Monday, 18 January 2010

The end for Bush propaganda?

You will all have had yer first edition of the new free Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle through the door over the week-end, and what a refreshing change it was to see some actual news journalism on the pages, as compared to the Council propaganda sheet which you pay for "H&F News" and even other Conservatives criticise as blatant propaganda which shouldn't be allowed.

Writing in the virgin pages of this new venture into local independent media Council Leader Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh says this:

IT’S great news the Chronicle is going free and now available to as wide an audience possible.

We have a fantastically vibrant place in Hammersmith & Fulham, a borough which the vast majority of people are enormously proud to live in.

As a council, we are working tirelessly to make what we have  already got even better. That is why we have more town centre police, our streets are cleaner, our parks are among the best in London and we have maintained weekly refuse collections.

Our schools have seen incredible improvements thanks to the hard work of pupils, teachers, headteachers and governors.

We have also been proud recently to open the fantastic new Shepherd’s Bush library which is one of London’s finest.

All this has been achieved while planning to cut council tax for the fourth year in a row by a further three per cent. A vibrant, dynamic borough such as H&F deserves a vibrant, dynamic local media and that is why the fact the Chronicle is now available to more readers is such good news.

Hang on, is this the same Cllr Greenhalgh that slapped me down at this Borough Summit for daring to ask that the Council stops funding a propaganda sheet and supports the local media?! It is certainly the same Cllr Greenhalgh who could stop hoovering up all the local advertising revenue that nearly forced the Chronicle into bankruptcy just a year or so ago.

And it will certainly be the same Cllr Greenhalgh who now faces the prospect of being referred to the Office for Fair Trading by the Government, following this debate in parliament last week during which politicans from all political parties condemned the practice of making political propaganda appear as if it is a genuine newspaper - and charging residents for the priviledge.

Could this be the end for H&F News, or Pravda as it is better known? We wait and see.

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