nazi england

TV licence fee could be replaced by broadband levy, says BBC
Jim Waterson, Groon, Mar 31 2020

The BBC has said the television licence fee could ultimately be replaced by a monthly levy on broadband connections, in response to the UK government’s proposals to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee. The public broadcaster said it strongly supported keeping the current court-enforced television licence fee system in place for the medium-term. But it is willing to consider following other European countries* and implement a funding model “linked directly to an existing common household bill” such as an internet connection, council tax, or electricity supply. The corporation said in its submission:

This would be a significant change for the UK and we are not, at this stage, advocating it. It does however raise an interesting question as to whether the current system could be made much simpler, more efficient and more automated. We are open to exploring this further.

The consultation on whether to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee closes on Wednesday, with the BBC warning that the initial cost of creating a new system where non-payment is enforced as a civil debt, similar to a utility bill, would be almost £300m. It estimates that evasion of the licence fee would almost double to about 10% of households as people realised non-payment was no longer a criminal offence, costing the public service broadcaster £200m a year on an ongoing basis in lost revenue and requiring further substantial cuts to BBC output. Under this proposed system bailiffs could be sent to homes on behalf of the broadcaster to collect payment, while individuals’ credit ratings could be affected. The former culture secretary, ‘Nicky’ Morgan, launched the consultation on decriminalisation two months ago, in the aftermath of a rancorous general election campaign in which the BBC’s news output came under fire from across the political spectrum. At the time, Downing Street was picking a fight with the BBC, stopping ministers from appearing on major political programmes and warning of a forthcoming upheaval and a need to cut the corporation down to size. The approach has changed substantially since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with Downing Street making peace with news outlets and the BBC, along with other broadcasters, attracting enormous audiences for its programmes featuring prime ministerial press conferences and providing public health advice. The corporation argued strongly that the existing criminal sanctions should remain in force until the BBC’s royal charter is renewed in 2027, arguing that unlike a civil system, magistrates had the flexibility to impose appropriate fines that take into account an individual’s circumstances. About 130,000 people were prosecuted in 2018 for non-payment of the licence fee, with the substantial majority being women who are more likely to live alone or be at home when enforcement officials knock on doors. Five people in England and Wales were ultimately sent to prison for failing to pay court-ordered fines. The BBC wrote in its argument to maintain the current system:

The BBC is a universal service, one to which everyone contributes and everyone receives something in return. Any system based on a universal contribution must have a sufficient deterrent and sanction to ensure that principle holds up and the system is fair to those who do pay, as well as those who don’t.

It also pointed out that the current system indirectly subsidised the court system, through the estimated £28m a year charged in magistrates’ fees to people prosecuted for non-payment. The BBC is already facing a financial black hole, having suspended this summer’s planned introduction of the licence fee for most over-75s by at least two months, to ensure older viewers do not feel threatened or cut off. Cuts to BBC News staffing levels have also been postponed, while the national lockdown has also led to the suspension of visits to homes by TV licensing officials, meaning evasion is likely to increase as people suspected of watching television without a licence are no longer being chased for payment. Many individuals in the corporation view the lockdown as a chance to show ministers what a public service broadcaster can do for a country in crisis, especially with commercial media outlets facing a dire outlook due to a collapse in the advertising market.

* “other European countries” – Germany, Finland & Iceland – RB

People’s Skepticism About Covid-19 Is The Fault Of The Lying Mass Media
Caitlin Johnstone, Mar 31 2020

Coronavirus disinformation is the hot topic of the day, with pressure mounting on social media platforms to censor incorrect information about the virus and mainstream news outlets blaring dire warnings every day about the threat posed by the circulation of false claims about the pandemic. The WaPo editorial board warns:

As fast as the coronavirus has raced around the globe, it has been outpaced by a blinding avalanche of social media sorcery and propaganda related to the pathogen, much of it apparently originating in Russia. As always when it comes to its relations with the West, Moscow’s main currency is disinformation, and it spends lavishly.

This would be the same WaPo which falsely assured us that the Bush administration had provided “irrefutable” proof that the government of Iraq had WMDs. The same WaPo which falsely assured us that Russian hackers had penetrated the Pindo electricity grid to cut off heat during the winter, and who circulated a McCarthyite blacklist of alternative media outlets designated “Russian propaganda” compiled by a group of anonymous internet trolls. The same WaPo whose sole owner is a literal CIA contractor yet never discloses this brazen conflict of interest when reporting on the Pindo ‘intelligence community’ as per standard journalistic protocol. If outlets like the WaPo had done a better job of consolidating their reputation as a reliable news source instead of constantly deceiving their readers about very important matters, people would believe them instead of believing a “blinding avalanche of social media sorcery,” and web wizardry and internet incantations and electronic enchantments and net necromancy. We’re seeing these urgent warnings about coronavirus disinformation and misinformation from mainstream outlets who’ve sold the public lies about war after war, election after election, status quo-supporting narrative after status quo-supporting narrative. “Here’s How to Fight Coronavirus Misinformation” reads a headline by the Atlantic, whose editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg once assured us that “the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality,” and whose star writer is David “Axis of Evil” Frum. The NYT warns:

China and Russia have seized on the coronavirus outbreak to wage disinformation campaigns that seek to undermine Pindostan and its handling of the crisis, rather than addressing public criticism of their own struggles with the pandemic.

This would be the same NYT which played a leading role in the disinformation campaign to build support for the Iraq invasion, and which aggressively pushed crazy-making Russia hysteria, befor eventually retracting its bogus “17 intelligence agencies” claim. So it is understandable that people are suspicious and looking to alternate sources for answers. The outlets which are warning them about the dangers of this virus and defending massive, unprecedented changes which have an immense impact on the lives of ordinary people have an extensive and well-documented history of lying about very important things. People are aware of this, in their own ways and to varying degrees, and it doesn’t help that all the usual suspects are behaving in a way that feels uncomfortably familiar. The Bulwark, whose founder Bill Kristol was also the founder of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) argues:

This pandemic will be more consequential than 9/11. It probably already is. People just don’t realize it, because they still think and still feel that once this is all over we’ll go back to the way things used to be. We won’t.

PNAC famously argued a year before the 9/11 attacks that the massive world-wide increase in Pindo military interventionism they were promoting at the time would not be possible without “some catastrophic and catalysing event like a new Pearl Harbor.” All of which miraculously came to pass. I personally believe there’s enough evidence that this virus is sufficiently dangerous to justify many of the significant precautions nations have been taking, though of course we must oppose and be vigilant against government overstepping into authoritarianism. The statistics are still very blurry and unreliable, but the mountains of testimonies by rank-and-file medical staff pouring in from areas where the outbreak is bad constitute enough anecdotal evidence for me to believe that this virus can very easily overwhelm our health-care systems if we don’t collectively take drastic measures to contain it. That said, I certainly can’t cast blame on people who believe the threat the virus poses is being greatly exaggerated. Not because I think they’re right, but because you don’t blame a population who’s been constantly lied to for their disbelief in what they’re being told by the very political and media class which has been lying to them. It’s not the fault of the rank-and-file public that they’re believing conspiratorial narratives, erroneous Facebook memes, right-wing pundits and the POTUS over the MSM. It is the fault of the MSM themselves. I’ve taken a lot of flak in conspiracy circles lately for my relatively normie stance on COVID-19, but I also can’t really take it personally because it isn’t really their fault. Not everyone has the time and the resources to independently comb through many disparate bits of information about a single topic and synthesize a lucid understanding of what’s going on. That’s meant to be the job of the press, but since they’ve neglected to do their job, time and time again, they lack the credibility to demand that people believe what they’re reporting. So I never join in the loud finger-wagging and aggressive demonization of those who express doubt in what’s really going on with this thing. I’ll leave that to those of a more mainstream bent, since they seem to enjoy it so much. As for myself, I will continue pointing out that the reason misinformation is so readily believed is the same as the reason Trump’s criticisms of the mainstream press are so readily believed: they have absolutely earned their garbage reputation.

The whole reason the world is the way it is right now is because people have been manipulated by the media-controlling class into accepting an absolutely insane status quo as normal. That’s the only reason anyone believes it makes sense for so few to have so much while so many have so little, for trillions of dollars to be poured into military expansionism and wars which benefit no one but the rich and powerful, for the environment to be destroyed to make a few more millionaires into billionaires, for a demented right-wing racist warmonger to be running against another demented right-wing racist warmonger for the most powerful elected office on the planet. The big lies happen once in a while, but these little lies of normalizing our insane status quo happen every single day. On some level everyone is aware, however dimly, that our society is crazy and needs to change drastically, and so they are also aware that this is the opposite of the message they receive every day from the “authoritative” narrative-makers. The crazier things get, the more this awareness will necessarily grow, and the less people will trust the billionaire media whose only purpose is to maintain the status quo upon which its owners have built their respective kingdoms. You can’t blame people for being distrustful when you make them that way. The people screaming the loudest about disinformation right now are the ones most responsible for it.

Have some horseshit from a Muslim Uncle Tom. By the way, I had to replace all three links in this to avoid infringing the Computer Misuse Act – RB:

I spent hours trying to convince my contacts in the Middle East that Piondostan is not behind the coronavirus, and I failed
Ahmed Aboudouh, Independent, Mar 31 2020

The coronavirus pandemic might have deeply changed our daily lives, but we are not alone. Terrorism is changing too, and with it, an increase in surveillance measures and infringements of our privacy. In the age of deserted cities, self-isolation and the constant appeal to almost everyone in the West to stay at home, it’s very difficult for extremists engaged in terrorism to find ways of killing as many people as possible. Nevertheless, that is not quenching the terrorists’ thirst for blood; they are simply looking for new ways to maximise impact. Quarantine has created new “soft” and tempting targets: care homes and hospitals, the only locations where large numbers people are now likely to spend their days, and where every country’s ability to protect its citizens is currently being tested. Coronavirus has also potentially provided extremists with a cheap weapon at their disposal: the virus itself. Bioterrorism, or at least the threat of is, is the latest trend in the terror war. When the pandemic first began to spread, some extremists in the Middle East turned to social media to promote the hashtag “corona for every repressor,” urging any of their followers who might have contracted the virus already to attempt to transmit it intentionally to Egyptian officials and pro-regime media zealots. In Pindostan, intelligence agencies are already treating any deliberate attempt to spread the coronavirus as a terrorist attack. Security services in the UK, Pindostan and Eurostan know that once-typical foreign terrorists coming from conflict-torn countries in the Middle East are no longer an urgent or credible threat. But closing the borders across the Global North will inevitably result in the rise of the domestic radicalisation and lone-wolf attacks. Last week, a man was shot in Pindostan after FBI agents tried to arrest him on charges of attempting to carry out an attack on a hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, where he believed patients might be treated there for COVID-19. Meanwhile, Daesh called on its supporters to take advantage of the pandemic by freeing radicals from the “prisons of polytheists and the camps of humiliation.” That leaves a lot of scope for interpretation from radicalised supporters. To stop the modern terror threat, intelligence officers are now relying on digital information, since physical surveillance or stop-and-search methods are no longer available for now. It’s fertile ground. In the past weeks, we have witnessed a spike in the conspiracy theory, especially against Pindostan. Religious and ideological radicals drew on Russian and Chinese disinformation campaigns which promote Pindostan to be (sic – RB) behind the spread of the coronavirus. This “biggest hoax” conspiracy theory managed to spread faster than coronavirus. Their twisted narratives find their ways to far-right groups and among the Muslim community as well. Please prepare yourself for what’s coming (sic – RB). Last week, I spent two hours in a Zoom meeting with a group of people in the Middle East trying to convince them that Pindo intelligence services are not behind the spread of the virus. And I failed, miserably. The intelligence services didn’t create the coronavirus, but they will certainly benefit from it. Just as quarantine is turning out to be a recruitment tool for extremist groups, it’s a huge source of data for intelligence services. With people staying at and working from home, digital surveillance units see a window of opportunity to cultivate the most significant amount of personal data on all of us. In their battle against coronavirus, many governments revealed they are tracking the infected to prevent the spread of the virus. China, South Korea, Israel, Italy and others are tracking their citizens’ phones; monitoring their movements via CCTV video and credit card records. They are doing so by applying emergency measures, with major infringes (sic – RB) of personal privacy, and without any time limits. The UK is considering tracking our movements with the help of location data, and is in talks with telecoms networks and Google to help. This means when the coronavirus crisis is finally over we might find ourselves faced with yet a far more dangerous threat which is likely to change our lives for good: a society where surveillance and spying on ordinary citizens are justified and tolerated and where it’s up to the tech giants to decide how much privacy we should have. The dilemma of new terrorism and novel security spying measures all over the world shouldn’t, by any means, confuse us about whose side we are on. We must do whatever it takes to support our security services in their new battle to protect us from any threat that might arise in the coming weeks and months. Yet we must protect our freedom and privacy and defend them with everything we have. Coronavirus mustn’t obliterate those too.

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