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.
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