Chancellor Brown Vows to Uphold Family Values in Media

09 March 2007

LONDON: Chancellor Gordon Brown, heir apparent to the British premiership when incumbent Tony Blair abdicates this summer, is honing his image as a champion of populist causes - or, at least, those causes that won't rile political kingmaker Rupert Murdoch.

The chancellor's latest crusade is most unlikely to ruffle even the most sensitive feathers: a system for "labelling" media content to help parents protect their children from corruptive eye candy - especially from digital sources.

Brown revealed he has asked communications regulator Ofcom to evolve a media content rating scheme that will provide a common standard for websites, TV programmes, computer games and other media.

He also promised "practical" support for families trying to steer their offspring through the frenetic culture of the modern world.

These words of assurance were reportedly delivered to an unidentified audience of "mothers and fathers" at an unnamed venue in "central London".

Seeking further information as to the event's nature and whereabouts, WARC News was unable to find a single reference on any of the usual websites.

This seemed curious, spurring our legion of intrepid reporters to ask the usual 'what, why and wherefores' of the Labour Party press office, the Treasury and Ofcom.

All of whom promised to call back but failed to do so before our daily deadline - presumably for reasons of state security.

However, further delving revealed that the chancellor's address was actually delivered to a closed meeting of the Equal Opportunities Commisssion, among whose number there is a statistical certainty that one or more fall into the category of "mothers and fathers".

So the story wasn't just another example of Treasury spin for cherrypicking by a gullible press.

Had that been the case, it would never have appeared in MediaGuardian.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff