Touching the Void
Help us build the better media and politics that Britain deserves
‘Exposing the ethical void’ is what this month’s Byline Times newspaper aims to do – following in the footsteps of two very different men who have done so in very different ways.
While Prince Harry has declared reforming the culture and ethics of journalism in this country as his life’s work – a cause for which he is willing to put his money where his mouth is, as seen by his legal actions against some of Britain's biggest tabloid groups – Boris Johnson has revealed, like no other modern politician, the vulnerability of our political system to ‘bad chaps’.
And so the two men’s trajectories are connected.
As Peter Oborne observes in this month’s Diary, “the disgrace of Johnson – the first time in 300 years that Parliament has removed a Prime Minister for lying – is surely an opportunity to reflect on how we collectively came to choose someone so unsuitable for high office. This task must include robust self-examination by the British press. Every British newspaper on the centre-right, bar none, backed Johnson as Tory Leader in the summer of 2019, as Prime Minister in the General Election, and right up to the bitter end”.
To read Peter’s full insights – only available exclusively every month in the Byline Times print edition – subscribe today. If you do, you’ll also be able to take in Sonia Purnell’s devastating critique of a political culture that enabled a man like Johnson to rise to the very top.
Having worked with him as a journalist at the Telegraph and penned his biography, Purnell is uniquely placed to make the assessments she does. For her, “it’s just such a shame that a rogue Prime Minister was able to degrade the country and its entire public realm before hitting the political crash barrier. Our focus should now be on how he could have been stopped much earlier so that we minimise the chances of such a national calamity befalling us again. There were countless opportunities to derail his ascendancy and all of them were missed”.
Regular readers will know that Byline Times’ founding mission is to hold the established press to account – something no other publication in the UK consistently does. In this regard, this month’s print edition features an informative and eye-opening piece by journalist and campaigner Brian Cathcart. His observation is as simple as it is astute: it’s not the economy, stupid – it’s the press…
Other regular exclusive columns you can only read in the newspaper include Adam Bienkov’s Briefing (why Rishi Sunak is our first AI PM); Brexit Britain by Chris Grey (could Labour’s ‘Securonomics’ point to a way forward?); Undiplomatic Dispatches by Alexandra Hall Hall (Putin may well have his sights set on Georgia as a consolation prize); Otto English’s Myth of the Month (tall tales about The Beatles debunked); and the newly-launched Tech Effect with Kyle Taylor (while we all fret about AI, what’s happening with the Online Safety Bill?).
Jonathan Lis is also back in our pages this month dissecting what the obsession with the Phillip Schofield story is really about. While Kate Devlin and Emma DeSouza shed light on the concerns about ChatGPT taking over the world.
Subscriptions to our monthly newspaper fund Byline Times’ work. They really make a difference. In recent weeks, our analysis on the significance of Prince Harry’s court cases and Boris Johnson’s downfall have helped tens of thousands of readers join the dots and excavate the structural issues at play. So have our news reports and investigations, including the revelation of fraud quadrupling on Rishi Sunak’s watch, and the controversial PPE company – associated with Conservative peer Baroness Mone – with dwindling assets as the Government’s launches a legal action to recover costs.
So for news, investigations, analysis and cultural explorations you won’t find elsewhere, do sign up and support us. We can help build the better media – and politics – we all know Britain deserves.
Hardeep Matharu is the Editor of Byline Times