THE NEWS OF THE WORLD
AND FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

INDEXIn 2011 a gigantic war over freedom of speech and freedom of the press has erupted in the rapidly devolving United Kingdom. It is a nation that does not have a written Constitution, but it does have a number of regulatory agencies whose job it is to censor freedom of speech and freedom of the press.



INDEXThe current furor centers upon the publication in Rupert Murdoch's News of the World Sunday newspaper, of information gained by resourceful journalists using methods of stealth. Some politicians at Westminster have seized upon links between this information and families of murder victims*, in order to heighten public outrage. The 'holier than thou' crowd in a nation that essentially restricts freedom of religious expression using these same governmental regulatory agencies; is still ascending to heights of shrill bluster and hypocrisy.



INDEXWe learned that among the advertisers which cancelled space in this Sunday edition newspaper prior to the sudden announcement of its closure, is the Ford Motor Company. However, lest we forget, it was its founder Henry Ford who was singled out for praise in Adolph Hitler's tome Mein Kampf, because it was Ford who published a scurrilous anti-Jewish work which became fodder for every Nazi whose undertakings ended in the Holocaust of WWII. So please, no sanctimonious words of nonsense from sponsors! Advertisers just ride any vehicle that will lead them to increased sales!



INDEXBut if some are horrified over the exposing of secrets, what then are we to make of MI5 and MI6? Are they not taxpayer supported agencies whose job it is to employ British people to spy upon individuals, and then publish works relating to their findings? Are they okay because they are supposed to spy upon 'foreigners' and publish their findings for a restricted mailing list?



INDEXAre there really any 'secrets' out there? Many readers of publications such as the News of the World hold the view that they have "nothing to hide", so why are some upset when they are named in the press? After all, England, that dominant part of the so-called United Kingdom, has a State Church which teaches that everything is known to its God, and therefore its nominal members (tax-payers in England), should live upstanding lives for fear that one day all will be exposed.



INDEXPerhaps technology has made 'one day' this day? Because if we wait a minute we will recall that if we access Facebook, we are going to find the most intimate details about individuals, posted by those individuals for the world to see!



INDEXBut what of these so-called press regulators, who are they, and why do they exist at all? Let us not forget that the British police acting as enforcers of State censorship, carried out raids during the 1980s on the BBC, in order to prevent the broadcast of a series of programs about The Secret State.



INDEXWhy is half of its Parliament unelected and in part peopled by representatives of that State Church? Why is there a State Church of England? Why is there a secretive and unelected Privy Council above that half-elected Parliament? Why is there an unelected monarch reigning on behalf of an unelected Crown institution above all of it?



INDEXLet us recall the facts. The United Kingdom only dates back to 1801, and if we are generous, to 1707 as its foundation year. The United States of America in its present form dates back to 1789 when it was founded upon a Constitution written in the name of 'The People' of the USA. Part of that Constitution is its First Amendment which specifically prohibits the establishment of a state church, and the making of laws that prohibit freedom of the press. Yet in America today just about every brand of religion flourishes, more so than in the United Kingdom. The airwaves of the USA are full of just about every kind of political and religious talk and debate, but not so in the undemocratic United Kingdom!



INDEXWhat then are we to make of this gathering storm against the News of the World? It was Thomas Jefferson who said that if it was "...left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."** The result is seen in the U.S. First Amendment, and it is one of the primary reasons why the US Constitution forbids politicians from doing exactly what UK politicians are continuing to do: censor the press. If an individual has a grievance against the press, that individual can seek redress in the courts. But the lines are drawn to show that government of 'The People' of its Constitution cannot assume powers unto itself where it divorces itself from 'The People' and turns their world upside down.



INDEXSomeone, somewhere needs to remind UK politicians that they are servants of 'The People' who as individuals have the freeborn right to say who will represent them. At the same time, all of the teeth gnashers need to remember that they exposed themselves on sites such as Facebook; that they pay taxes to spy on people via MI5 and MI6 and a variety of other agencies, and that in England, they pay taxes to support a monarch who reigns over a State Church which tells its 'subjects' that its God is watching their every move and therefore they have no secrets!



INDEXRather than allowing politicians to use this issue to hamper freedom of the press (remember the case of Bob Boothby and the Kray twins?***), it is time to hamper the politicians with a Constitution written by and in the name of 'The People' of that political and undemocratic entity that is currently called the 'United Kingdom'.


*The author of this editorial is also a victim of the murder of his daughter, see: http://www.freewebs.com/mervynhagger/
**"The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them." - Thomas Jefferson
****Notorious: The Immortal Legend of the Kray Twins by John Pearson. Random House, London. 2010. ISBN 9781846051524


July 7, 2011INDEXmore