"Don't buy a British lie"
was the call of republicans in the 1980s in their
campaign against the gutter press. The Sun,
the News of the World and other rags should
be boycotted, the community was told. They were the
enemy of those fighting oppression.
lied day and daily about republicans and the war.
They demonised those who challenged the status quo
- hunger-strikers, IRA volunteers and their supporters,
anyone who rebelled against the system. They distorted
or silenced radical voices.
were despicable yet dangerous. They fed the masses
a diet of tits and trash to numb their minds. They
served the establishment's agenda in their squalid,
slimy way. People were urged not to buy these newspapers.
'Don't buy a British lie' applies to the Andersonstown
News. It has just been revealed that the British
government has funded the Andersonstown News Group
to the tune of £560,000. Yes, that's right -
over half a million pounds.
details were released not in the Andersonstown
News - unsurprisingly it never made them into
a front page exclusive - but in the House of Commons.
It is the unlikely figure of Lady Sylvia Hermon -
not the Andytown News' intrepid hacks - we
have to thank for bringing these figures into the
asked a question of the British Secretary of State
about the newspaper group's funding. The money has
come from, among others, the Stormont Department of
Finance and Personnel and the Stormont Department
of Social Development. No wonder the Andersonstown
News has been so keen to bring back Stormont!
is running amok at Teach Basil. Rather than being
grateful for what they've got, it was revealed the
Andersonstown News Group has made further applications
for almost £500,000 of British state funding.
If granted, it will make them British government millionaires.
Sylvia is of course outraged. But in her reactionary,
unionist response she completely misses the point.
The British government is not funding a radical republican
newspaper. It would never be writing cheques for the
Sovereign Nation or Saoirse. It's funding
the Andersontown News Group because these papers,
their management and journalists, have been bought
no threat to the British state or its agents. They're
the Andersonstown News ran an editorial saying
it supported the right of any Irish man or woman to
challenge British rule in Ireland by any means necessary,
would the Brits still fund the paper?
the Andersonstown News called for a radical
campaign of civil disobedience in support of republican
prisoners in Maghaberry, Portlaoise and English jails,
would the British continue to pay up?
the Andersonstown News said that "dissident"
republicans had a point - the Belfast Agreement was
never what republicanism was about and Stormont is
no place for the inheritors of 1916 - would the cheques
still be in the post?
the Andersonstown News stopped presenting all
those who oppose the Agreement and the so-called peace
process as loonies or scum, would the Brits keep making
there was even a faint hint of genuine republicanism
or radicalism about the Andersonstown News,
the Brits wouldn't give it a penny. Because the Brits
haven't changed. They're every bit as keen to destroy
those who oppose them today as they were in the 1980s.
Andersonstown News, like the rags that went
before it, demonises and censors those the Brits hate.
It feeds working-class nationalists a diet of inane
news stories, advertisements, and pictures mainly
of people in drinking clubs.
helps ensure the Brits have nothing to worry about.
It's the peace process in print. It's called the Andersonstown
News Group. But it carries advertisements for the
British military forces - the PSNI - and it's funded
by the British government. How more British can you
are meant to be about transparency, openness and accountability.
Yet the Andersonstown News has hidden its half-a-million
Brit dosh from its community. What does a 'principled'
columnist like Father Des Wilson think of that? Will
his resignation letter be in the post?
Brits don't throw good money at nothing. They haven't
made a misjudgement. A wily Andytown News hasn't
conned them out of cash. They aren't funding this
enterprise because of its riveting reporting, crusading
journalism, or contribution to community life - (they
don't exist anyway).
funding this newspaper group because it's doing a
very good job in preserving the political status quo.
It helps makes life easier for the Brits. It ridicules
anyone who would even entertain the idea of rearranging
its meaningless denunciations of securocrats etc.,
etc. Who really makes the Andytown News' blood
boil? For whom does it reserve its most vicious and
malicious words? Who does it regularly slant stories
Andersonstown News' real enemies are the Brits'
enemies - those who want to smash this rotten little
state and its rulers, those who oppose the pacification
process, those who speak out against the illegal and
immoral occupation of our country.
gutter press never went away, it's just been renamed.
The slogan of the 1980s still stands - "Don't
Buy a British-(funded) Lie". It's time to again
shout and paint it all over West Belfast.
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