David Thompson


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September 24, 2012



Hmm. Tough one. My answer would be 'no'.

After all, nobody loses money quite like the Guardian.

It doesn't stop them paying Rusbridger nearly half a million a year.


Though the Daily Mail would presumably be the biggest winner, which would fail to delight Guardian readers. Incidentally did you see Deborah Orr's piece in Saturday's Guardian? Sad to see such a prominent journalist arguing for self-censorship and pre-emptive capitulation to intimidation. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/21/west-islamic-world-let-live


We've seen this before in the Guardian. Simple supply-and-demand won't do, the solution: invent a tax, which will magically produce money with no other ill effects (big business can cope! consumers can cope!) so that newspapers can be publicly subsidised.

"When the day comes that the newspapers are forced to stop printing altogether, it will be a disaster for democracy"

..quoth Mr Leigh. Which raises an interesting discussion of what exactly the newspapers (particularly his) are doing for democracy.

Particularly Guardianesque is where he throws in a mention of "the more extreme Nordic model of direct newspaper subsidy" to see if anyone bites, pretending that he's moderate, and giving the impression that the only options are taxation or more taxation.



“Sad to see such a prominent journalist arguing for self-censorship and pre-emptive capitulation to intimidation.”

I don’t know about sad but it is predictable. After all, she’s following the standard Guardian template.


I particularly like the comment he quoted. I shamelessly plagiarise it:

- We should tax CDs at £2 a time to save the LP industry

- We should tax calculators at £2 each to protect the slide rule industry

David, you should set up a competition.


Glad to see hypocrite, former Assange groupy, and self-confessed phone-hacker, David Leigh, getting hammered in the comments. Even the tax loving Guardian readers can see through this one.

Admittedly there are a lot of 'I refuse to pay a tax that subsidises the Daily Mail' type comments. But you can hear the gears whirring slowly as the penny finally drops.

My favourite comment is the one sarcastically calling for a polio vaccine tax to save the ailing Iron lung industry.


"David, you should set up a competition."

We should set up a £2 tax on forensic labs to save the ducking stool industry.


A left wing newspaper loses millions every year because no-one wants to buy it. Therefore all the people who don't want to buy this left wing newspaper should be taxed to keep it afloat.

Only in the Guardian.


Why buy the left wing Guardian when we've got the left wing BBC doing exactly the same thing?



“A left wing newspaper loses millions every year because no-one wants to buy it. Therefore all the people who don’t want to buy this left wing newspaper should be taxed to keep it afloat.”

I have a business that makes solid porcelain shoes, all one size, all painted orange. Shockingly, very few people want to buy my orange porcelain shoes. They keep saying they’re noisy, ugly, uncomfortable, that they don’t fit, and that they’re heavy and quite dangerous. I therefore demand a tax on all non-porcelain shoes to keep my business afloat.

Is no-one interested in baked shoe diversity?


Sounds like the Aerial tax that funds the grauniad TV channel...


While we ponder Mr Leigh’s urge to bail out the Guardian - again - by taxing all broadband users, it’s worth bearing in mind that the paper is already heavily subsidised by the taxpayer thanks to the public sector job ads it carries, anachronistically. (Despite its puny sales, the Guardian has typically received more than half of all government spending on public sector job ads in the printed media.) To say nothing of the paper’s preferential treatment by, and influence within, our politically sympathetic state broadcaster.

sackcloth and ashes

Oh dear. So 'open journalism' wasn't the success story Alan Rubbisher thought it would be. Who'd have thunk it?

Exactly how much money did the GMG spend making that ridiculous 'Three Little Pigs' advert?


I want to know more about these porcelain shoes.


Can we tax the Guardian to help the ailing broadband industry?


The Grauniad would be out of business in seconds if hypocrisy were to be taxed.


Roy Greenslade thinks it's a peachy idea. I don't think he's being ironic as he pops up in the comments to defend his piece.


It's very amusing to watch Guardian reader's moral outrage at the idea of any of their tax money going to the Mail or Murdoch papers. The irony that this is the argument many of us have been trying to make for years about the BBC and Guardian (David's aforementioned public sector job ads subsidy).

Funny how they didn't want to listen then.


Que up "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You"



“The Grauniad would be out of business in seconds if hypocrisy were to be taxed.”

Ditto grandiose self-flattery. The chutzpah is remarkable. We’re supposed to accept a 10% tax on all broadband accounts in order to siphon off hundreds of millions of pounds to already profitable papers like the Sun and Daily Mail because this will somehow excuse even more coercive public subsidy for a mismanaged, morally obnoxious, chronically loss-making newspaper that no bugger wants to buy.

The arrogance of socialists never fails to amaze.


With leftists, we have a group of people who:

Wish to force us out of internal combustion cars and revert to the older electric models they replaced at the turn of the 20th century.

Or better still, revert to bikes and trains.

Want to go back to using windmills as the main source of industrial power.

Act as apologists for barbaric pre-Medieval cultural practices such as forced child marriages and FGM occuringwithin developed nations.

Now want to punish broadband suppliers in order to keep the dead tree press artificially alive.

And refer to themselves, without a hint or irony or self awareness, as 'progressives'.


The Guardian, the paper that loves taxation provided that it's only the little people being taxed.

The arrogance of socialism expressed in one comment.

Yes I believe in a diversity of news outlets but we already pay for the BBC to pump out leftist propaganda and also the Community Channel to do the same on Freeview and Sky (there is even a lunatic conspiracy theorist channel). The leftist alternative view does have a voice and lots of outlets. For those who oppose the Left however it is a different matter. Today, despite their protestations to the contrary, the Left has become the Establishment.


The Heresiarch chips in:

Leigh’s scheme is the product of a Guardian mindset that sees itself as being rather like the BBC, only better, and is understandably jealous of the licence fee. Especially after that £76 million loss… Ultimately, the Guardian puts its content on the web for nothing through its own choice. If that choice isn’t working out for it, then it should put up a paywall; and if not enough people want to pay to read the Guardian, that’s the Guardian’s problem and no-one else’s.


If they had paid tax on the sale of assets, rather than weasel them through the Cayman Islands, they could have asked for that to prop themselves up instead.

It s highly progressive to tax ordinary people in order to keep a bunch of upper middle class, privately educated political activists in lucrative jobs.


The paper that's riddled with the word sustainable is economically unsustainable.

David Gillies

Banning the advertising of public sector jobs in any organ that charged for the service would be one of the first things a really crafty libertarian party could do. It would hole the Grauniad Meejah Group below the waterline and be utterly impossible to agitate against. "We're all agreed on the need for spending restraint in these difficult times, so we are using new media to get more value for taxpayers' money." When Mrs Pollyby and Penny Dreadful and Ho Chi Milne start caterwauling, ask them if they'd rather the money be spent on them than on The Starving Kiddies.


Please show some kindness here, people! Of course you would want a tax to preserve your job at the Graun, if you could get it.

Imagine being forced to go into the world to look for a new job. How would you cope when an editor asked you to get news rather than just have opinions, and doesn't want someone to re-type Liebore press releases? What would it feel like to be criticised for only being left-wing when most sensible people aren't? All that would, I think you'll agree, be too much for a sensitive soul to bear.


For some reason I’m reminded of the attempt in 1987 to launch a “radical” left wing tabloid, The News on Sunday. The project was, unsurprisingly, a disaster and lost a huge chunk of taxpayers’ money. (Financing a socialist newspaper was apparently deemed a fitting use of council funds.) The incompetence and delusion of those involved is something to behold and is perhaps best illustrated by the scene in which, with the paper’s first edition about to go to press, most of the staff is out of the office on a deafness awareness day.

sackcloth and ashes

Ah yes. I remember the 'News on Sunday'. Part of me regrets the fact that it failed, because it was an attempt (albeit a failed one) to have a proper news tabloid. The shame of it all was that the politics of its writers buggered the project from day one; and let's face it, if you want to read a left-wing tabloid there is something out there called the 'Daily Mirror'.

I understand that the 'NOS' started out with the slogan 'No tits but a lot of balls', but that this got scrapped because it might offend feminists. The seeds of its decline were evident from Day One.


David and Sackcloth, A photojournalist friend had the misfortune to do some work for the News On Sunday and she is still waiting for the £100 they owe her. Apparently the newsroom was a disaster zone with lefties mismanaging things as lefties always seem to do and freelancers submitting invoices daily so they would get 'some' money even if the paper went tits up.

sackcloth and ashes

'A photojournalist friend had the misfortune to do some work for the News On Sunday and she is still waiting for the £100 they owe her'.

That was worth quite a bit back in the 1980s. I wonder if she can claim for inflation as well.

I suppose the 'NOS' staff didn't actually intend to screw any of its workforce, and that this financial chaos was the product of incompetence rather than malpractice. But I do expect that a certain type of leftist who is divorced from the implications of having to work for a living might not treat paying one's staff as a priority.

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