Today’s first letter by our reader Roger Arthur addresses a clear and present danger which must not be allowed to vanish from view because of other pressing issues:
What spectre does State control of the media conjure up? North Korea, perhaps, or Zimbabwe? Think again because our own Government now intends that our Press should be controlled, by a state backed Regulator. Why would they want that, unless they want to hide something? Just keep asking that question. Voltaire gave us a good clue on where to look for the motive force behind such a move when he said:
“If you want to know who (really) rules over you, ask yourself who, or what, are you not allowed to criticise.”
Could big party donors have an interest perhaps?
The proposed new law seems to allow costs to be awarded against any newspaper which does not sign up to the Government Regulator’s scheme, even if the newspaper has successfully defended a claim. That is the height of iniquity. So again, what is it that the government doesn’t don’t want us to know?
Sadly the Press is already more risk averse and this proposal is only going to drive investigative journalism further into retreat. State control of the Press would not even be entertained by the US constitution and we don’t need it here. What would Richard Nixon have given for State regulation of the New York Post!
What do our MPs think about this, how did they vote on the proposed legislation and what will they to now to counter this drive towards 1984? Perhaps they want cover against exposure for inadequate performance, or possible wrongdoing. Perhaps some are still sore about the parliamentary expenses scandal. Why are so many MPs silent on the issue and on the ECJ (European Court of Justice) 2001 ruling, that the EU can lawfully suppress political criticism of its institutions and of leading figures? Perhaps that was one of the future EU reforms some of them had in mind, when they backed the Remain campaign.
Many voters are already unhappy with decisions made behind closed doors and may want to insist that their MPs and Councillors stand up for transparency and freedom of speech and of the Press. We might then retain some ability to hold politicians to account.
Thos Jefferson said:
“When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear government, there is tyranny.”
This proposal will leave MPs less fearful of the people. So the proposed legislation needs to be kicked into the long grass soon and we all need to urge our MPs to see that it is. That would be an important step on the road back to transparent government for the people – rather than to suit the convenience of politicians. They surely must be accountable to us; after all we voted them in.
Respectfully, Roger Arthur
Mr Arthur informed us that he now has submitted a shorter version of his letter to the Daily Telegraph. He hopes that readers would follow his example by writing to their local papers.
The other letter today looks at variations of ‘backlash’. It comes from our reader Sophie Evans:
In the wake of yet another islamist terrorist attack, we’re again told not to let our anger lead us into backlashing against muslims and their institutions. While I’m not aware of any Christianity-driven, violent backlashes following any of the terrorist attacks in France, Belgium or Germany in the wake of the terrorist acts committed there this year, I am aware of a silent backlash which has been going on in our and EU countries for a long time. That’s the backlash against Christianity. From replacing the word “Christmas” with “Winterval”, or with “Winter Festivities” to cards wishing ‘seasonal greetings’ only, to removing Christmas trees and to changing words in Christmas Carols as happened in Sweden: it’s been going on for some time, because ‘we’ must on no account offend the muslims living in our country.
The strange thing is that all those who do not want the Christian religion ‘forced down their throats’ are bending over backwards when it comes to having islam forced down their throats. From burkhas in our streets to hahal meat in our schools, from acceptance of sharia law to gender segregation at public events: nobody dares say a thing, because that would be islamophobic and thus racist.
But perhaps the worm is turning. I read this report [Ed: in Breitbart] about a Christian backlash in Madrid. Here, the Mayor had removed a Nativity Scene from a prominent public place, where it had a traditional place. Madrilenos did not like it. They went and set up lots and lots of their own Nativity Scenes in that place. I think this is a wonderful example of a Christian Backlash! If they can do it – why can’t we?
Respectfully, Sophie Evans