We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

If there was a Nobel Prize for Double Standards, Britain’s chattering classes would win it every year. This year, following their expressions of spittle-flecked outrage over the detention of Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda by anti-terrorism police at Heathrow airport, they’d have to be given a special Lifetime Achievement Award for Double Standards.

For the newspaper editors, politicians and concerned tweeters now getting het up about the state’s interference in journalistic activity, about what they call the state’s ‘war on journalism’, are the very same people – the very same – who over the past two years cheered the state harassment of tabloid journalists; watched approvingly as tabloid journalists were arrested; turned a blind eye when tabloid journalists’ effects were rifled through by the police; said nothing about the placing of tabloid journalists on limbo-like, profession-destroying bail for months on end; said ‘Well, what do you expect?’ when material garnered by tabloid journalists through illegal methods was confiscated; applauded when tabloid journalists were imprisoned for the apparently terrible crime of listening in on the conversations of our hereditary rulers.

For these cheerleaders of the state’s two-year war on redtop journalism now to gnash their teeth over the state’s poking of its nose into the affairs of the Guardian is extraordinary. It suggests that what they lack in moral consistency they more than make up for with brass neck.

Everything that is now being done to the Guardian has already been done to the tabloid press, a hundred times over, and often at the behest of the Guardian.

Brendan O’Neill

4 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • llamas

    I have made this point here before, glad to see I’m not the only one that sees the hypocrisy.

    The hypocrisy here is 100 times worse, because the chattering classes called for tabloid journalists to be crucified for stealing what amounted to trivial and ephemeral knowledge about trivial and insignificant people. It was (for the most part) meaningless pablum about the lives of ‘celebrities’. What Greenwald has published is illegally-obtained material that actually has serious impact and consequences for the world.

    Greenwald, like Assange, is championed because what he has done attacks and offends the interests of the US – an action which, in the eyes of the luvvies who dominate the UK media, forgives any other transgression. Even the ‘dead girl/live boy’ calculus doesn’t apply here 🙂

    Note that I don’t agree at all with what’s been done or threatened against Snowden, Greenwald or his boyfriend – I’m merely commenting on the brazen hypocrisy. I’m glad their information has come out because it is very much in the public interest in the US.



  • Rich Rostrom

    Not all of those victimized by tabloid “hacking” and “blagging” were celebrities.

    I recall that the family of a murder victim was a target.

    Which is to say that the tabloids responsible deserved a good spanking (as did the “respectable” papers who did similar things). But the public outcry was hijacked for an attack on the Murdoch press and rules to muzzle “outside” voices.

  • Mr Ed

    The answer is simple, and it’s from Lenin (or quotes attributed to him, in translation. “Who, whom?”.

    Who does the regulating to whom?

    When you ask that, it all becomes clear. Guardian ‘types’ regulate, and Guardian types are above suspicion.

    And of course, as a matter of honour and to ensure public confidence, the Guardian will no longer take public sector job adverts, to ensure its independence.

    And Bomber Command of the PAF (Porcine Air Force) have launched a 1,000 bomber raid on Westminster troughers, out of jealousy.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes – it is fine (indeed noble) for the Guardian (and co) to steal information, but wrong (evil) for News International people to do so.

    The way the BBC reported both stories clearly shows this.