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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

This was a real threat to the press, and our #FreeThePress campaign urged citizens to say No to both prospects. Section 40 would mean strong-arming newspapers into signing up to a press-backed regulator – ending centuries of a (relatively) free press. What’s more, the only press regulator that has been approved by the Leveson-created Press Recognition Panel is Impress, which is staffed by snobbish ‘hackademics’ and funded by tabloid-loathing millionaire Max Mosley.

Naomi Firsht

15 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks

    First of all it should be pointed out (by PAUL MARKS – NOT with the approval of Samizdata) that what the newspapers reported about Sir Max Mosely was TRUE – he did cavort with prostitutes with Nazi overtones in their costumes.

    If Sir Max wishes to sue me he will find that not only that I am a “straw man” financially, but also in court I will be a lot less shy about what I say about him than the lawyers of the newspaper – and anything said in open court may be reported word-for-word. I will give a full and frank description of what I think of Sir Max, his family and their personal activities.

    That this man from a Fascist family finances the far leftists of the press censorship campaign – that should shock no one who has read Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” or Ludwig Von Mises’ “Omnipotent Government” Fascists, National Socialists and Marxists all HATE liberty.

    As for the British government – I wish I could say that I had confidence that they would tell these censors (Leveson the “Press Recognition Panel” and the rest of these would-be dictators) to GO TO HELL. However, I have no such confidence in the First Lord of the Treasury – let us hope the lady proves me wrong.

  • Runcie Balspune

    This is a swan song from a dying industry, it is only on principle that the dead tree division of the forth estate should not be regulated, it only takes Daily Mail Online to move servers to Belize and they are toothless.

    Had these measures been in place in 2013, it could have led to the imprisonment of then Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, who published the Edward Snowden leaks, for the crime of handling the information passed to his paper by Snowden.

    Like this makes f*ck all difference, why read the Guardian when you can read Wikileaks direct?

  • Lee Moore

    I started off expecting to agree with the article and finished up finding myself disagreeing with large chunks of it. Obviously all this “Press recognition” stuff is outrageous, but it starts from the pernicious assumption that “the press” (ie those persons and businesses which make their living from publishing) is entitled to some special privileges that ordinary folk should not be entitled to. Which is not at all how the current US Supreme Court reads the 1st Amendment (and kudos to them for that.)

    From this poisoned tree then comes the poisoned fruit – if you have a special privilege then you need a licence to make sure you use that privilege responsibly. Well, thank you Cap’n and I’m sure I’m very grateful.

    Unfortunately the article seems to buy into this “the press are special” idea, and bemoans the lack of special get out clauses for “the press.” And no, the press should not have a free pass when it comes to espionage. If what they do is spying they should be punished in exactly the same way as a seedy bloke in a trenchcoat. Sure, we can debate what the contents of “espionage” ought to be. But it should be the same contents for everyone.

  • the other rob

    Very well said, Lee Moore.

    Just as Mike Pence doesn’t seem so silly these days, the Framers were remarkably prescient when they drafted the first amendment.

  • Edward

    @Paul Marks, I fear you do Mr Mosley too much credit, if you can conceive of such 🙂 . He doesn’t have the Sir you bestowed upon him. He was the youngest son of Sir Oswald Mosley, Bt. The baronetcy passed to his oldest brother Nicholas, Baron Ravensdale. Mr Mosley has yet to come to the attention of those who bestow honours. I don’t imagine that he ever will.

    Unlike his brother, and to his credit, Lord Ravensdale was a harsh critic of his father and his actions. He died in February this year, and both the baronetcy and barony have passed to his grandson, Daniel.

  • tomsmith

    Who reads the press?

  • JadedLibertarian

    The whole “fake news” thing used to justify such crackdowns started as a ploy by the left in general, and Facebook in particular, to attack Trump. He took their bat away from them and beat them over the head with it.

    The thing is, everything’s fake news nowadays. It’s been years since you could find a paper that reported “just the facts, Ma’am” without all the editorialising. Nowadays if you care about truth you have to assemble it yourself from multiple sources.

    For example this week for a single story I read

    Sky news
    The Guardian
    The Independent
    The Sun

    before I felt like I had a handle on what had actually happened. The legacy media in particular spend a lot of effort not talking about facts pertinent to the case.

    The case in question was the latest vehicular jihad in Australia. It took quite a bit of reading before I even found out the perpetrator was an Afghan disgruntled at the treatment of Muslims. And this was quickly dismissed because of “mental illness”.

    This starts from a false premise which is “If mentally ill, then not terrorist” which is absolutely false. Do they seriously think all members of ISIS are playing with a full deck?

    In their desire to let Islam off the hook, they’ve thrown the mentally ill under the bus. For years they’ve been talking about removing the stigma of mental illness, now all of a sudden mental illness alone is treated as an explanation for mass murder. This rather does mentally ill people a disservice. All around the world today there are people who are struggling against the most terrible neurological problems: auditory and visual hallucinations, paranoia, crippling depression. Nearly all of these people do not go on a car ramming and stabbing spree because they’re decent human beings.

    Mental illness neither explains nor excuses terrorism. The fact that the news media even indulge such narratives show how a concern with being “on message” has overridden the pursuit of truth in what was once, in its own way, an honourable profession.

  • JadedLibertarian

    Since I profess to care about accuracy, I have an addendum to add. In my fervour to talk about press corruption, on re-reading I can see that I implied some things that simply weren’t true. Namely that the press regulation movement fell out of the “fake news” panic. Of course the latest attack on press freedom in the UK predates the “fake news” panic by several years.

    I would argue that it’s all part of the same ball of rot though. For years the press has been happily broadcasting a particular message. This is almost invariably a leftist authoritarian message. Press regulation strikes me as an attempt by the government and “regulatory captors” (if that’s a term?) to ensure they’re broadcasting the correct leftist authoritarian message.

    In further evidence of my claim of a general culture of rot even in once respectable parts of the media I leave you with two words: Radhika Sanghani.

  • Lee Moore

    For years the press has been happily broadcasting a particular message. This is almost invariably a leftist authoritarian message.

    I’m not sure I agree, though we may simply be talking about different timescales. Once upon a time not that long ago, the once respectable parts of the media ie The Telegraph, The Murdoch Empire and the Daily Mail were quite happy to spout conservative stuff (well to the right of the Conservative Party anyway.) Maybe the Murdoch press wasn’t exactly “respectable” but it wasn’t lefty.

    The Telegraph mysteriously committed suicide, slowly but surely, starting towards the beginning of the Blair junta. The NOW thing was seized on by the lefties to sink the Murdoch empire. And the residue of that – this press licensing thing – is intended to strangle the Daily Mail, and prevent any other newspaper resuming a conservative stance. But the Daily Mail hasn’t been strangled quite yet, so there is still a right wing authoritarian message to set against the left wing authoritarian orthodoxy. But probably not for long.

  • CaptDMO

    Gosh, after examination by my most disingenuous, and duplicitous “critics”, Paul Marks, and Jaded Libertarian seem to be spouting…um….”Hate Propaganda”.
    “We” need a LAW, with SEVERE CONSEQUENCES, against such things, It’s for the Children, “our” mothers wives and daughters, the economy, intersectionality, critical thinking deconstruction, animal rights, “access” to free gender reassignment surgery-pharma-psych, sustainable energy, freedom for ALL practices deemed “religious”,and …um…..whirled peas!!!!!
    Sorry no pix of the beef we had for dinner Christmas day. You couldn’t see it anyway.
    It was all wrapped up in chopped chicken liver* and puff pastry.
    (* This GREATLY saves the dinner preparation effort of throwing tipsy relatives, beaten bloody, out into the snow, upon hearing the first “Pate is cruelty to animals!!!!!”. Well that,… AND expense.)

  • Paul Marks

    Edward – I apologise for my error.

    Lee Moore – yes EVERYONE has Freedom of Speech or no one has it (not a special caste called “the press” – there were no “Schools of Journalism” when the American Constitution was written – it was written for everyone).

    Runcie Balpune.

    The left control all television stations in the United Kingdom – no conservative ones are allowed (by law).

    If the left are allowed to castrate the newspapers as well – then it is GAME OVER.

    “But the internet….”.

    But NOTHING.

  • staghounds

    I once could not imagine free people choosing a master to decide what they could hear.

  • Mr Black

    Just let the government nationalise all the press and get it over with, then the general public can hurry along to the idea that it’s all total shite in service of the elite establishment. This “honest reporter” nonsense has gone on far too long.

  • Eric

    Which is not at all how the current US Supreme Court reads the 1st Amendment (and kudos to them for that.)

    That’s all well and good, but it’s the UK we’re talking about. While various interests in the US try to nibble around the edges of our 1st amendment, people in the UK are going to have to be a lot more aggressive in defense of their right to speak because they have less institutional protection.

  • Slartibartfarst

    I could be wrong, of course, because I have been an exiled Pom and a paper Kiwi for a longish time now, but I had thought that, under the watchful eye of successive governments, the British press and the MSM (esp., including the Grauniad, Biased Broadcasting Corporation and bedfellows) had shown themselves to be irrelevant anachronisms.
    They are already “The Ministry of Truth” in some horribly warped travesty of what might have been.

    Thus, whatever happens to them now arguably won’t be likely to make things any worse. It’ll take a revolution to fix, but the WW2 bottle doesn’t seem to be there, anymore.
    Meanwhile, of course, British freedoms would seem to have gone irrevocably down the gurgler.