The Rupert Murdoch-controlled British telecommunications company, Sky, has been accused of helping to fund an Islamophobic, ‘far-right’ political blog called Politicalite, through advertising on its gambling subsidiary, Sky Bet.
The left-wing political website Red Roar, which reports mainly on the Labour party, have revealed that Politcalite carries a purpose-made Sky Bet page on its website offering readers £20 in free bets. The Sky Bet page is advertised on the political blog with the Sky Bet logo alongside Politicalite’s ‘Offers’ logo.
Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox owns a 39.14 percent controlling stake in Sky. The company will no doubt be unhappy that its brand is being associated with such a website. They may blame Google…again. The Sunday Times reported in March 2017 that Sky were considering suspending their advertising on Google.
A spokesman for Sky at the time said: “It is clearly unacceptable for ads to be appearing alongside inappropriate content and we are talking with Google to understand what they are doing to stop this happening.”
Obviously not enough by the looks of it. Politicalite boasts that “big name brands have advertised on Politicalite.com,” listing British Airways, Natwest and even the center-left publication, the New Statesman.
These and all other adverts appearing on Politicalite’s website are most likely using Google’s web advertising platform, but as Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary general of Muslim Council, points out, these companies can exclude appearing on specific websites.
The website is peppered with Islamophobic posts, including one from Jordan James, the site’s editor, who fails to make the distinction between everyday Muslims and a terrorist group such as IS.
In the post, James enthuses over being banned from Facebook for 24 hours for making up a generalisation that Muslims “throw [women and gays] off buildings and stone them to death.” The article finishes with a large graphic that says “f**k Islam.” In another rant, James appears to refer to Muslims as “the enemy within.”
Versi, who’s organisation has recently called for the Conservatives to conduct an internal investigation into allegations of Islamophobia, has voiced his concerns at the revelations.
He tweeted: “Extremely disappointing to see @SkyBet funding the news site Politicalite described by @TheRedRoar as ‘far right, Islamophobic.’ I assume this is a general Google ad but @StopFundingHate has shown that you can exclude specific sites if you wish…”
Home Secretary Sajid Javid is a notable target for the Islamophobic website, who saw him as the “token minority” upon his appointment to the cabinet, earlier this year. Another article on Javid carries the headline ‘Muslim takeover’ in the web address bar, but goes with the more euphemistic “the fox is in the hen house” header in the article itself.
The same article pedals a conspiracy theory that Javid had lied about receiving a threatening “Punish a Muslim Day” letter.
James has since denied any wrongdoing on social media, insisting that “I’m right wing. NOT far right!”
Politicalite also devotes many of its articles to defending anti-Islam far-right figures, including ex-English Defence League leader, Tommy Robinson and Canadian ‘alt-right’ provocateur, Lauren Southern who has been banned from the UK for ‘racism,’ according to the 22-year-old herself.