What kind of Press ought a free nation to have?

David Davis

Having sounded off yesterday about News International’s decision to shut down the “News of the World” as some sort of reaction to a police investigation into alleged “phone hacking” of public figures, relatives of soldiers killed in action and even the family of a murder victim, I think you’ll have gathered that my reaction was one of disgust at what public taste in today’s broken (deliberately) Britain has come down – literally- to.

In the course of today the Chimpanzee Type-Writers have been reflecting on the possible can-of-worms openable by this precedent. That is to say: the Chimps are worried that powerful big-business-media-owners could begin to think they can cosy up to governments with certain propositions…..The propositions could be like “OK, we’ll shut down the odd paper as a fall-guy for something it gets fingered for – what’s one paper among many anyway, hey?  – and only lower class white scumbags read it and there’s no votes for you there any more, hhaha! – but your police have got to look the other way when we employ, shall we say….certain “methods” to get our news leads. OK guys?”

Far be it from me to even suggest that someone like Rupert Murdoch, an old Worcester Man after all, would stoop to get his hands dirty in such a way, but I just wondered. He would not, perhaps be averse to getting one of his attack-bitches, such as the “fragrant” Rebekah (Wade) Brooks to do stuff? She’s hung onto her head this time, which is more than the miserable employees of the NoW, and those fellows today who’ve just had their houses torn apart by the Police.

The abiding worry is that a collusion of (is that the right collective noun here?) big media owners and governments can now feel the way is open to “manage” the media in a more “proactive way”. All very worrying. And what adds to my suspcicons is that prissy self-regarding prat Hugh Grant has just set himself up as what we knew he wanted to be all along: the Arbiter of the tastes of the (smelly) “lower classes.” I recall that he’s just said somewhere (I can’t find it) that the “Taboild Press ought to be regulated”. I don’t know about you but i’m not really in favour of the Press or Media being “regulated”, by people calling themselves a government, in a free nation, leaving the awful BBC aside, which takes Public Money anyway via a compulsory poll tax. The BBC is the least of our worries: any incoming British libertarian government has already given public notice that its first act will be to close the thing down, probably pulling the plug on all channels and stations within about three seconds of taking power.

6 responses to “What kind of Press ought a free nation to have?

  1. I like “Taboild” – I’ll leave it this time.

  2. http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/archives/009846.html#trackbacks
    The Englishman seems to be going along the same track as me.

  3. C H Ingoldby

    Tabloid journalists are filth. Unfortunately, their filthy behaviour will allow filthy politicians to attack our freedoms of speech.

  4. You know , when I heard that all the Screws staff had lost their jobs, I was going to play a requiem but I couldn’t find a violin tiny enough.

  5. Anyway, I think it’s fair to say the ideal newspaper in a libertarian society would consist of equal parts non-sensational reportage of key world events, serious economic and political commentary and pictures of topless women. That would be my preference anyway.

  6. Howard R Gray

    So the news of the screws bought the farm! It was the most popular newspaper in my boarding school primarily for its educational value. Much like the sun it is a paper of record and must needs be revered for its erudite content. Core blimey, there is no more news of the screws what is the world coming to?

    Put the two words together, Lamb and sacrificial, you sort of get the picture. Is it not appropriate for the market and the readership to decide if such a newspaper closes down? Corporate, or should I say Guild Socialism appears to the rage of choice here. It is such a mighty gesture to render a bunch of journalists redundant. Pathetic really, that this newspaper of limited significance should be the target of such a draconian shutdown. There is a message being sent here and it isn’t nice. Journalists snoop and perhaps do under hand things to get the truth, however when caught they should own up, resign and go and do something relatively useful elsewhere. The point is don’t get caught, if you do it’s your own fault and that is all there is to it. The proper procedure is find some music and face it!

    Tapping into information, the telephone, or other electronic commerce is dubious at best but it all depends on who the target is and what the outcome is. If this had been some massive espionage ring that was brought to light with lives saved, the whole deal would be different. Would it not?
    The news of the world at its best was dubious much like the National Enquirer is here in the United States. From time to time these newspapers break some very useful stories that change a few things for the better. Shutting the whole newspaper down is not the answer. So why is it being done?

    Are we now about to enter a world where intimidation and force majeure are the principal components of modern censorship? Those who went too far in their intrusions into privacy should pay for it in the proper manner either in the criminal courts or in the tort courts.

    Is there more to this story than meets the eye? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?