Friday, March 17, 2006

French Demonstrations

One of the things I hate when I am out of the country is my reliance on the Murdoch broadcasting group for news. I was watching Fox news today and I was interested to hear about demonstrations by French students about changes to their employment law. Essentially, there were four panellists all saying (fair and balanced??) that they believe that France needs these changes and the economic situation there is due to the socialist system that is operated there. Of course, it being Fox it was just a good excuse for French bashing (funny bearing in mind the foundation of the country they are so proud of), and bore little relation to the facts - actually the law itself was not even discussed.

Luckily, I checked out the real story and it is clear where my allegiance lies. The new law that is being proposed allows employers to sack an employee for no reason within the first two years of their employment. Clearly, this is a worrying development and it is not the answer to France's long term problems. Of course the capitalists support it, but then they have never really been known for long-term planning. No wonder Americans are so badly informed if they rely on the information (or lack of it) from broadcasters like Fox.

What really sticks in my throat, however, is the people who voice these opinions. In this case we have a group of 'commentators' of white middle-class background, in their expensive suits, earning mega amounts of money for spouting utter garbage that will never truly affect them. Hey, they are never going to have to worry about where there next pay check is coming from, or how they are going to pay their bills. Let's put them on contracts where they can be sacked when the mood takes us and see how they cope with the situation. Maybe they will produce better quality journalism with a little more analysis and a little less overt patriotism. Somehow, I doubt it.

Journalists remain firmly part of the establishment (despite their claims to the contrary) and are as responsible for the actions of their governments as the politicians themselves. They are nothing more than mouthpieces for the corrupt officials that run both the US and the UK. It is when politicians are most at fault that we hear the volume of the mouthpieces turned up. When these voices dominate the air, we need to speak louder as one and expose the lies that are corrupting our societies. Perhaps when we unite the printed media might see the error of its ways, or collapse under the weight of opposition to the strength of the capitalist establishment.