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Samizdata quote of the day – truth is what the state wants it to be

So it is now official: a state-owned major television channel, required by its licence to ensure that its factual programmes “must not materially mislead the audience”, can broadcast blatant lies without reprimand, let alone sanction: provided, it would seem, that the lies are about British colonial policy. If that is how Ofcom interprets its regulatory duties, Netflix can relax.

David Elstein

The very existence of Ofcom, not to mention state-owned channels, indicates UK has not been a ‘free country’ for a very long time.

2 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – truth is what the state wants it to be

  • Paul Marks

    Yes it is wrong for the state to own television or radio stations – but the “privately owned” stations such as Sky News are just as bad as the BBC, they also lie endlessly.

    The point of “Ofcom” is to crush dissent – so when it, for example, attacks Mark Steyn, it is “just doing its job”.

    By the way the despicable “Ofcom”, like all the other despicable “independent agencies” that control most aspects of life, was created by Parliament – so according to Sir William Blackstone (way back in the 1700s) or David Starkey (the historian) now, they are lawful – as “the law” is, according to these people, just the whims of Parliament (everyone under six feet tall to be executed? fine if Parliament says so), people having no rights AGAINST Parliament. “Critical Theory” Marxism? Fine – as the Equality Act was passed by Parliament. Eco Tyranny? Also fine – as the “Climate Change Act” and the “Energy Act” were passed by Parliament. “Health” tyranny by the World Health Organisation and other bodies of world “governance”? Also fine – if Parliament says so, or even if Parliament says nothing (in which case the tyranny is put in place by default).

    Someone like Neil Oliver might ask where was Parliament when Magna Carta reaffirmed the ancient rights of the people, but this will just make Neil Oliver the next person on the “Ofcom” hit list.

  • Paul Marks

    Modern textbooks will tell you that the Founding Fathers of the United States were inspired by Sir William Blackstone – and that is technically true, but it leaves out the rather important fact that they were inspired by HORROR in relation to his doctrine the Divine Right of Parliament. And Parliament had already used this power to push tyranny before Blackstone wrote – for example Parliament had established censorship of the theatre (at the request of Prime Minister Walpole).

    The failure of American judges to uphold rights against the government is not the same thing as the British doctrine, which we witnessed with the Covid Lockdowns, that there are no rights against Parliament at all. That, for example, if Parliament ordered everyone with brown eyes to be executed, it would be fine.

    And, as Lord Chief Justice Hewart pointed out in his “The New Despotism” as far back as 1929, Parliament can pass on this power to unelected bodies.

    So the censorship and general tyranny of “Ofcom” and the endless other “independent agencies”, national or international (including world governance – the World Health Organisation and-so-on) is fine.