The National:

ANDREW Neil kicked off yesterday’s GB News launch with a five minute monologue that could have been taken straight from George Orwell’s 1984. 

The veteran broadcaster launched his British propaganda machine last night in front of a set that looks like a giant PS4, and it isn’t hard to see the kind of game they’re intending to play.

Red-faced Neil blustered into the camera about how the channel will “reflect the views and values of our United Kingdom”, they are “proud to be British” and will do the news “differently”. 

In reality, the channel is going to attempt to reframe the news into a rose-tinted view of the UK and Westminster, it wouldn’t be surprising if they had their own version of Newspeak ready to roll out to all of their presenters. 

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So, what were the most bonkers moments during Andrew Neil’s address to unionists? The National watched it, so you don’t have to. 


According to Neil, GB News won’t “slavishly follow the existing news agenda” and won’t be providing news bulletins. Isn’t it supposed to be a news channel? Although there was plenty of bombast about covering stories that matter to the public, a few seconds later Neil told how the programmes were being built around the characters of his presenting team who he claimed have “flair, attitude, opinion, and yes, a sense of humour”.

Well, “attitude and opinion” are just another way of saying they will be stirring the pot, it’s a Fox News rip off in all but name. 

The National:


And how will GB News cover stories? “In a very different way”, according to Neil. What do they mean by this? All news is based in fact, you can’t quite change the entire premise of how journalism works, but what you can do is wrap opinion around fact and warp the way in which you present it to your viewers.

Apparently they won’t cover Westminster bubble gossip because it “doesn’t matter to anyone else”. Ah, yes, of course no-one cares about what’s going on in the seat of power, where all decisions are made about our country and the people that live in it.

So, giving the government a free pass then? Not a surprise. 

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Neil wants to make sure that everyone knows this new channel isn’t going to be an “echochamber for the metropolitan mindset” that he claims already dominates the media.

A bold claim to make when most of the high profile presenters are probably on salaries double the national average, at least, and people like Simon McCoy, Neil Oliver and Kirsty Gallacher, can’t exactly claim to be part of the working class can they?

As with all the “top talent” who have likely lived off huge salaries over the course of their careers - they are comfortable, privileged and out of touch. Pretending they aren’t is disingenuous. 

The National:


One thing we can be certain of with GB News, is that it will push the unionist viewpoint to the fore in everything they do. Neil summed it up in his opening remarks when he said: “We are proud to be British, the clue is in the name. And while we will never hold back from covering our countries many flaws and problems, we will not come at every story with the conviction that Britain is always at fault, usually to blame when things go wrong, generally useless. We won’t forget what the B stands for in our title.”

So, as well as a little pop at the BBC there, Neil is basically giving the game away, it’s all about Britain, togetherness, the Union, and although they say they want to hear opinions that are rarely listened to - we can safely say that those in the independence movement will likely be ignored.

This channel is for Union jack waving die-hards, and it’s a bid to keep the status quo, not change it. GB News is an experiment in doublethink - in 1984 used by Big Brother as a brainwashing exercise - and any talk against the glorious union will be summarily dismissed. 

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GB News wants to hear from people, they want the views of the general public, unabashed - and by the looks of it completely unchallenged. When Neil said presenters wouldn’t “lecture or talk down”, with “hectoring” banned from the studio, he tried to frame it as nice, fluffy, and an attempt to take on cancel culture and “the threat to free speech”.

But, when journalists invite the public to take part in these debates, there is a duty to challenge and to correct the facts when it is needed. If people with right-wing views that aren’t typically heard in the mainstream are allowed to rant and rave unchallenged, we are moving into murky territory, where fact and opinion become intertwined, and values fall by the wayside.