Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Do I really care?

Both this blog and EURef feel strongly about suppression of freedom, particularly in matters to do with speech and media. So why are we not that interested in the "shock, horror, Guardian has been gagged" story that is exciting the Conservative blogosphere.

There are several reasons. First of all, this is of little importance except for the Guardian that is steadily losing readers and needs some kind of publicity. We do not need newspaper reporting of Parliamentary proceedings. There is an excellent website that is very easy to follow; it publishes the Order Papers, Reports and Hansard. Unedited version of the latter goes up within three hours or, in other words, faster than any newspaper can or bothers to turn its reports round, and the edited version is there early the following morning. The Guardian is of little importance in the process.

Secondly, the Trafigura story, which the Guardian and various bloggers are boasting about, was not an exclusive. The Times and the BBC ran it about four weeks ago. Maybe the Grauniad got there first, maybe not. Either way, this is not a big issue any more. The story is out in the open.

Thirdly, I wonder about those free speech credentials. Did the Guardian publish the Danish cartoons? Would it publish anything of that kind that might precipitate threats from real nasties? I think not. Would the Guardian stick up for our right to publish those cartoons as I do above? I suspect I know the answer to that.

Naturally, like all people in any part of the media, I want to see the British libel laws changed and, in connection with that, I hear that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a Bill into law for California that would protect Americans from libel tourism (link as soon as there is one in the post-Columbus Day official statements).

UPDATE: Iain Dale writes that Carter-Ruck has "folded". The Guardian is now free to report the Parliamentary Question that was available on the web, anyway, and write about the underlying story that other media outlets have also covered. A non-solution to a non-story.


  1. It's got nothing to do with "Freedom of Speech" that's just a political abstraction. We're in a state of social cold-war with Islam. The truth tellers are silenced to maintain the facade of peace.

    The heart of the problem is an amorphous beast and has many names: tolerantism, non-discrimination, multiculturalism, inclusivism and so on. It demands open borders at home and engagement abroad. The leaders of our civilisation, the Tony Blairs, the Barack Obamas, Joseph Bidens, the tranzies, etc, cannot abandon their crank beliefs because that would require them to see that Islam is a distinct belief system, with its own history, integrity, and subjective belief in itself. To see this fact about Islam would require the elite to give up their own belief that there is only one belief system in the world (our own), and that other people are defined solely by whether they have accepted our belief system or not--by whether they have assimilated into our belief system or not. The idea that there are people who refuse to assimilate into our system, not because they simply haven't gotten with the program yet, but because they have allegiances and principles that are opposed to ours, cannot be admitted, because then the world would no longer be an embryonic universalist community in which progress consists of "knocking down the barriers that separate people."

  2. Great news that this can now be reported on. 38 Degrees are currently running a campaign to stop this happening again. Take action now by emailing your MP and asking them to take a stand. Take action now, it only takes 2 mins. Go to:


  3. What can be reported on, Laura? There was not the slightest problem about reporting anything, as I said in my posting. The Guardian was making a huge issue about a non-event. All the information was available all the time. Do pay attention.

  4. Publishing the Motoons was the wrong kind of free speach while publishing a completely false report of Israeli's harvesting Palestinians organs was the right kind of free speach to these people, its not surprising that journalists are now seen as being at the same level as MP's.