The Guardian’s increasing notoriety on the occasion of their 190th anniversary

H/T to Normblog for noting the Guardian’s self-congratulatory post  on their 190th anniversary (so sorry we missed the momentous occasion), in which they stated:

“The paper has essentially changed neither its ownership nor its character during its long life. “

Well, actually, the paper has changed quite dramatically over the years, considering the passionate Zionism of C.P. Scott, who was the paper’s editor from 1872 until 1929 and its owner from 1907 until his death in 1932.

Per the Centre for Jewish Studies at The University of Manchester:

“The editor of the Manchester Guardian was the liberal and high-minded CP Scott, who had been a Liberal MP from 1895-1906, and with whom nationalism was a tradition and a passion. Scott first met [Zionist leader, and Israel’s first President, Chaim] Weizmann and was won over by him at a party held by the chairman of a medical clinic in which Vera Weizmann was working. Familiar with all the influential personalities in English public life, he was a tremendous asset to the Zionist cause, and through his introductions Weizmann was able to converse with Lloyd George, Lord Balfour, Herbert Samuel, and other leading members of the government. It was Scott who argued for the potential importance of Weizmann’s discovery regarding the manufacture of acetone, and who leaked to Weizmann details of the embryonic Sykes-Picot agreement (secret Anglo-French negotiations on how to divide up the Ottoman Empire, including Palestine, after the War). Scott was also the first member to join the British-Palestine Committee, the Manchester organisation that founded the Zionist publication Palestine.

A later editor, WP Crozier, similarly supported Zionism. By this time, Weizmann was in London and it was the historian Lewis Namier who maintained the strong links between the Manchester Zionists and the Guardian. Crozier denounced Hitler’s policy along with Britain’s refusal to give refuge or protection to the German refugees, and MacDonald’s White Paper (1939) which severely limited immigration into Palestine.

As Norm succinctly noted, as blatantly obvious evidence of the paper’s dramatic ideological transformation:

“the [Guardian’s] recent willingness to give space to people either justifying or setting out an apologia for terrorist murder; or its provision of space for the dramatic presentation of old anti-Semitic tropes.

Indeed, the Guardian’s transformation into the cesspool of anti-Zionism it has become is more appalling in the context of their audacity to continue using an image of Scott on their ‘Comment is Free’ masthead. 

Normblog joins an increasing number of commentators who understand just how far the Guardian has fallen –  a well-deserved notoriety which no amount of pomp or polemical sophistry can erase.  

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