Thursday, November 29, 2012


I fully intend to do a day's blogging, just as soon as I sorted out some aspects of that difficult concept called life (not all of it, just some). However, here are a couple of preliminary statements:

On UKIP and today's by-elections in Croydon North, Rotherham and Middlesborough (on which I shall write later):

As UKIP's co-founder and the first person to be purged from that party I would be delighted if UKIP could finally achieve the results it ought to achieve in the current political climate, no matter how low the turn-out might be. However, past experience tells one that results rarely live up to predictions and it might, on the whole, be better to wait for those results before celebrating or predicting (yet again) that the political scene is about to change. 

On the forthcoming report from Lord Leveson:

Who didn't know that the purpose of the exercise was to recommend legislation that would introduce state control of the media? Then again, such legislation will  have to pass through two Chambers in Parliament and is likely to get bogged down in both of them, thus ensuring that Parliamentary time is taken up by this preposterous bit of legislation. 

The assumption that this is going to be a spectacularly new departure for the British media, which is, allegedly free to publish what it likes at the moment ignores our still unreformed libel laws that control journalism to a far greater extent than most people realize. Suffice it to say that in the US they had to pass legislation to protect the right of American authors to publish certain information in their country and not be hassled by British courts.

Finally, as a blogger, I find it hard not to laugh at the travails of the MSM and not to hope that any legislation that comes out of the Leveson report might finally encourage the British public to turn to the genuinely free part of the media. 

More later, after I have given the benefit of my opinions to the listeners of the BBC Russian Service.


  1. I was surprised and pleased to see Dave announce to the House that it might still be possible to arrange sensible voluntary regulation of the Dead Tree Press, which is dead in the water anyway. All it will take is time. Of course he will struggle against Ed and the Red Zone and the Cleggite brotherhood he are desperate to have a go at the Mail.

    Statutory regulation and political interference - and revenge - will merely speed up the process.

    Guido is already rubbing his hands with glee.

    Now to see off the revoltionary socialists at the Beeb . . .

  2. You are correct about the libel laws in the UK. They are truly horrific, and subject to massive abuse and manipulation. When you have Saudi Sheikhs of questionable background able to use these laws to chill publication by a British author of a book in the UK, that speaks for itself.

  3. > Suffice it to say that in the US they had to pass legislation to protect the right of American authors to publish certain information in their country and not be hassled by British courts.

    The Americans don't seem to have many issues hassling foreign nationals in their courts. Two wrongs don't make a right though.

  4. Actually, the issues were quite serious. I followed the passage of the so-called "Rachel's law" quite closely as a friend of mine was involved. There had been occasions when British courts demanded that books published in the US be pulped by American libraries. In the case of Rachel Ehrenfeld who started this whole process, there was a libel case against her by someone who did not live here but kept a home for the odd visit because she had published in a book that did not come out in Britain but was bough on Amazon by 23 people in this country information from public sources that was deemed to be hurtful to the person's reputation. It was true and in the public interest but that was not enough. The legislation prevents British courts from demanding that the book be withdrawn in the States, which they could do in the past. This is not quite the same as foreign nationals committing crimes such as hacking into secure computers (oh but they all have Asperger's Syndrome) or selling banned products to Iran.