• Press Freedom

    Please do not switch off and say like some adolescent child ‘borrrrring’. I will tell you why. Because without freedom of the press and freedom of expression we would not be free at all.
    We repeatedly witness exposures of wrongdoing in the highest echelons of Government. The Daily Telegraph investigation revealed dozens of Members of Parliament caught with their fingers deeply embedded in the ‘public’ till. Those guilty generally escaped with not much more than a rap on the knuckles, you would have gone to prison and lost everything, but they were identified as the cheating, lying individuals they were. True some still help run this country, which is in itself disgraceful, but exposed they were…………… How would we know without the press?

    Financial irregularities are one thing but the abuse, torture and possible death of innocent vulnerable young boys that seems to have been operating at the heart of the political establishment puts the need for press freedom on a difference level. What if it emerges that some of the most senior members of Government were able to issue ‘D’ notices to silence the police officers? Was this done to prevent them following up early reports? Were the security services asked to undertake this role to silence our officers of the law?…………………… How will we know without the press?

    Medical and hospital scandals abound. They have all emerged due to press investigations after the normal enquiry process has failed. In many cases lives have been loss and destroyed by big business, corporations, authorities and governmental bodies those damaged deserve redress……..How would they achieve that without the press?

    When can a politician lie? Some wags say every time they open their mouths but perhaps not that often. We were taken into a war where our servicemen and women put their lives on the line because the Prime Minister, Mr Anthony Linton Blair, told our Parliament, that our country was 45 minutes away from annihilation due to Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. Would we know this was completely untrue if the press and media had not actively investigated this false claim? We don’t need to wait for the Chillcot Report on the Iraq war we are already well aware of the shame that episode in our history has brought to our system of government. The Ministerial visits to desert stations, wearing broad smiles, in shirt sleeves does nothing for me. Brave young men sacrificed yet again by people that were not fit to lick their boots makes me very angry. …………………How would we know the truth without the press?

    We have now, the march of the luvvies and minority pressure groups that would silence all and every opposition to their pet projects. I won’t bore you with examples but you will have your own ideas of what I mean. We must not allow these vocal, and sometimes wealthy groups, with their narrow agenda’s to force governments into making serious policy errors and changes to our laws. Blinded, by the dazzle and glitter of the powerful and famous, some members of the press occasionally forget to be impartial but, we must still demand their freedom to report as they see fit.

    I applaud the juries that decided to acquit the journalists recently. It shows still that the people know best. Without juries made up of twelve ordinary members of the public we would be subjected to the whims and wishes of those that managed to get to the top of the, often elitist, greasy pole that is national and local politics. They would instruct what we should know and when. Trial by jury is another process we should defend.
    There are three major enquiries ongoing at present into the activities of the press. Operation Elvedon the police enquiry set up to hound the journalist involved has cost 11.3 million pounds. Together with two other enquiries set up to silence the press, Operation Weeting and Tulete, the expenditure to date is £34 million pounds. This is without legal costs, which given my recent experience, I shudder to imagine what they would be. After the Telegraph exposure of MP’s expenses it was only a matter of time before the power brokers bit back. This whole process was designed to stop the information flow that has so embarrassed those in power. The object was to silence and make fearful those that would challenge authority. This money should be spent on ‘front line’ policing not chasing a few reporters that might have occasionally stepped over the line. Every despotic regime throughout history has sought to control and manipulate their population by censorship. That must not happen here.