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

What should the government do?

Here is a good answer.

11 comments to What should the government do?

  • Fraser Orr

    The answer to the question “what should the government do?” is in almost all cases “nothing” or in some cases “stop everything you are already doing”. And he says it very well indeed.

  • Fred the Fourth

    As someone who knows nothing about the persons in this government body: who is the lady asking the question?

  • Mr Ed

    Fred IV,

    The esteemed and Noble Baroness is called Dido Harding. IIRC she was at Oxford with ‘Call me Dave’ Cameron and was famous for running a minor telecoms company which had a massive data breach on her watch (not that her job was IT security). The proceedings appear to be at a guess to the The House of Lords Communications Committee, and this was an ‘evidence’ session from last week. The Jeffersonian speaker was Andrew Neil, a well-known Scottish journalist, former editor of the Sunday Times.

    I could not fail to notice the grimace on her Ladyship’s face when the consequences of the evidence being taken up dawned on her.

  • Phil B

    Governments, of all persuasions, seem to have a reverse Midas touch. Everything they touch turns to … dross (yes, I have cleaned that up).

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Phil B,

    Not all. My government seems to be doing a good job, though they do flub it up at times.

    It’s not that governments don’t have competitors – their competition are actually other governments, whether or not they realise it. Many of them… don’t.

    Singapore definitely does. There was a recent kerfuffle when we arranged for Taylor Swift to perform here, earning our economy a major boost while our neighbours stewed in envy.

    Too bad, we said. You snooze, you lose.

  • Philip Scott Thomas

    I’m a Jeffersonian.

    I’ve liked Mr. Neil for many years. Now I like him even more.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Neil is correct.

    However, the government, the unelected government, is already involved in the media – “Ofcom” crushes real dissent on television and radio, remember what happened to Mark Steyn (although the cowardly treachery of GB News also played a big part in that).

    And the courts target people such as Katie Hopkins – with case law being created for the purpose of bringing down such dissenters.

    So this is not some future threat – it is here right now.

  • X Trapnel

    The Select Committee were looking specifically at

    the long-term sustainability of high quality journalism and how it should be funded; and whether there are risks of a ‘two tier’ news environment developing (where a small number of people pay to subscribe to high quality news while most rely on free but increasingly poor quality information).

    Whenever I see the passive voice in a government communication my sceptizmo senses go into overdrive, so the phrase “how [high quality journalism] should be funded” invites more than a raised eyebrow. The phrasing of that expression immediately suggests that its authors see state-funding of high-quality [a qualification begging further questions] journalism as a moral imperative. In our so-called post-colonial times it’s still not hard to see people in government committees eyeing empty spaces on a map and wanting to stick their flag in it; that the committee-members don’t wear side-whiskers, and aren’t contemplating a map of the World, and don’t have a Union Flag in mind, are incidental details.

    High-quality journalism – like high-quality healthcare, high-quality holidays, and high-quality whores – should be funded in its entirety by the money people are prepared to pay for it, as traded off by the people prepared to provide it to them. Lower-quality examples of each commodity likewise.

  • Paul Marks

    I repeat – the unelected government, the bureaucracy, is already attacking dissent in the media – via both the despicable “Ofcom” and by the institutionally biased courts (the basic attitudes of the judges are now at least semi “Woke” – and that means they are totally biased in such things as libel cases, if a leftist insults someone it is fine, if they insult the leftist back they get hit very hard – see the cases of Katie Hopkins and Lawrence Fox).

    There is also large scale funding of leftist “journalism” – see the BBC Tax “License Fee”, but also see the money the “Woke” Corporations (which, thanks to the Credit Money system, is just about all the large Corporations) give to the equally leftist “private” television and radio stations. There really is not much difference between the BBC and LBC radio, or the BBC and Sky News (Sky News Britain – not Sky News Australia).

    The conversation seems to be based on the assumption that censorship of “right wing” dissent, and massive subsidies for leftist “journalism” are some sort of future threat – when they are both already here and have been for a long time.

    Still, yes, things could be worse – and under a Labour government would be worse. We can expect if there is a Labour government, which seems likely, the end of all “right wing” dissent – GB News, Talk TV, newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph and-so-on – the names of these things may continue, but they will be empty husks with all real dissent deemed “racist” or whatever.

    It is easy to describe even such things as arguments for lower government spending as racist – after all “BAME communities are poorer than whites” (whether they really are or not would not be considered relevant) “so demands for cutting government spending is clearly thinly disguised racism”.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . and how it should be funded . . . . “

    What’s the name of the argumentative method where one implicitly holds the more important primary question – should it be funded? – as already answered and just skips on to the secondary question?

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