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How the UK Security Services neutralised The Guardian(dailymaverick.co.za)

267 pointsctack posted 6 months ago124 Comments
Angostura said 6 months ago:

As I understand it, the Guardian had previously always considered D-notice requests and had usually acquiesced. However, it decided that Snowden was so important that it took the pretty unprecedented step of ignoring them.

This made the intelligence services particularly dischuffed.

Post-Snowden the status-quo was re-established.

It remains to be seen whether the Guardian would ignore D-notices again, if something else of the magnitude of Snowden came along - I hope it would use its judgement and do so, if necessary. I'm not necessarily against newspapers considering requests from the intelligence service not to publish something for good reason - it can end up with people dying. It's a tough decision an editor has to make.

raxxorrax said 6 months ago:

The "people could die" argument is very weak and I would assume it to always be a self-serving assertion by government or the intelligence community.

If this situation would not be the responsibility of agencies breaking the law in the first place, it is no excuse for the state to break fundamental rights of citizens.

Didn't happen from the leaks that did show executive overreach and abuse, so it would always make sense to make this protective claim and therefore it looses any credibility.

There were no repercussions for the agencies to employ mass surveillance. This is a danger that is magnitudes greater than leaks being dangerous for spies, who know about the dangers of their profession.

jcranberry said 6 months ago:

Not all classified information a newspaper gets its hands on reveals illegal activity.

>Didn't happen from the leaks that did show executive overreach and abuse, so it would always make sense to make this protective claim and therefore it looses any credibility.

It doesn't need to have credibility if it's obviously true. If the Guardian has information on things such as sensitive military information or CIA operative locations and identities, revealing it could obviously result in loss of life and may not directly involve private US citizens in any capacity.

The idea that the pre-existing dangers of a profession are a justification to put people's lives in danger is just so ridiculous. If you put a bullet in the head of an enlisted man, just because he knew signing up his life might be at risk one day doesn't absolve you of being responsible for their death.

ivanhoe said 6 months ago:

There's also zero public interest in publishing that type of operational secrets so it's very unlikely for them to be published on purpose, making it not-a-problem really.

markdown said 6 months ago:

All a news org should have to do is give the spooks advance notice about what you're about to publish. Then it's on them to extract anyone who they deem to be at risk.

trhway said 6 months ago:

>The "people could die" argument is very weak and I would assume it to always be a self-serving assertion by government or the intelligence community.

until of course it is the government itself who discloses the sensitive info - in such cases even that weak argument is just thrown out the window like in the cases of Scooter Libby/Valerie Plame or Trump/Oleg Smolenkov.

Fnoord said 5 months ago:

I can't say justice has been served with regards to the Valerie Plame case. G.W. Bush commuted Libby's prison sentence, and D. Trump pardoned Libby.

NeedMoreTea said 6 months ago:

Ignoring a D notice seems to get the system renamed, but brought back almost identically each time. Each time they've been renamed, there's been an "incident". :)

Or just never ask authorities of the possible conflict with national security in the first place, and just publish unasked. Obviously that's not always possible, but what happened for the first Snowden story. The rest had to go through D notice as everyone now knew they were there...

Edit: Here's a Guardian piece on D notices and renaming, confirming the first Snowden story simply side-stepped them: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/jul/31/d-notice-syste...

Fascinating to see the first major incident being Chapman Pincher, Daily Express defence correspondent. Ah, the days when the Express was an investigative broadsheet with pretty good (right of centre) reputation. How far they have fallen to today's comic...

Singletoned said 6 months ago:


Surely "nonchuffed"? "Dischuffed" suggests that they had been previously chuffed with the Guardian.

NeedMoreTea said 6 months ago:

Hmm, dischuffed has always seemed to be used simply for unhappy. Superlative Antonym: Chuffed to little mint balls.

Angostura said 6 months ago:

You raise an interesting point which I shall have to ponder.

But can't I be disappointed by a particular movie, without being previously ... appointed ... by another from the same fim maker?

Singletoned said 6 months ago:

I'm pondering this too, and I'm willing to be wrong on it, but I would have said that you can't be disappointed by a movie without having had some sort of raised expectation about it. If you thought it would be rubbish you wouldn't be disappointed.

"Dis" always suggests to me some sort of removal, rather than just the absence of.

NeedMoreTea said 6 months ago:

My dislike of mornings does not, I hope, suggest I ever liked them. A disability isn't always an ability that's lost. etc.

So many exceptions, I sometimes wonder how others ever end up learning good English. :)

abainbridge said 6 months ago:

The dis- prefix just means "not". https://www.etymonline.com/word/dis-

Singletoned said 6 months ago:

The link you posted starts by giving three definitions, only one of which corresponds with "not". Maybe you meant to post a different link?

dragonwriter said 6 months ago:

It adequately demonstrates that “dis-” does not necessarily imply anything more than “not”, which is all the weight it needs to carry in this discussion about whether “dischuffed” must, because of the prefix, mean “formerly chuffed but no longer”, instead of merely “not chuffed”.

iicc said 6 months ago:


jcranberry said 6 months ago:

I don't find that 'dissatisfied' or 'discontent' imply a previous satisfaction or contentment.

guiriduro said 6 months ago:

The article clearly demonstrates that The Guardian has become a shadow of its former self - pro-Establishment, anti-Assange, anti-Corbyn/Labour, all of its trustworthy intelligence reporters having left. Something of an open secret to be honest, how it now arrogates to pretend to still be "Left"-leaning but is nothing of the sort, under editorship veering from amateurish to clearly complicit.

NeedMoreTea said 6 months ago:

The Guardian has never been full left, or organ of the Labour party, always centre-left more where the old Liberal Party once sat.

They don't seem that much moved, if anything they are more "of the left" today than they've ever been, just not necessarily Corbyn's left. Being so negative on Corbyn in the run up to 2015 may well have damaged many folk's views of them.

mattmanser said 6 months ago:

You're wrong IMHO.

I used to read a rotating selection of the guardian, the independent and the telegraph when I still bought a newspaper in the 2000s. I now mainly read the guardian and occasionally scan the BBC, telegraph, ft, fox news and CNN.

Putting aside opinion pieces, the guardian has moved from hard left, to left of the centre, in its reporting. You just don't get the sort of bombastic, hard left, 'news' articles some of their old reporters used to write in the print version.

I would say they often had pretty biased reporting back in the print days, but not now.

The telegraph website has moved from centre right to hard right. The independent website hurts my eyes last I checked with ads, ads, ads, videos, videos, videos, which is a shame as I loved that paper.

Personally I'm nervous of the guardian having so much power now (and some semi-stable funding from a trust), but they're being pretty responsible with it.

r721 said 6 months ago:

The Independent is owned by Saudi/Russian investors now:


>Sultan Muhammad Abuljadayel

>Alexander Lebedev

>Evgeny Lebedev


Related articles:



dTal said 6 months ago:

Friendly reminder that the UK government once leaked material about foreign spying activities through the Independent and pretended it was Snowden's fault in an attempt to discredit him. I considered them to have zero journalistic ethics after that.



stochastic_monk said 6 months ago:

The Independent used to have a chum box on its page.

Whatever money it made for them, it made me associate that with their work, which I don’t think was that great to begin with.

sleavey said 5 months ago:

Their website is now just an ad vehicle too. Giant videos that take up half the screen even when you scroll past them and don't watch them? Yep, I'm leaving.

jajag said 6 months ago:

And you, IMHO, are not right. I read both the Telegraph & Guardian online. I find - at least with brexit - that there's a plurality of opinion in the Telegraph that the Guardian doesn't have (for example, regular articles from anti-brexit voices such as Irish senator Neale Richmond, or EU figures like Barnier). The Guardian is like an echo chamber in comparison, with only its Economic's editor Larry Elliot offering anything against the grain.

Honestly, if you think the Telegraph is hard-right, then you're much harder left than you're letting on.

mattmanser said 6 months ago:

I'm definitely not, I wonder if you know any lefties at all.

At the moment, compare the headlines, lead stories on the Telegraph to the Guardian. Here's the Telegraph:

Backlash as No 10 questions impartiality of Scottish judges

The Scottish court prorogation ruling shows the anti-Brexit Establishment is hard at work

Remainers are confirming Leave voters' worst fears by trying to litigate Brexit to death

None of that is impartial, it's all highly emotive and extremely biased. The Telegraph is sounding more and more like a hard-right red top.

Compare that to the Guardian right now:

No 10 resists demands to recall parliament after Scottish prorogation ruling

Scottish court ruling: what happens next in prorogation dispute

Nigel Farage 'won't be allowed anywhere near government', say Tories

All unbiased, fact based, impartial.

jajag said 6 months ago:

Well if you're going to take your headlines from the comment section of the Telegraph, but the news section of the Guardian, then of course they look partial. How about these other headlines from the current Guardian? "Tom Watson is wrong. We need an election first – and then a second referendum" "'People's PMQs': just more trolling from PM Smirky McSmirkface" "Boris Johnson and the crown: a clear abuse of power"

And anyway, my point was that you get a greater range of opinion in the Telegraph than the Guardian. Plus, just because you disagree with something - i.e. Brexit in this case - doesn't mean that the people you disagree with are hard-right or hard anything.

dTal said 6 months ago:

There is literally no (mainstream, "respectable") newspaper in the UK more nakedly partisan than the Telegraph. People actually call it "The Torygraph". If you don't think the Telegraph is hard-right, I shudder to imagine what you consider that to be.

The Guardian is the only remaining newspaper I trust to be unaffected by UK government agenda.

zaroth said 6 months ago:

And how do the revelations from TFA play into that trust? It seems to me that the Guardian is highly compromised.

jajag said 6 months ago:

"The Guardian is the only remaining newspaper I trust to be unaffected by UK government agenda." - presumably that wouldn't be the case if Labour were in power?

NeedMoreTea said 6 months ago:

The Guardian has had a great ongoing series of Brexit pieces from Michel Barnier, Irish perspectives, frequently fascinating views from academics, economists and politicians around the world.

Opinion has varied widely, depending on who, which at times has been most frustrating. It's been possible to read two opinion slots, from different authors, on the same front page with opposite Brexit hopes. :)

NeedMoreTea said 6 months ago:

Having started with just the Telegraph, my rotation was Guardian, Telegraph and FT in the 90s and 00s. They all had a view, but I hesitate to say any of them were biased. The Telegraph has become very biased. I have to go to Reuters now for right of centre honesty.

The FT was sometimes surprisingly soft-left, but firmly economic in outlook. Telegraph firmly Tory, of all variants, until the Barclays bought them in the early or mid 00s. Downhill aiming to get below the Mail ever since. Dishonest, biased and populist, but no longer Tory. Populist, disingenuous Boris was well suited for writing his columns on made-up EU outrages.

You know where I think the Guardian sat, where the Liberals once were. Sure, there were some strident leftist pieces, but it was uncommon, just as the current incarnation has some strident (and often particularly naive) leftist pieces from Owen Jones. They don't have the couple of leftist heavyweight characters they once had though, and Owen isn't in the same league...

Heck, they supported Thatcher and the first Gulf war, albeit with some doubts.

Angostura said 6 months ago:

> The article clearly demonstrates that The Guardian has become a shadow of its former self

It certainly says that - I'm not sure that it manages to demonstrate it, though. The Guardian has always been soft-left. If you compare its coverage of (the let's face it, ineffective) Corbyn to say Michael Foot, you'll not find much difference.

dsfyu404ed said 6 months ago:

Why does the political direction it leans matter at all?

There's plenty of reasons to be critical of the intelligence and security apparatus regardless of which way you vote.

pjc50 said 6 months ago:

Criticizing the security services in the UK is an intrinsically left-wing act. Nobody on the right ever bothers to do it, and it won't get published - unless for over partisan reasons.

mlthoughts2018 said 6 months ago:

Lately it’s also been feeling obvious & creepy how much The Guardian just runs second rate knock off stories that NY Times runs first, even regarding British or European news. Not headline stories that many newspapers would plausibly cover, but even many far lesser stories, entertainment or sports, pop culture, etc.

The big exceptions are major Brexit stories, but that’s about it.

KineticLensman said 6 months ago:

> The big exceptions are major Brexit stories, but that’s about it.

George Monbiot [0] would disagree with you.

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/profile/georgemonbiot

mlthoughts2018 said 6 months ago:

To me that’s just an eyeroll sort of thing. It’s funny because I actually agree pretty significantly with his politics and a lot of his writing, but find the writing itself to be bad, especially at ever seeming fair or balanced, like an even more self-righteous Krugman. I first heard of Monbiot because Radiohead’s lead singer, Thom Yorke, apparently knows him and somewhat promotes his writing. At any rate, no, Monbiot pieces would definitely not be a dent in what I am saying (for me anyway).

pessimizer said 6 months ago:

Your politics are showing. The point is that Monbiot pieces aren't NYT knockoffs, not that Monbiot pieces are "fair and balanced" (a marketing blurb created by Fox News.)

mlthoughts2018 said 6 months ago:

What a weird comment. My politics really align closely with Monbiot. But I’m sorry, his pieces seriously are just a knock off Krugman from NYT.

shellac said 6 months ago:

The article is a curates egg. The d-notice stuff is interesting, although mostly well known I thought (?).

The Assange and anti-semitism parts are evidence light re-heats of Canary-level reports with added "it's the spooks". Like almost all his partners Assange fell out with the Guardian pretty badly. If MI5 operatives were being paid to do this, well I hope they enjoyed the free holiday.

I especially enjoyed the statistic that "0.06% of the Labour membership has been investigated for anti-Semitic comments or posts."

lacampbell said 6 months ago:

Something of an open secret to be honest, how it now arrogates to pretend to still be "Left"-leaning but is nothing of the sort

I can always spot a political extremist when they claim that something clearly left-wing is actually (secretly!) right wing, or vice versa. It shows their sense of perspective has clearly left them.

Singletoned said 6 months ago:

I suspect that there going to be a divergence between "left-leaning" and "liberal-leaning" in Britain. The British Labour party isn't inherently liberal (as they have shown with their anti-semitism and resistance to gay marriage). I think they will continue further down a path of non-liberal socialism, alienating a lot of people who hadn't previously considered that "left" and "liberal" were different concepts.

DoctorOetker said 6 months ago:

[________] anyone who just finished reading the article and checked the references will think you are trolling if you re-accuse the Labour party for anti-semitism...

EDIT: removed "Did you even read the article?" per the site guidelines

irb said 6 months ago:

The article says Labour doesn't have an anti-semitism problem and therefore it doesn't?

And yes, I checked the references, and they are not wholly convincing. A statement that only 0.06% of the Labour membership have been investigated for anti-semitism (which firstly still seems kind of high to me, and secondly obviously not being investigated for anti-semitism does not mean one is not anti-semitic) and an independent inquiry by the person who was subsequently made Labour's shadow attorney general?

I'm not saying Labour is overrun by anti-semitism but let's try not to just believe the last thing we read, ok?

TheOtherHobbes said 6 months ago:

Mo, the facts say that Labour doesn't have an anti-semitism problem.

There has been absolutely no evidence provided by any source to prove institutional anti-semitism.

There is really no evidence at all that stands up to even the most basic common sense assessment.

For example - if Corbyn is an anti-Semite, he's been remarkably quiet about it. In fact he has somehow managed to stay friends with various Jewish individuals and organisations in spite of his alleged burning hatred for them. Perhaps someone should let them know?

If you compare Labour's record of "anti-semitism" with the many easy-to-find examples of outright unapologetic racism of the British (and US) Right, there's no comparison.

There have however been public statements by Israeli diplomats explaining that "anti-semitism" is used in a calculated and cynical way to undermine politicians who do not support Israeli nationalism. And also evidence of Israeli influencers working to "take down" - their words - British MPs.


Meanwhile the Labour MPs making the most noise about anti-semitism also happen to be the old Blairites who were horrified when Corbyn was elected leader.

As you say - let's try not to just believe everything we read on this topic, ok?

KaiserPro said 6 months ago:

It is, sadly, far more complex than that.

It is more an issue of crony-ism and paralysis.

When corbyn's facebook profile was first linked to some AS post, a party that was functioning would have gone through all the groups he's a member of, and all past comments and removed anything that would ahve potentially been a problem.

They did not. After the first incident where he was tagged in a some post raving on about the "banking elite" or some other trope, there was at least a 6month time lapse before the press discovered his comment on the famous banking mural.

Add that to the backdrop of Livingston being a total tool, and not being censured at any speed, you begin to form a narrative.

mix in the total lack of press control, planning or indeed engagement, you get this mess. Thats without the total perversion of the discipline system (where you can be Richard Burgon, caught lying on national TV about what you said about Zionism, and not be disciplined, but admit you voted for another party and you are instantly expelled.)

All of this could have been managed, if the corbyn "brain trust" had actually bothered to think about the outside world.

Now, Let us not for a moment think that labour are alone in having a *ism problem. The conservative can't stand islam, anyone with an accent, or someone with a "whiff of the colonies". The Libdems can't abide gay marriage (which is deeply ironic)

Look, I voted corbyn the first time, because I thought he was actually competent. He however is not, has shrank back from the press, surrounded himself with posh boys who think they are working class, or dinosaurs from the 80s.

To blame this AS stuff on Isreal is just peak bullshit. If they had simply audited Corbyn's facebook pages, and kicked out the noisy unhinged twats banging on about the jews, we'd never have got here.

notahacker said 6 months ago:

> The Libdems can't abide gay marriage (which is deeply ironic)

tbf even their former leader holding the infamously illiberal positions on "sin" backed gay marriage

irb said 6 months ago:

Anti-semitism (and prejudice in general) exists on a much wider spectrum than just "burning hatred", and it is entirely possible to be friendly with members of a group that you are prejudiced against. If, perhaps, you believe that Jewish people do not integrate fully and are not "properly British", it does not prevent you from also getting on perfectly well with your Jewish next door neighbour, but you're still anti-semitic.

And just as a tip, claiming that accusations of anti-semitism are a Zionist conspiracy is somewhat self-defeating.

crdoconnor said 6 months ago:

43% of tory party members wouldn't vote for a Muslim leader. That's endemic institutional racism. Labour party members have no such issue with Jews. The anti semitism accusations are purely about the Israel lobby throwing a fit.

notahacker said 6 months ago:

That and the number of Labour members prepared to insist every Jewish person complaining about their treatment or objecting to the disciplinary body ruling holocaust denial memes OK is part of the "Israel lobby throwing a fit"...

crdoconnor said 6 months ago:

Most of the ones whose complaints get into the media have links. E.g. members of Labour Friends of Israel like Margaret Hodge who went on a junket to Israel specifically to apologize to Isaac Herzog (he who said "race mixing between Jews and non Jews is a 'tragedy'") about the UK Labour party's "anti semitism issues".

It's frankly quite disgusting the level of Islamophobia some of these people are endorsing simply because they consider it politically expedient to throw their support behind a foreign government.

It's not that anti semitism doesn't exist at all in the Labour party. It's just vanishingly rare and literally nobody - NEVER MIND a leader - has said anything close to as disgusting as what Isaac Herzog or Boris Johnson has said.

notahacker said 6 months ago:

Newspapers have also covered unambiguously factual stuff such as heads of disciplinary panels writing emails excusing the posting of holocaust denial memes from far right websites as "out of context", whilst Labour's own investigation looked at university kids being bullied - did they all have "links" too?

When your first resort upon hearing people complaining about a particular form of racism is to search for dirt on some of the more prominent members of that minority, I don't think you're in any position to lecture others on endorsing disgusting levels of racism...

crdoconnor said 5 months ago:

Digging up memes shared by nobodies and reinterpreting them as racist (seen this a few times now) is used as a means of deflecting criticism of obvious Islamophobia by prominent leaders like Herzog. That's the worst part of this pseudo scandal: it's trumped up for and on behalf of islamophobes.

like I said: it's not like anti semitism doesn't exist in the labour party. it's just that the boy cried wolf countless times, and they cried wolf to protect racists.

this is quite apart from the time members of this community decided that they spoke for all Jews when they attacked a Holocaust survivor.

notahacker said 5 months ago:

Nobody in the UK cares about "protecting" rarely-discussed foreign opposition politicians like Herzog - they're utterly irrelevant to people objecting to heads of disciplinary panels defending unambiguously racist stuff like this[1] as "out of context" and demanding their reinstatement to run for public office


Nothing demonstrates the nature of racism problem the Labour Party has quite as much as arguments such as yours that objecting to stuff like this is "reinterpretation" as part of a shadowy Israeli conspiracy to protect Islamophobes

Dylan16807 said 6 months ago:

> And just as a tip, claiming that accusations of anti-semitism are a Zionist conspiracy is somewhat self-defeating.

"Israel is a country that lobbies loudly for its own benefit, as many countries do." is pretty far from a conspiracy theory. And they use the most effective tools available.

I beg you, do not conflate the existence of Israel with the current government of Israel.

SuddsMcDuff said 6 months ago:

Are you a member of the Labour party?

phatfish said 6 months ago:

When you have ~500,000 registered members there are bound to be a few nutters. Especially when Twitter is involved. Which is where many of the reported instances of antisemitism come from.

Corbyn himself liked a couple of suspect images on Facebook and has been critical of Israel. While still keeping the support of leftwing Jewish organisations (Marx was a Jew after all).

Obviously racism should be called out and dealt with when it is found. To me, over the ~4 years this has been a storey in the press the Labour Party have sufficiently answered all questions.

When you get popular enough with a political movement that threatens the rich elite of any race or religion, the attacks start. It just happened that Corbyn was pretty boring in his personal life, attacking his views on Israel was the only option.

Udik said 6 months ago:

> The article says Labour doesn't have an anti-semitism problem and therefore it doesn't?

One of the charges against Corbyn is that he co-hosted a talk in 2010 in which a Jewish holocaust survivor compared Israel's practices with those of Nazi Germany. I mean, can it get more ridiculous than that? You're accused of being an anti-semite because you allowed a Jewish holocaust survivor to criticise Israel?

Singletoned said 6 months ago:

The article is deeply biased in trying to make a point. Nothing in the article actually clears the Labour Party (as opposed to their supporters).

An "independent inquiry" that they commissioned has all the weight of every other "independent inquiry" that has ever been commission, ie none.

That few members of party have been investigated (by the party) is one of the problems that people are complaining about.

vinceguidry said 6 months ago:

As per HN guidelines, please don't ask if or insinuate that someone hasn't read the article. It's needlessly inflammatory.

DiogenesKynikos said 6 months ago:

Accusations of Labour antisemitism are a cyclical ploy used by:

1. Pro-Israeli groups and politicians who want to force Labour back in line on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

2. The Tories, to smear their opposition.

3. People within Labour who want to just the more left-wing Corbyn.

The more you read about these "antisemitic incidents," the more ridiculous it gets. One perfect example was the Jewish Labour member who was accused of antisemitism because she said Holocaust memorial day should be used to remember all genocides. There was a concentrated effort to smear her as an antisemite, despite the fact that she's Jewish, and that there's nothing remotely antisemitic in what she proposed.

mhh__ said 5 months ago:

There is a small amount of fire under the smoke(screen) in that the party leadership have been either ignorant or wilfully blind towards antisemitism complaints, and have also been churning through staff in their complaints division (and then proceeded to almost smear their suicidal ex-employees, one of whom planned to commit suicide from his bosses balcony)

justsee said 6 months ago:

Having been a close reader of The Guardian over many years I'd very much agree with your observations.

It still has the shimmer of a left-leaning paper on soft social issues, but on many matters of significance it's clearly being used to influence left-leaning voters towards an acceptance of a right-wing, authoritarian, security-state worldview (the irony being it keeps up a pretence of the reverse when covering Trump etc).

The article itself was an outstanding deep dive into the history of The Guardian investigative reporting, appeared to reveal behind-the-scenes information I wasn't aware of, such as the effective disbanding The Guardian's veteran investigate reporting team.

C1sc0cat said 6 months ago:

There are a lot of "tankie" pro Corbyn Journalists working for the Guardian.

9q9 said 6 months ago:

Whom have you got in mind?

For those unfamiliar with British political discourse, the term "Tankie" is often used in British left-wing circles to refer to supporters of Stalin (including his approach to political change through violence), and is usually used in contradistinction from "Trots" (= follower of Leon Trotsky's -- who disagreed with Stalin on several things, but not on the use of violence). Whatever one might think of Corbyn and his supporters, "Tankie" is probably not as exact as might be desirable.

[1] https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2016/08/what-...

mhh__ said 5 months ago:

Owen Jones is basically just a labour activist in disguise as a Journalist now, but I don't think he's a tankie

notahacker said 6 months ago:

tbf whilst I completely agree the "tankie" label doesn't fit Corbyn and his average supporter particularly well, one of the more interesting properties of Corbyn is his ability to maintain very good relationships with both the "Stalinist" and "Trotskyist" factions of the British radical left (who tend to hate each other and have little more regard for the Labour Party)

I think the "tankie" description is pretty fair when applied to likes of Seamus Milne and Andrew Murray, though of course Milne stopped being the Guardian's comment editor to work for Corbyn and Murray hasn't written for them since 2013.

pessimizer said 6 months ago:

"Tankie" has (on the internet) become a term that the center-left uses to refer to the left. It's replacing "alt-left" and even getting traction in some circles that identify as "socialist."

C1sc0cat said 5 months ago:

On the internet "ROTFL" no "tankie" is a 1950's labour party slang term for the Communist Party members that didn't leave after Hungary in 56.

A tankie is the sort that sells the papers with editorials praising Assad for crushing the counterrevolutiony scum beneath the wheels of tanks.

NeedMoreTea said 6 months ago:

Well there's Owen Jones. The rest are mainly lukewarm at best on JC. Polly Toynbee occasionally supports him, when it suits.

purple_ducks said 6 months ago:

Not related to his Corben pieces but Owen Jones is probably one of the weakest journalists I've read. It is clear his articles get clicks because he keeps being featured but I cannot stand his pieces.

pessimizer said 6 months ago:

And Owen Jones turned on him before the last election, after which he got back on side.

toyg said 6 months ago:

Does Jones even work at the paper anymore? He has the occasional op-ed but I think most of the time he's actually employed by the Labour Party.

SuddsMcDuff said 6 months ago:

It seems The Guardian is trading on the reputation it built up in years gone by, but no longer lives up to its own high standards.

I respected The Guardian before, nowadays it just seems to be the left equivilent of Breitbart - at least as far left as Breitbart is far right.

kingofpandora said 6 months ago:

As a small aside, I'm always surprised to see that BBC is the most (?) common go-to source for run-of-the-mill non-technology news here at HN. If you think the Guardian is compromised as a neutral source, then let's talk about the Beeb sometime.

toyg said 6 months ago:

Well, sometimes the Beeb's gov status is a protection, though. The Guardian can be more or less shut down by imperium, as a private company in this weird kingdom, and its employees can be sued into oblivion; the BBC works under different rules. After the Kelly affair, for example, the head was forced out, but as far as I know actual reporters were not touched. Compared with barging into an office and literally smashing all tools, it's easy-going.

It is true that this situation comes at a cost, every government leans somewhat on its news desk (particularly on political issues), but in many ways that's actually easy to discount.

jackweirdy said 6 months ago:

A protection from some things but not others. Since 2016 the editorial direction of the BBC is set by a board of 13, where 11 are appointed by the government: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/mar/13/government-cho...

said 6 months ago:
SideburnsOfDoom said 6 months ago:

So in summary:

- The Guardian is more Blairite than Corbynite. This one is not a surprise.

- Relations between MI6 and The Guardian got worse with Snowden, and then got better again. This isn't shocking.

The UK is running out of top-tier independent media platforms. This is concerning. But the dominance of millionaire-owned right-wing tabloids, and the failure to implement any of the recommendations of the Leveson report is far more concerning.

samastur said 6 months ago:

There are interesting bits in this article, but on the whole it is not well written and clearly slanted. For example, section about Guardian's reporting on Corbyn has 8 long paragraphs about other media reports like it has any bearing on Guardian's.

I don't like much of Guardian's reporting, but it is difficult to evaluate how much credence to give to an article that is also problematic.

k1m said 6 months ago:

I followed the Guardian's reporting on Corbyn. It was clearly aiming to damage him on the basis of very flimsy evidence. I worked on this page compiling a list of Guardian articles showing the extent the Guardian had gone to to paint Corbyn and Labour as antisemitic. https://theguardian.fivefilters.org/antisemitism/

Now if the charges were true, you'd think it would continue to be a problem, especially now that a general election is getting so much closer. As Media Lens pointed out recently, it seems the media has lost interest in that particular attack: https://twitter.com/medialens/status/1169157686300217345 - which would suggest there wasn't much to it in the first place.

toyg said 6 months ago:

Guardian editors have definitely decided Corbyn is the lesser evil, most of the hypercritical coverage is gone. The first year it was a non-stop barrage.

The rest of the press is still mostly at it, though.

shellac said 6 months ago:

I think it was aimed at getting him to stop excusing antisemites, which is an embarrassment. It's unclear what you think those links demonstrate, other than many writers thought that too.

"So, @georgegalloway was right" is one of nature's warning signs.

Nextgrid said 6 months ago:

Just wondering, why leak the documents to a select few newspapers that can be silenced instead of the whole world, if the goal is to tell the truth to the people at large? I’d love to see these goons go after every single one of the tens of thousands of seeders in hundreds of different countries if the documents were leaked on a popular torrent website.

michaelt said 6 months ago:

Credible journalists can reveal key facts derived from the leak while keeping other details secret.

For example, a journalist could verify a leak came from a real FBI agent by checking their badge, and assure their readers of that, but keep the agent's name secret.

Or a journalist given a list of secret base addresses could report the number and countries without revealing the precise addresses.

Also, newspapers might be happier to make a big splash reporting an exclusive, but be less motivated if every other newspaper got the same stuff at the same time :)

chongli said 6 months ago:

If I had to guess, it's because the newspapers carry some credibility and have the ability to exercise editorial restraint, whereas the leakers are not journalists and so do not have such experience and credibility.

dannyw said 6 months ago:

This is some real investigative journalism that should overtake the pro-establishment propaganda that passes for 'news'.

stef25 said 6 months ago:

If Guardian has been compromised by anything it's surely by editors that are trying to turn in to a social justice organisation.

Number of pages mentioning "white men" as indexed by Google:

Guardian: 7840 / 3,680,000 (0.21%) BBC: 623 / 4,720,000 (0.01%)

Some headlines of the Guardian that come to mind are "All landlords are scum" and "Maybe white men should just disappear for a while". In the case of the latter it was an interview with the USA's female national soccer captain and that line was something she just joked at the very end and the editor decided to make that the title of the article (if I'd have been her I'd have been furious).

Another rage inducing article was one that nailed David Attenborough to the cross for daring to suggest climate change activism could benefit from separating it from left/right politics.

This is all not directly related to politics, but it's pretty telling. The website / usability is great but the spin they (are pressured to?) put on the content is nauseating.

jcranberry said 6 months ago:

'White men' is just a demographic category. 4.37% (1790/41,000) of fivethirtyeight sites indexed by google mention white men. If anything it's just indicative of The Guardian using less precise terminology than the BBC, which I'm sure discusses the demographic or subdemographics of white, male British people every now and then.

It seems that you are saying that they use sensationalized titles and publish contentious opinion pieces. I hate these tendencies on news orgs as well. But the Guardian isn't nearly as bad as HuffPost or Vox and the like in this regard.

robocat said 6 months ago:

Number of results for "flounder" site:theguardian.com is 2,500, however "flounder" site:bbc.com returns just 81.

Clearly flounder is a hot social justice topic (if I follow your logic).

PS: flounder was just the first nonsense word I tried.

Dylan16807 said 6 months ago:

There are severe problems with how we handle land ownership so I don't find that hyperbole rage inducing / infuriating.

The idea of white men "disappearing for a while" is new to me and it sounds like an amazing idea. How better to shake up entrenched power structures? Spread around the leadership roles and experience, and then once that settles combine everyone back and you can end up with a much better mix at all levels.

whenchamenia said 5 months ago:

Your racism is showing.

Dylan16807 said 5 months ago:

Power structures are objectively unbalanced. Wanting to shake them up is not a slight against any particular race.

JetSpiegel said 5 months ago:

Ctrl+F Greenwald ... No results Ctrl+F Intercepted ... No results

The question "Can you write an article about Snowden and The Guardian without mentioning Glenn Greenwald" has been answered.


MichaelMoser123 said 6 months ago:

I have a stupid question: how does this committe know in advance what a newspaper is about to be publishing? I mean in order to give advanced notices they need to know what the newspaper is up to?

diodesign said 5 months ago:

Credible journalists contact governments, businesses, individuals, and any other subjects of articles, ahead of publication to ask for official comment, interviews, on-the-record explanations and confirmations, and so on.

It's basic due diligence to speak to both sides of a story. However, it can tip off organizations and folks that they are about to be a headline...

CalRobert said 6 months ago:

""" An error occurred during a connection to www.dailymaverick.co.za. Peer using unsupported version of security protocol. Error code: SSL_ERROR_UNSUPPORTED_VERSION """

In Firefox 69...

mipo5 said 5 months ago:

It's a paradox. On one hand, we want freedom of speech and want all information to be publicly accessible and visible to everybody. On the other hand, we want criminals to be in jail and we want the borders of our countries to be untouched. We can't have both though.

interfixus said 6 months ago:

Fishy! This site requests access to all passwords in my KeePassXC Firefox addon. Never seen quite that level of blatancy before.

k1m said 6 months ago:

Can you elaborate? How does it do that? And why would that level of access, even if a website wanted it, even be a feature of a password manager? Genuinely curious.

interfixus said 6 months ago:

You're right, I should elaborate. The site causes a normal KeePassXC-Browser popup, "www.dailymaverick.co.za has requested access to passwords for the following item(s). Please select whether you want to allow access."

Then comes the weird stuff. It may not actually be all my passwords, but it sure is a lot of them, the long list ominously beginning with my bank and a mobile payment solutions.

It's probably a bug of some kind. But sure looks scary.

On my way to work, and on phone only for next many hours, so not able to look further into.

k1m said 6 months ago:

Thanks. If I had to guess, I'd say this sounds more like a problem with KeePassXC than the site. I haven't used KeePassXC, but in my experience of these kind of addons, the site is not even involved in making a request for a password, the password manager kicks in when it detects a login prompt and suggest a password based on the URL of the site you've loaded. That's why I was curious how it would be possible for the site to not only initiate this, but demand passwords for other sites.

ctack said 6 months ago:

Please do. The editorial staff seem like a really well intentioned bunch, but of course there could be something nefarious going on.

goldcd said 6 months ago:

Or it could all be FUD, spread by MI6 raises eyebrow

elp said 6 months ago:

Its their dodgy ad network as always. Daily Maverick is great journalism by South African standards but they are complete and utter idiots when it comes to their advertisers.

Then they wonder why everyone blocks ads and they can't make money.

kmlx said 6 months ago:

wow. is this even legal?

interfixus said 6 months ago:

It does, dammit! Downvoter care to elaborate?

quickthrower2 said 6 months ago:

Not a down-voter myself, but the statement made needs more elaboration, because at first glance it makes it sound like there is a security issue with the site, when it is more likely to be an issue with the password manager.

Tomte said 6 months ago:

No, it doesn't. Because web sites aren't involved in how your password managers works.

Best guess: the password manager cannot match the title or URL to any of your password entries and now offers you to pick the right one.

Screaming murder doesn't make your comments any more credible or valuable.

mtmail said 6 months ago:

What a Firefox plugin does on a computer has little to do with "How UK security services neutralised the Guardian newspaper" and distracts the discussion. It get boring reading about popups, font-choices, a website not working in Opera 9, auto-playing videos, paywalls. What I've witnessed (I didn't downvote) is as soon as such off-article-topic goes to 5+ comments or half the comment thread it gets downvoted.

StreamBright said 6 months ago:

You have been experiencing the downvote culture that developed recently on HN.

erjavicdb said 6 months ago:


StreamBright said 6 months ago:

Not many people care about these atrocities in the west.

NullPrefix said 6 months ago:

This website shows a popup about adblockers and the close button says "Naaah...journalists should go hungry."

"Let me try to peddle some malware to you, you don't want me to go hungry, do you?"

rnotaro said 6 months ago:

I personnaly thought it was a clever way and prefer that than an AdBlocker Wall.

You can either :

- Buy a no-ads pass.

- Disable your AdBlocker

- Click on "Naaah...journalists should go hungry."

satori99 said 6 months ago:


- Context Menu->Delete Element

lnx01 said 6 months ago:

Yeah... So, this is a South African independent online-only publication for news. They also have an investigative arm. Investigative journalism is in the dumps in South Africa at the moment; on the one hand it's due to simple lack of anyone buying hard copies anymore, and on the other due to the powers that be (owners of publications) discouraging investigative journalism because it can get a bit close to home sometimes. I'm sure they're sorry about the ads, but they have to something. I donate a couple bucks to them every month.

intricatedetail said 6 months ago:

This is load of crap. Just Google what they kept writing about cannabis. Independent... all press feeds off big pharma.

tgsovlerkhgsel said 6 months ago:

The one sentence below the article makes me sceptical:

> Daily Maverick will formally launch Declassified – a new UK-focused investigation and analysis organisation run by the authors of this article – in November 2019.

This would give them a strong motivation to write a biased or even non-factual article to a) generate attention and b) paint themselves as more credible, or at least a direct competitor as less credible.

CapacitorSet said 6 months ago:

>An error occurred during a connection to www.dailymaverick.co.za. Peer using unsupported version of security protocol. Error code: SSL_ERROR_UNSUPPORTED_VERSION

How can you test so little on Firefox that it doesn't even connect? (FF Nightly, Linux)

k1m said 6 months ago:

Works fine in my Firefox.