06 January 2010

The Express - A Bastion of Balanced Journalism?


Can this be possible? The Daily Express, the fiction-riddled, who-needs-fact tabloid non-newspaper, has decided the future of its on-line section is to promote community cohesion and balanced journalism. You heard it here first.

MUSLIMS braved a blizzard yesterday to join hundreds in silent tribute to two soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
The close-knit community came to a standstill as the Union flag-draped coffins of 19-year-old Aidan Howell and 23-year-old David Watson passed the crowds to spontaneous applause.
Now my idea of silent tribute is a little different from spontaneous applause, but credit where it is due, The Daily Express, using the words 'Muslims' and 'brave', even just next to each other is a step forward. One day, just maybe, we will have the them the other way round, but I am not holding my breath.
At the end of the article, a quote from the President of Chief Police Officers (CPO) flags up the problems of trying to cancel this protest. The only way to literally cancel it, would be to have pre-existing knowledge of who was planning to attend, and arrest them before they set off. Logistically impossible.

You can’t ban it just because it is unpleasant. People have a right to march. If we have to police it, we will police it.

“If you ban it, sometimes more people turn up and you then have to police a large, unlawful protest.”

However, while we all surely agree with the sentiments of those who object to the march, we cannot agree with the ridiculous tabloid-pandering by Home Secretary Alan Johnson (maybe next LP leader at this rate?) who would have no hesitation, if asked, in supporting a ban on the protest. Of course Alan, lest we forget the crucial element of that statement "if asked", because we are all now fully aware of the position of the police from President Sir Hugh Orde of the CPO.

Politicians and bereaved families have condemned plans for the march.Almost a quarter of a million people have signed an online petition objecting to it.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said the protest would be “completely inappropriate”.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said he would have “no hesitation” in supporting a ban if requested by police or the council.

Finally, the Express rally on the balanced bandwagon, and disable the Have Your Say facility, refusing to allow the shed load of BNP sympathisers and small-minded bigots to say... No, I wont bother, we all know what they say!

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