The soul of any paper is found in its Comment pages, [while] advertising [is] the lifeblood of all media organisations . .Media dependency on advertising is a Faustian pact, if ever there was one, which, notwithstanding all - I'm sure, mainly sincere - assurances to the contrary and calls for "progressive" reform, binds and blinds those dependent on it to the politico-socioeconomic status quo which is driving our civilization (not least, through advertising) towards its end.
If "the soul of any paper is found in its Comment pages" then the soul of a genuine society, of people committed to each other's well-being by a deep sense of shared identity and NATIONHOOD (as opposed to the superficial and opportunistic STATEHOOD of being "British"), must surely be intimately and democratically bound to the media organisation(s) which serve(s) it.
The soul of the society and NATION I long to belong to, which I see no reflection of in the British STATE, I would not want owned by capital (directly and/or indirectly through advertising) or by the STATE (the BBC), which has its own agenda, but by the PEOPLE who actually identify with it, and are thus prepared to pay - whatever the cost, because it is vital to their soul - for it.
If the Guardian/Observer were prepared to develop into such a media organization, serving the different NATIONS that would naturally emerge - peacefully and grassroots-democractically - if the perverse and unsustainable compulsion to equate STATE and NATION, which has been imposed on us, by the state, ever since it arose, were lifted, I would be prepared to contibute as much as I can afford (at least several hundred pounds a year) towards it. And I don't need a paper version. As far as I'm concerned, it can be entirely online - which would save a lot of costs.
For my money and committment (which would be from my soul and heart-felt), however, I would expect "unmoderated" freedom to express my own views in the Comment pages, i.e. in the threads attached to them.
Well, Stephen, what about it . . ?