The right wing British press has made incendiary comments lately. They have incited hated and made remarks that undermine the pillars of our democracy. Clearly this situation is not acceptable. Furthermore, the British press is not trusted. In fact, it is least trusted press in the EU. See: Press Gazette: survey finds that UK written press is by some way the least trusted in Europe
It is obvious that rules need changing. The details of changes required are of some complexity. After all, we do want a free press that is respected and trusted.
There is however one obvious change required that is drastic: currently the owners of our papers are using aggressive tax avoidance schemes. This is an extremely serious conflict of interest as newspapers will avoid reporting aggressive tax avoidance schemes by large multinationals and extremely wealthy individuals.
The implications of this are dire. Tax avoidance has done a huge amount of harm to the UK:
We are told we have a free press, but when tax dodging media barons own papers and presumably pressurise editors to cover up tax avoidance, our press is not really free.
The EU has come up with the anti tax avoidance directive. See Anti-tax avoidance package. The newspaper owners clearly have an incentive for us to leave the EU.
I do not like Jeremy Corbyn and what Labour currently stands for. I do not like it for objective reasons: because it would be harmful to the UKís prospects. However, the lynching of Jeremy Corbyn by the right wing press is unacceptable. The indulgence of press towards Boris Johnson and the scaring incompetence of the Conservative Party is also unacceptable. Universal Credit has been a disaster. I have seen here in relatively wealthy Kingston lots of people sleeping rough when Universal Credit was implemented. Can we seriously accept our press to be owned by people with so obvious vested interests?
Without media bias, it is quite possible Ed Milliband would have won the 2015 general election and this would have saved this country huge amount of time and energy wasted with Brexit. Labour only won in 1997 because John Major was going to get tough on tax avoidance. Tax avoidance was at its worst under Gordon Brown. Effectively, the British government has been held to ransom by the right wing press.
I have written a petition and I am very much hoping it get sponsors and lots of signatures. Supposing it got a huge number of signatures and it became law: newspaper owners would no longer be allowed to use tax avoidance schemes in any form whatsoever. This would inflict a huge dent on the Brexit cause and go a long way into healing a divided society. Our right wing press is very largely to blame for our current mess. It has been said the referendum result was influenced by social media and the like of Cambridge Analytica. However, the trend was that it was older people who voted leave. Older people read the right wing press and donít use social media that much. Nevertheless, I do agree the issue of fake news on social media also needs to be remedied.
The Great Tax Robbery Richard Brooks ISBN 9 781851 689354: I have read this book and am truly shocked by the scale of tax avoidance in UK. Even the left leaning Guardian newspaper is using tax avoidance.