Council propaganda sheets hit real journalism and public debate
Dear Ed, THANKS to the East London Advertiser for drawing attention to the effect of council propaganda sheets on genuine journalism and public debate. But if there is no monitoring and no sanctions, it doesn’t matter how strict or permissive the Local Authority Publicity Code may be
THANKS to the East London Advertiser for drawing attention to the effect of council propaganda sheets such as Tower Hamlets' own, unloved, 'East End Lies' on genuine journalism and public debate (Advertiser Website, March 5).
However, if there is no monitoring and no sanctions, it doesn't matter how strict or permissive in the current case the Local Authority Publicity Code may be.
Here are responses from people and organisations I have approached: previous mayor with a patronising brush-off, Tower Hamlets Council's so-called 'complaints' department with childish and evasive replies to simple questions and refusal to discuss, the council's scrutiny with no reply, but apparently a message passed to head of communications (the fox guards the chickens!), the Local Government Ombudsman deciding that it was out of their scope, the Press Commission saying it is not registered as a newspaper (indeed this is correct, it isn't a newspaper!) and Poplar MP Jim Fitzpatrick refusing to do anything (well, it's 'his' party running Tower Hamlets).
This means that with a local authority like Tower Hamlets with no respect for transparency, full-disclosure or genuine debate, there is no systematic defence against such subsidised publishing. This is why I will be making complaints to the police and the Electoral Commission about any (East End Life) or other excesses during the pre-election period.
You may also want to watch:
Meanwhile, we need both a tighter code, sanctions and (preferably) public servants and politicians capable of understanding that (as Orwell said) "in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
- 1 Ethnic communities not taking up Covid jabs, Tower Hamlets Mayor warns
- 2 'Racist consultation' protest rejected on Tower Hamlets street closures as Labour sticks to its manifesto
- 3 Council fined for Alexia Walenkaki's playground death in Mile End and says sorry to family
- 4 Airbnb house party violence leaves police officer with broken finger
- 5 Man sentenced after teenage boy groomed on Snapchat to sell heroin
- 6 Police hunt after stabbing in Cable Street: One man hurt
- 7 Streets around proposed Chinese embassy building could be renamed after persecuted Muslims
- 8 NHS nurse assaulted at east London hospital
- 9 Teenager found dead in Victoria Park
- 10 How seaweed can help save the planet, east London inventor reveals
Newell Street, Limehouse