Thursday, June 14, 2007

Blog off, Tony, into your open-top submarine

"It would be a real disaster if he were to parlay any of his waning authority into some new restrictions on the press, and it is the height of stupidity, on Blair's part, to think that it might be an idea to start regulating the blogosphere. It is the growing media literacy of the public - the understanding of soundbites and vox pops and two-ways and blogs - that allows everyone to participate in activities once reserved for the journalistico-political complex.
That is a wonderful thing, and I would much rather have cyberspace regulated by public scorn than by Tony Blair, who should depart as soon as possible to complete his farewell tour in an open-top submarine."


Has Boris Johnson ever written a better piece? There is a new totalitarianism at large today: backed by those who seek to censor, control and silence those opinions they don't like. Against these are the true liberals who believe that the more open and democratic the debate is the better. A pretty good way to see who is on which side is to see which journalists/bloggers allow people to post comments on their own websites.
Nick Cohen has far more in common with Fidel Castro than he realises.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Neil, you're in no way liberal.

Neil Clark said...

I am not an economic 'liberal', if by that we mean a belief that 'free' markets should be pre-eminent, but in terms of freedom of speech, and the freedom to hold and express 'unfashionable' opinions which go against the interests of the power elite of the day, I most certainly am. And in case you're referring to my support for the death penalty, John Stuart Mill, commonly regarded to be the father of English liberalism, was a staunch supporter too.

Neil Clark said...

Attitudes towards the forthcoming smoking ban are also another good litmus test....

Anonymous said...

Right then, let's me having a post from Neil about press freedoms in Putin's Russia or Belarus. Shall I hold my breath?

Steve Edwards said...

Neil is certainly a liberal (albeit not a classical one) in one very important sense - he is against the proposed invasion of dozens of countries, and "pre-emptive" (i.e. unprovoked) nuclear strikes against at least one (this morally despicable policy is now supported by about half of all Democratic presidential candidates and all Republicans bar the excellent Ron Paul). I'd happily wear an unreconstructed socialist, certainly more "liberal" than any murderous lunatic who agitates for the destruction of national sovereignty, nuclear holocaust, and the Brave New World.