and bullies. As part of this struggle, you can support a real working class newspaper, the Socialist - subscribe today.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 19 April 2017:


What we think

Defeat the millionaires' Tory government


Socialist Party news and analysis

900 carers quit a day - nationalise social care now

Fight the Sun's bigoted lies

Benefits workers oppose 'rape clause' and two-child limit

Joint struggle can stop tuition fee interest hike

Them & Us


Jobstown Not Guilty

Protest is not a crime: back Jobstown Not Guilty


Save our NHS

What kind of movement is needed to save our NHS?


International socialist news and analysis

Trump escalates geopolitical tensions on Korean peninsula

Turkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

French presidential election: Mélenchon campaign gains momentum

Relaunch of socialistworld.net


Workplace news and analysis

CWU conference: fight Royal Mail pension attack

Workers sailing to victory on Woolwich ferry

PCS ballot papers out: vote Democracy Alliance

Weapons workers continue pension strike

Mood for a fightback at education conferences

Picturehouse cinema strike spreads

National Shop Stewards Network conference 2017


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Mass movements, not 'fringe cultures', can win feminist change

Buses and buggies: a driver speaks

The Socialist inbox


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

TUSC backs RMT Save Our Guards campaign, while local Labour Party blocks debate

Energetic start to TUSC local election campaigning

Doncaster mayoral election: Socialist Steve campaign diary

TUSC council candidate vows never to go to the 'dark side'!


 

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Related links:

Liverpool:

triangleLiverpool & District Socialist Party: 30 years ago - How the poll tax was defeated

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Liverpool - a city that dared to fight

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Hillsborough:

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Rupert Murdoch:

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Journalists:

triangle500 BBC journalists' jobs under threat

Merseyside:

triangleTony Mulhearn - a Eulogy

Media:

triangleThe role of the Socialist during the corona crisis

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