Monday, March 25, 2013

The champions of censorship

Having shown an ambivalent attitude to much of the clamour and orchestrated tumult, the public finally got what it deserved - state regulation of the media, including of what is published on the Internet. 

It was sad to note that society did not vigorously oppose this totalitarian assault on the freedom of expression, confirming, once again, the old claim that the masses love tyranny. In this, the newspapers themselves deserve much of the blame, having cultivated the public such that it would have no inclination to rush to their defence. It might have been a good idea, perhaps, pointing out more clearly the link between the individual’s means of subsistence and the freedom of the press to stir up scandal on his behalf. 

Tethered both directly, through decisions of Parliament, and indirectly, through the appointment of overseers, the media will now become even more subsumed within the ghetto of politics. That is not to say, of course, that subordinance to the so-called apolitical arms of the State would have been a more salubrious option. 

The demand for press regulation was not an act of revenge by some celebrity figures outraged by their treatment at the hands of the press, as some seem to think, nor was it promoted by the aggressive banality of the arguments of the ‘pro-regulation’ campaign; it all looked rather like a well planned action, melding into the wider-ranging political strategy of the Left. (Pity that the press lacked the temerity to fully investigate this aspect even when its own fate was at stake.) 


It is no surprise that the British Labour were the first to embrace the idea of state-control for the press; apart from the fact that Labour stands to lose the most from serious investigative journalism, the left-wing ideology has never been tolerant of alternatives, nor would it consider leaving it up to the man in the street to discern between right and wrong. Freedom of expression is, in their view, something dished out by the State, rather than a necessity of our nature. 

To be true, the media in Britain has never been really free from the start – if it had been, we wouldn’t have needed amateur news sites to expose the corruption of the elite, neither would we see press articles used as political assault weapons, hinted menaces, disinformation and other diversionary tricks. If the British press needed anything nowadays, it was to be allowed more freedom and more curiosity.
Hence, it would have been more useful to explore the field of forces - extending way beyond the media corporations’ management boards - that restrict reporting on matters of serious public concern and the crimes committed by those who are making the rules.