Politicians and media are just like mafia





BRUISER and anti-Brownite Charles Clarke warned last Wednesday night that the media had become more powerful than ever since the introduction of new and social media.

Charles Clarke's comments came, as all last week, the mainstream and fringe press debated whether it was right for the BBC to invite the British National Party leader Nick Griffin onto the popular late-night Question Time, which happened on Thursday night - and the frenzy is still going on now - and probably won't subside for a while.


It used to be that Eastenders was the talk of the tele, but everybody is now up in arms over whether extreme right-wing fascists should have been allowed on national TV.


Griffin, in video below, is after a re-match with Jack Straw, and has slammed David Dimbleby for twisting the programme to enable the members of the mainstream parties to gang up on him. There's a famous quote from the Godfather 3 film which I think neatly portrays what happened on Thursday night. Michael Corleone in the Godfather 3 says: "Politicians, they're just like gangsters." And it's true, they work in the same manner. Each protective of their own. The mainstream media are a lot like that too.

But  Clarke, speaking alongside London Press Club president and well established ex-Observer editor Donald Trelford,  both warned that the core principle of writing the truth must not be forgotten, regardless of what publishing platform hacks used to gather news.

The former Home secretary told a packed crowd of hacks that politics had been severely damaged in light of the scoop on expenses earlier on in the year, hounded out by the Telegraph - and that this needed to be mended. He did blame the media in part for creating negative stories about politicians.

But the real story trainees and established hacks were there eager to follow up was whether the outspoken - and (potential future Labour leader?) would offer any tit bits regarding the future of Gordon Brown. Suffice to say, he was keeping schtum. He was once reported to have said that he didn't think GORDON BROWN the PM would lead the Labour Party into the next election. His only sly comment was that the venue where he was speaking was renowned for socialist disagreements.

His comments came at a tenth anniversary after dinner speech in aid of noSWeat Journalism Training, and the Journalists' Charity. Clarke was the guest of honour at a swanky London Hotel venue, the Jolly St Ermins Hotel, Westminister, helping to celebrate ten years of prestigious high-quality journalism training for trainees, some whom have subsequently gone on to become top newspaper, magazine, and website reporters across the UK and wider-world. There were a few budding entrepreneurs among the crowd too.

Having witnessed Charlie in action, with his post-dinner speaking, he's the WILLIAM HAGUE of the Labour Party. Humorous, and actually quite charming. Although, when journalists are plying politicians with free booze and food, they wouldn't be anything but, would they? Considering a little birdie told me he was speaking for FREE, (and not expecting to be paid for his troubles) he was worth it.

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