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

Another huge step in the wrong direction

The Guardian is nothing if not dependably incoherent. They rightly decry their freedom of the press being threatened by politicians

… and then support the asinine Royal Charter that creates the tools for politicians, and anyone else, who wants the Press to STFU by making it harder for the Press to actually do their job.

I really hope many publication tell the state where to stick their ‘Royal Charter’. But then the history of these isles has many chapters featuring the struggle against state control of the media.

11 comments to Another huge step in the wrong direction

  • Mr Ed

    A King, Badouin I, of Belgium abdicated for a day in symbolic protest against a law (on abortion, methinks) that he found repugnant.

    Brave Elizabeth’s courage somehow failed her. ‘Though I have the body of an aged woman, I have the heart of a stooge‘.

    The laws and customs that she swore to uphold in her Coronation Oath clearly did not include the right to publish and be damned.

  • Yeah, if the day comes the predator class decide the Crown is superfluous completely, I will not be rushing to its defence.

  • Lee Moore

    The Guardian’s position is not at all incoherent. They passionately defend the right of ANYONE to publish news that the Guardian thinks should be told, and views that the Guardian approves of.

  • The Guardian are actually being quite consistent: they are unhappy about plans which may silence them, but quite happy for others to be silenced.

    You didn’t expect principles from these people, did you?!

  • Mr Ed

    The system of Press regiulation imposed also mandates enhanced damages, and in the words of a noted Left wing English judge

    The principle that a claimant’s damages should not exceed his real losses is a bedrock of our law.

    Paragraph 27 of Cerberus Software ltd v Rowley

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed – Britain has not had a limited constitutional monarchy since such books as Walter Bagehot’s (the vile third editor of the Economist magazine) the “English Constitution” started to be taken as gospel and built upon (each step of the way building on Bagehot’s position – and making it worse and worse….). At the time Queen Victoria would have told Bagehot to go jump in the nearest lake – the monarch just a “dignified” (i.e. POWERLWESS) position my foot…. (not at the time).

    But by the time Elizabeth W. was educated (by private tutors I believe) the idea that the monarch should have their own political opinions and ACT ON THEM was considered outrageous. The Queen (sincerely and honestly) believes it is her duty to reflect enlightened liberal opinion (regardless of whether she personally believes in it or not).

    And what is “enlightened liberal opinion”? The Guardian of course.

    We do not have a “limited constitutional monarchy” (that is what Liechtenstein has got – not us) – we have a non-existent monarchy.

    There will only be resistance to the “advice” of ministers – if ministers go against “enlightened liberal opinion”.

    Ministers rule – the monarch (as a person – rather than a reflector of enlightened liberal opinion) has no power.

    As for the Guardian newspaper.

    It is written by evil people – for evil people.

    They hate freedom and they rejoice in the death of freedom.

    That is the truth.

  • Mark Green

    Well said Paul.

    One day, students of history will look back and ponder how we allowed the word “freedom” to become so malleable, rather than treating it with the respect it deserves as the important word in the English language.

  • RRS

    To the PMO:

    A bit of cavil:

    In general, “Mass Man” (as identified by Oakeshott) is the target of writers appearing in the Guardian (NYT, BBC, and other high places). Some in that target may be evil, but most banal, who find it more “comfortable” to avoid or evade the responsibilities & risks of making choices (the essence of freedom and truly individual life).

    An interesting trend may be beginning in those kinds of publications, with the aspect that more and more of what appears avoids and evades as well. It has begun by implied denials that “choice” is involved (determinism, sort of).

    We may ultimately get back to “Pamphleteering” (such as Blogs) even in print.

  • veryretired

    This attempt at control of the media is not an act of strength, but of weakness and fear.

    The collectivist model, which has ruled the academic theories and political ideologies of the last century and more, is deteriorating rapidly, as the lesser collectives of the welfare-state variation follow the path toward bankruptcy already blazed by the Marxist totalitarians.

    The desperate fear of these weasels is that their Ponzi schemes will be exposed and documented before they can get control of further power and resources by claiming that their benevolent programs need just a bit more expansion and funding to be successful.

    We can observe this bizarre spectacle in full flower right now as regards the already collapsing attempt to take over the medical economy here in the US, and the English case is just a little further down the road.

    Coercive systems always appear to be strong and formidable, because they are dangerous with the apparatus of the state’s coercive power behind them, but, in fact, they are fragile and brittle, unable to adapt or evolve, and fearful of the most basic ideas or moral principles that are in opposition to the mythical world they have created.

    The only people who need to censor are those who are afraid the answer the questions their ideas and actions generate. It is fear, not strength, that motivates these proposed measures.

  • Mr Ed

    I like veryretired’s optimism, and it surely must be the case that the ruling classes know that they live on houses of sand.

    Meanwhile, there is some desperately sad news that bodes ill for a couple of British newspapers.


  • Johnathan Pearce

    I think this might be one of those rare occasions where the Queen is well within her rights to refuse to sign this thing and argue that traditional constitutional conventions are being circumvented in ways that are dangerous, and have been done so in conditions of secrecy.

    Of course, a republican twat like Ed Milliband would use such a thing to bash the monarchy, but the monarchy is relatively popular in the UK at the moment, and if the Queen wants to create more of a legacy than being just a wise woman who looked graceful on TV, this would be a good move.