We’ve been belly-aching against The Sun.

Benjamin Blower denouncing tabloids

Here’s three thoughts on the Leveson Enquiry. Two bad ones and one good.

1. The Leveson Enquiry hears evidence and testimonies, but we are not shocked. We already knew the tabloids were chasing glamourous women down alleyways. We knew about their harassing grieving families. We already knew they’ve stalked and spied and hacked into the lives of whoever they chose. The defense of tabloid journalists is repeated over and over: but we’ve always done it like this… what’s the problem? In this sense its not really the tabloids on trial, since they did all their evil in plain sight. On trial is a society that has knowingly hosted all this evil for years… an order that happily handed its people over to that racket of profiteers, to live under their dark narratives.

2. The Leveson Enquiry can bring no real change. We hope for regulations to be put in place, but any such regulation may be seen as the empire’s empty gesture to a people who need reassuring that they’re not being fooled around by their masters. Such ‘changes’ from the top are a means of curbing the possibility of the real change that comes from the people.

If we imagine the unimaginable, that the enquiry results in the shutting down of the Sun and all it’s derivatives, we see that even this does the people no good. They would just feel that the men in suits are patronising them and confiscating a part of their identity. They would continue to identify themselves with that enslaving order and go looking for similar evils elsewhere.

Only the people themselves can bring real change. It is the people themselves who must overthrow the tabloids by finally rejecting them and emerging from that oppressive order. It is unthinkable that Leveson would shut them down, and it would be an ineffective gesture if he did. But it is not inconceivable that the people could shut it down by not buying it anymore, and if it happened that way then there would be no market left for any other such crud. It happened to the News of the World and it didn’t take long.

3. The Leveson enquiry does create a moment of possibility… a moment of clarity when an antagonism can, and must be awoken between the sheep and their crooked shepherds. This is the moment to ask the question to the working men and women of the UK: Do you think the Sun cares about you at all?

It is time for the gospel of Revelation, of radical non-participation in the empire’s oppressions: “come out of her, O my people.” We can overthrow it by not buying it.

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  1. Next you’ll be saying we can do something about the trash on TV by not watching it, or about materialism by not being so obsessed with gadgets, or about greedy banks by not banking with them… but wouldn’t it be easier just to complain about the government not doing anything?

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