18 October 2008

One rule for them, another for us

We all love to hate politicians. There is one that Dr Grumble particularly hates. Can you guess who? You will have to guess if this blog is to become regulated. Below is what he says about his views on preserving his liberty to speak out:

"........I think it is in the interests of democracy to preserve the liberty of politicians to speak about current issues and public figures in expressive language that is all part of the cut and thrust of political debate."

Below is what he says about his views on preserving our liberty on the web:

"It is not just about copyright or intellectual property but [things like] taste and decency in the online world. The time will come to say what are the direct interventions [needed, if any]."

So it's in the interests of democracy to preserve the liberty of politicians to speak about current issues but the common man with a blog has to be regulated on the grounds of things like taste and decency. That makes sense. If you are a politician.

Watch out Dr Rant. There are words you use that Andy Burnham may find in bad taste. He wants to prevent people like the sensitive flowers in the deaneries from ever reading your stronger words. Could that perhaps be a good thing? Think. We can protect the delicate types in the deaneries from ever knowing what these words mean. It would be just like the good old days when these words were not even in the dictionaries so we couldn't ever use them and people could not possibly be offended.


Dr Liz Miller said...

I suggest that Google not Government allows Freedom of Speech.

Google's fortune is based on commercial interests of which "Free Speech" forms a part. There will be a time when Google has amassed sufficient wealth to use its position to exert control. At that stage, Google will decide what can and cannot be said. At present, that point has not yet been reached.

Governments are on the verge of bankruptcy. Globalisation means land borders are barely relevant. Currencies are in the hands of the traders, and banking systems worldwide have been let loose to run riot. In what way can Governments excerpt their control?

Governments may still crush the likes of you and I, but they cannot take on the Commercial Giants. I suggest that Google offers us more protection than HM Government.

Anonymous said...

Dr Grumble

I quite agree

When have you heard a politician
speak with "taste and Decency", have you ever watched PMs question time?

In tne interest of taste and decency I have only one comment-

what a load of anal, self serving, arrogant BOLLOCKS

Angus Dei (with taste and decency)

Anonymous said...

Burnham is in cahoots with Mikko, the Estonian MEP who is trying to get the EU to ok restriction of bloggers and blogs. HMG cannot restrict blogs on its own - we do not have a sovereign parliament now, so any such HR breaching legislation would have to come from Europe.

The way Mikko has introduced this plan is typical of how EU legislates. First the minimal debate which temporarily halts the process - a 'testing the water', working out where the dissension lies, and then the presentation of a full-on bill which has been strengthened and worked on to subvert dissenting arguments.

I may be 'colourful' but I'm not alarmist. My reading is that factions within the EU will not drop this and, at some point in the next 18m or so, there will be a renewed EU call for blogging restriction. This is a serious threat to freedom of speech and plurality. I'm glad we're thinking about it now. Thanks for posting on this DrG. We need to spread the word wider though.

I agree with you Liz, Google seems to embody free speech though their record with China is less than encouraging. Will Google go up against the EU?

Dr Blue said...

We retain our grasp of the vernacular.

Actually someone has suggested that more fun could be had with amiable circumlocutions such as "irritable vowel syndrome" and "circumicturition"

Personally Francis and I prefer to give it to the government both barrels blazing.

And remember that PR to a doctor means talking shit.

Anonymous said...

Europe has been trying since the 60s to come up with a way of regulating the flow of information without it being used by authoritarian governments to restrict information to their population. So far they have failed.

Right now, Europe's main opponent to the regulation of the internet is the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. If they want to curtail free speach in Europe on the internet, they'll have to control all access to the internet from the States, where nothing is allowed to interfere with free speech. Not going to happen.


Dr Grumble said...

Apparently you are now going to have to have a passport just to buy a mobile phone. So the terrorists will now be out to steal phones as well as passports. This is crazy.