admitted that the government believes that it is the body who should decide
what is printed in the Press. The Government knows full well that the majority
of people receive their news via the Press and TV, and to control the flow of
information through those outlets is indeed state control, with a propaganda
machine to match.
In his speech at the
Lord Williams of Mostyn memorial lecture, Lord Falconer also insists the
Government is fully committed to openness. (controlled openness that is).
information is mainly for the public and not the press, “People not the
press must be the priority. There is a right to know, not a right to tell,”
right to know is central to openness and not the media's role in providing
information, he said, talking about The Freedom of Information Act came into
force in 2005.
It gives people
the right of access to information held by over 100,000 public bodies.
Government approaches openness on the basis of improving how government
operates, for the benefit of the public. Many sections of the press do not
approach it in that way. Instead, many approach it on the basis of what gives
them most information exclusive to their journalistic outlet…. The job of the
Government is not to provide page leads for the papers, but information for the
citizen. Freedom of information was never considered to be, and for our part
will never be considered to be, a research arm for the media.”
This would fall
in line with many reports
which are now coming to light, where individuals are receiving the information
that they have requested under the Act, but are being warned not to divulge the
information to anyone else, and are being threatened with legal action if they
Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: “How ironic that a Government
that so attacks the privacy of the person now defends the secrecy of
To say that this government is not showing all the
classic signs of moving into a dictatorship are now evaporating quickly, as
government control of the Press and of the free flow of information is an
essential part of that process.
The right to
tell, the freedom of the press must never be allowed to be killed off.