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I have never disliked the Sun as much as I dislike the Mail. I’ve always believed the latter to be more dangerous because its readers think it’s a proper newspaper. I don’t think Sun readers make that mistake.
Nor do I believe they pay much attention to its voting instructions. I remember that, in its Thatcherite heyday, an independent poll of readers revealed that most assumed the Sun was a Labour paper, which must have been both reassuring and disconcerting for the Labour Party at the time.
How a paper allied to what was nominally a party of the left might have delivered a verdict such as it did on Hillsborough is hard to imagine. That was in the days before Kelvin MacKenzie was re-invented as a loveable curmudgeon. His lies about Liverpool fans managed to shock without being surprising. The Sun had long been a vicious bag of hate and fiction. It continued to be so when it did start to support Labour.
Neither did the Mail or Express lighten up on travelling people or refugees when they fell in love with Tony Blair. The fact that they are read by so many people and that the country is not overrun with lynching parties must mean that, despite my second sentence, not all their readers take them seriously.
This is not to say the ‘quality’ right‑wing papers are covered in glory. The Telegraph is okay, so long as you know that a belief that the army should run the country informs even the punctuation, and that many of its readers use the word ‘abolitionist’ pejoratively. But the high-end News International papers are impossible to take seriously. The Kim family must passionately envy the Murdochs, wishing they got such an easy ride from the Pyongyang Times. No, it really is called that.
Grace Blakeley investigates the curious case of Carillion: how the company’s slow decline and abrupt liquidation reveals the nature of modern capitalism.
The collapse of Carillion could be a watershed moment. Let's seize it to end economically disastrous outsourcing schemes. By Cat Hobbs.
Campaign groups highlight UK complicity in Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.
Three founders of Momentum talk to Ashish Ghadiali about the two years that have transformed their lives and the fortunes of the British left.
Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.
The real story behind the fire in Grande Synthe’s Linière refugee camp, Dunkirk. From 'Bordered Lives – How Europe fails refugees and migrants' by Hsiao-Hung Pai
Javier Pérez De La Cruz writes about the working class Berlin neighbourhood wrung dry by gentrifiers.
Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them. By Kara Moses
Students are suffering the effects of financial instability, stress, and slashed mental health services. Mark Crawford reports.
They're not defending free speech - they're just seeking to shore up their own power, writes Ilyas Nagdee
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns