The Independent is a London tabloid first published as a broadsheet in 1986. With a declining circulation, it has been in financial difficulties for years. On 25 March 2010 the so called Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev bought the newspaper for £1.
As with previous proprietors he will have to subsidise it generously. He may decide to put it out of its misery. It's life could mirror that of The Sunday Correspondent. Launched as a broadsheet, it re-emerged as a "quality broadsheet" before closing.
In 2007, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that rather than being a newspaper, it was now a "viewspaper". Ironically, he said, The Independent was founded as “an antidote to the idea of journalism as views not news. That was why it was called the Independent. Today it is avowedly a viewspaper, not merely a newspaper".
The views it puts are left of centre and republican. This is something The Guardian does better. The the satirical journal Private Eye sums it up by calling The Independent “The Indescribablyboring”.
I seem to recall that when The Independent was founded it proudly announced it would publish no royal news whatsoever.
That did not last long.
For example, in 2003 it played up the invented claims by a clearly unstable former employee of Prince Charles. It declared that the Prince's public denial of the claim that he had been involved in a compromising situation with a former member of the royal household was a “monumental miscalculation” that had resulted in "humiliating publicity" around the world. (“Royal scandal a prince haunted”: 9 November 2003)
The former staff member was later revealed to be unstable and police and most media concluded his claims lacked any credibity.
The monumental miscalculation was not Prince Charles', it was by the grubby media who so willingly rushed for obvious reasons to lend any credence to this.
The newspaper is now conducting a campaign to denigrate the Royal Family through the selective choice of various communications with the government.
It avoids the real issue which is that the politicans have mishandled the issue and dishonoured their solemn agreement with their Sovereign. Instead, it publishes irrelevant matter such as the reactions of the minuscule United Kingdom republican movement.
The United Kingdom republican movement works hand in hand with the Australian republican movement. The spokesman of the United Kingdom movement recently explained on a Beijing radio station why the 1999 Australian republican referendum failed.
Apparently it wasn’t only the model which he neglected to mention was the choice of the overwhelming majority of elected republican delegates to the 1998 Constitutional Convention.
The reason was also that any model was put to the people. The last thing the people need, according to these republicans, United Kingdom or Australian, is to know what they are planning to replace their constitution with. (We shall soon post a link to that the Beijing radio discussion to this site)
You can believe what we say, the republicans argue. Just as the Australian and New Zealand republicans recently insisted that their supporter, Gerry Adams, was not in Australia in 1999 calling for a Yes vote.
So who was the Gerry Adams who appeared on the ABC, lectured at the University of New South Wales, attended a Lord Mayoral champagne reception in Brisbane, gave interviews to the press including Sydney's mass circulation Sun Herald, and demanded Australians vote Yes in the republican referendum?
..it's The Queen's – give it back!…
What the paper does not even raise is the way in which successive British governments have failed – and failed disgracefully – to fulfill their side of the agreement under which they take The Queen’s income from the Crown Estate and does not return sufficient to maintain heritage buildings and the upkeep of British head of state activities. This would have to be provided in a politicians' republic, and comparisons with mainland Europe demonstrate it would cost substantially more.
As we have been saying for many years here until we almost are red in the face – it's The Queen's money. Give it back!
It's not that the journalists who write these things are fools. Perhaps some of them may well be but we think that on the whole they are delinquent, they ignore their ethical obligations and they have a republican agenda.
Rather than pretending to report the news, these journalists should do the honest thing. They should stand for Parliament and – if they get in – push their political agenda there.
…no wonder it is neext to worthless…
The British government just this year made about $A350 million from the Crown Estate but have frozen the amounts paid to cover the costs of heritage buildings and official activities. This is a scandal which The Independent ignores completely.
No wonder its value has fallen to £1.