The decision by the Manchester Evening News to censor the views of Liberal Democrat MP, John Leech, on Leveson last week are a clear example of the way in which the Labour Party are able to manipulate the news in this City to suit their own agenda.
John’s article can be read in full at his own blog John Leech MP but I am certain that had he removed his references to Blair jetting off to Australia to sidle up to Murdoch, and about Brown altering the Data Protection Act then the MEN may have considered printing his comment.
This was not a press release by John, or a comment that he had forwarded to the MEN on spec, this was a comment that they had specifically requested, and an example that if you don’t say what they want you to say that you will not get printed.
Clearly an aspect of press and media that needs some very serious consideration is the political bias in regional press such as the MEN. It’s reporting of news in this city over the past 3 years has been an absolute disgrace. It has failed to challenge the Labour Council in Manchester when it has been making substantial cuts at the same time as hosting half-a-million-p0und concerts for the great and the good, paying out 9 figure salaries to its top bosses and spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers money sending town hall staff scurrying around the City in taxis.
Since the Labour Council used Manchester Council Tax-payers money to seedcorn fund the MEN producing a weekly newspaper for East Manchester (a paper that was cancelled the day the seedcorn funding ran out), and allowed the MEN to base it’s local television station in URBIS at again a massive loss to the Council-Tax payers of this City, the MEN has returned those favours by moving its HQ to Blackburn.
The political bias at the MEN is most visible when they accept without challenge Labour budgets that axe jobs and cut front line services whilst at the same time building up unprecedented reserves of £ 170 million, tart up Labour’s offices at the Town Hall at a cost of £ 170 million, and create a new executive post at the Town Hall paying over £ 100,000 to add to those already there.