Tag Archive: Censorship


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Within the blogosphere and on twitter, on occasions, that which is written causes criticism from readers and invariably most bloggers and tweeters will respond to said criticism – except, unfortunately, from our politicians and those so obviously within the ‘Westminster Bubble’. Yesterday I took to task John Redwood, MP; and today, Catherine Bearder MEP.

To elucidate, allow me, first, to relay events ‘a la Bearder’. Spotting a tweet in which she referred to a new Civitas paper she stated that it showed it reveals what most of us fear: EU exit could be ‘devastating’ to some sectors. I responded by pointing out that that was not so  if we slip into EFTA/EEA then negotiate a new agreement as nothing would change for any sector! Bearder then responded that we then wouldn’t be able to influence legislation imposed on us – e.g Norway, 75% EU legislation, to which I replied that her reply was absolute  tripe and she knew it, pointing out that Norway sits on over 200 EU Committees plus they sit on UN bodies formulating standards and asking if she agreed. What I then received in return was two links, one a statement quoting Espen Eide and the other quoting Erna Solberg; both of whom maintain that Norway has no influence with the EU. I countered both by stating that selective quotes were no answer to fact and queried whether she agreed with my previous point about Norway vis-a-viz EU Committees and UN bodies that set standards. Needless to say two hours later the ‘conversation’ remains at a standstill as nothing further has been received from Bearder.

With regard to John Redwood, in answer to an article he wrote, I responded thus, condemning his content as utter tosh in the comment section of his blog; posting a total of three comments on his blog, two to two commenters and the one quoted to Redwood. At the time of writing, all three have yet to appear; and one can only wonder why. Redwood employs moderation, unlike myself – other than to filter out spam. With hindsight I may have been my usual blunt self with Redwood but one has to ask why would anyone moderate comments other than to avoid specific criticism?

Just what is it about our political class that when confronted with dissent or criticism they shun debate, ie ‘run away’? Is it any wonder the public feel disconnected from politics when politicians will not engage? One can only assume that when a politician’s knowledge is shown to be at fault they are unable to admit their ignorance, possibly due to feeling it involves a loss of face on their part.

This desire not to engage is not just confined to our politicians but also to those within the Westminster Bubble. I had just finished reading the Civitas report to which Bearder referred on twitter and was about to post a response when I noticed that Richard North had beaten me to it. Noticeably this report follows a well-trodden pattern – it is written for the consumption of those within the Westminster Bubble, it takes views from those whose opinions are worthless as they know not that about which they engage; and more importantly they quote those of ‘unacceptable’ views to them, yet do not provide the authors of those unacceptable views any opportunity to respond.

The dossier which I handed to David Cameron on the 15th August (and to which a response is still awaited) commenced with a quotation of his on the subject of this country’s membership of the EU and any possible referendum: How can we sensibly answer the question ‘in or out’ without being able to answer the most basic question: what is it that we are choosing to be ‘in or out’ of.

While we have politicians such as Bearder and Redwood (and Hannan who has also ‘run away’ from debate) along with people such as Jonathan Lindsell, misleading us and failing to engage in debate, then what we have is a situation where we are, in effect, being lied to and thus forced to accept what we are erroneously told as truth. That situation not only makes a mockery of Cameron’s question, but more importantly makes a mockery of democracy per se.

Richard North may well believe that such behaviour will dry up and disappear as it has no substance, but I would go further and say that such behaviour is despicable, has no place in a real democracy, is a form of censorship; and is a gross effrontery to the people of this country.

I have to disagree slightly with my fellow blogger because while the outpourings of those like Bearder, Redwood, Lyndsell and their ilk does not have any substance, it will, unfortunately, continue as, (a) they control any debate and (b), are aided and abetted by a supine mainstream media who will not publicise any view that is outside the Westminster Bubble (Booker excepted).

Update: As at 19:20 ‘conversation’ with Catherine Bearder resumed – unfortunately I’ve a headache coming on due ‘head and brickwall’…………




Scotland, Independence, Defence implications – and another matter.

In September this year the Defence Committee published its Sixth Report on the Defence Implications of Possible Scottish Independence – a fascinating read for those with the time to so do.

The Conclusion of this report contain a very damning charge where the education of the public are concerned, especially on matters of great importance (although obviously the degree of importance should not matter). From the Conclusion:

The people of Scotland and the rest of the UK deserve to be presented with as full a picture as possible of the implications of Scottish independence for their future defence and security. To date, the information published by both the Scottish Government and UK Government falls far short of requirements.

Let us take that assertion by the Defence Committee that the people of this country deserve to be presented with as full a picture as possible – and let us apply that assertion to other matters.

Do not we, the people, deserve to be presented with as full a picture on our membership of the European Union? In which case one has to ask why this is not happening. Why will not our political elite admit that full membership of the European Union is not necessary to access the Single Market – and why will not they acknowledge that the Norway Option exists? As is shown in this paper, Norway by no means is a ‘fax-democracy and has just as much voice in the formation of legislation as the EU.

If we, the people, are to have a Review of the balance of Competences where the European Union is concerned – I refer to that being produced by William Hague – do not we, the people, deserve a fair review and not the biased effort so far provided?

If we, the people, have to suffer the present system of ‘faux-democracy’ under which we are governed; should not we, the people, have the right to demand that political parties stick to manifesto commitments? Take for example the promise of ‘recall’ of MPs. In the ‘Coalition – a programme for government’, were we not promised (page 27): We will bring forward early legislation to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP is found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10% of his or her constituents. What in fact resulted was a system in which fellow Parliamentarians of the accused would have the final decision – something not mentioned in the manifesto. While on this subject, think back to the last Government and their proposals in respect of the smoking ban and pubs – that which resulted was entirely different to that which had been proposed.

I have been accused – in the nicest possible manner – by commenters that I apologise far too much; but I must so do again for mounting my current hobby horse. The foregoing is not democracy!

Where a system exists in which, during a fixed term, a government can pass any law it likes, against which the people have no method of rejection; when a government can practice censorship, to whatever degree, then the result can only produce tyranny.

To their everlasting shame, the people of the UK appear resigned to waving goodbye to democracy and seem content to accept tyranny.

I never said that! Prove it!

One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.
Golda Meir, My Life

It is being reported by Politics Home that the Conservative Party has erased a 10-year backlog of speeches from its website and also hidden the archive from internet search engines. That data may now be unviewable, however the NewStatesman has recalled nine utterances by Cameron and one by Osborne.

What has occurred here is but yet another form of censorship, an act practiced almost every day by our political elite; so much so that any hue and cry over this latest example is pointless. Censorship comes in many forms – and not just by ‘burning books’. It can be practiced by refusing to talk about a subject, most notably where the matter of our membership of the European Union is concerned. It can be practiced, as in my case, by an MP refusing to countenance any further correspondence on a subject, or subjects. It can be practiced in schools, as currently, where only certain elements of a subject are taught. It can be practiced in the field of adoption, were only prospective parents who had views acceptable to the state, chosen.

Propaganda, the act of spreading incorrect information to the point where the content becomes accepted as fact, is also yet another form of censorship. This is something in which our political elite excel, aided and abetted by a compliant media. George Orwell envisaged many people being employed ‘re-writing’ history to fit the ‘word de jour’ – nowadays it doesn’t have to be written, it an be obliterated with ‘one click of a mouse’. Isn’t progress just awesome?

And we do not live under a democratised dictatorship? 

The EU Debate (2)

Today, in the first of the posts in this “series” I had what may be termed a “mini-rant” at the distortions that are being applied to the topic that, contrary to the wishes of David Cameron, appears to be the “subject du jour”.

When comparing the informed information that is being provided by Richard North, EUReferendum, here and here, compared to that which is appearing in our media here, here, here and here, can anyone argue that my frustrations at the lack of informed debate are unfounded? It is probably little known that a couple of years ago Richard North’s posts were regularly linked to by, for example, Politics Home. Now, since he has become an avowed critic of ‘matters political class’ and ‘matter EU’, links to his articles are few and far between. For what purports to be an information source for all matters political, one would have thought that all views, no matter their “alignment”, would be worthy of inclusion – which leads one to question whether censorship is practised by PH and, if so at whose instigation.

It is well-known that “journalists” read blogs – from whence else would they get their “news” – yet rarely, if ever, do we see an article that is “au contraire” the accepted view and certainly not – if one does appear – with any attribution.

Why is it that detailed opposition to the news that is put out by the MSM never gets mentioned? Why is it that the detailed rebuttals of those that are considered “accepted voices” never make the output of the media? Why is it that the authors of articles such as this never return to that which they have written and answer their critics? The only person who so does, among those who believe they are the “great and the good”, is Norman Tebbit.

That a fair and reasoned “debate” can be held on any subject, let alone this country’s membership of the European Union, is but a dream. What price Leveson when considering the independence of the media? The media has no independence – like those in whose pockets they are, thee media have “vested interests”!



Now there’s art, journalism & literature – and then there’s ‘cover-up’

Back in September I posted an article relating to what, or what not, was said by David Cameron in a BBC interview with James Landale – and followed this in the next article with copies of an email to him and an FOI request that had been submitted to the BBC.

David Cameron responded and, as I suspected he would, provided a transcript of the ‘edited’ version of the news that appeared on iPlayer:

(click to enlarge)

I have also today received the response by the BBC to my FOI request:

RFI20121015 – Final Response

(due to the vagaries of WordPress, please click this link which will open in a new page and then click that link to view the pdf)

You will note, from the BBC response, the following:

“The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you and will not be doing so on this occasion. Part VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA provides that information held by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters is only covered by the Act if it is held for ‘purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature”. The BBC is not required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.”

Where the BBC is concerned, my view is that FOI requests only extend to the parts of the BBC which spend your money, and how they spend it. It does not extend to editorial decisions on news items, thereby supposedly allowing editors to remain free from political control. The way the FOI Act is written however allows political pressure to be applied, in the background, without the BBC ever having to disclose it. Albeit only my opinion, however it leads me to believe that what exists now is what may be termed ‘covert censorship’.

Just saying……….

A request

Yesterday evening on the BBC 6 ‘Clock News David Cameron was interviewed by James Landale from which the clip in this item was taken.

In a telephone conversation with a friend of mine (who can ‘out’ himself in the comments if he so wishes) about an unrelated matter, the conversation eventually got round to matters EU

In that conversation I was informed that Cameron, when ‘pushed’ by Landale stated that as part of his “renegotiation” of our terms of membership with the EU that in the next Parliament he would use Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

I watched on iplayer the 6 O’Clock news (which surprise, surprise contained no mention of this snippet) and on returning to check a few minutes ago found that it was no longer available.

This can only mean that a bit of editing has been done which begs the question at the request of whom? One can only presume that someone in No10 had a ‘hissy fit’ at such a commitment and made a few phone calls – which can only lead to the assumption that censorship has been practiced for the benefit of political gain.

As to the heading of this post: I don’t suppose anyone recorded the 6 O’Clock news last night and can make a copy of that available? It might be worth checking the 10 O’Clock News too if anyone recorded that.

Just asking……….

Information needs to be ‘mediated’ in the name of free speech – What!?

The Boy from Foy has entered the debate about internet censorship and free speech querying whether there is a need to make the internet: “subject to any form of regulation in an era when, a click away, there is access to information that respects no national boundaries nor the laws of any national parliament or the basic standards of conventional journalism”, while also stating that there is a need to: “come to grips with the fact that the internet is giving public access to uncorroborated, undigested and unmediated news, all in the name of free speech.”

It is now obviously out in the open that the political class believe that before we, the people, can formulate our own opinions about matters, the basis on which those opinions can be ‘formed’ need ‘formulating’ and ‘mediating’ – ie the facts need ‘doctoring’ to suit the aims of the political class.

Well, Foxtrot Oscar FoyBoy – and take with you those who think likewise!

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