The not unexpected departure from No.10 this week of Andy Coulson has done more to open cans of worms than to quietly allow them to be put into a cupboard and be forgotten.
Two cans in particular are likely to see the light of day. The first is the illegal activities of journalists, not just in the phone tapping cases, but in the much wider sense where newspapers have condoned illegal activities in order to pull a story.
Peter Preston in the Observer notes:
While the News of the World was hacking phones, dozens of journalists at other papers were blagging their way into bank accounts and medical records.
Good point, but where I differ from Preston is that I do not believe Coulson should be given a second chance just because he is good at manipulating Cameron’s PR campaigns.
While Kevin Marsh at the College of Journalism asks:
Is this a good moment to recall the 305 named journalists found dealing illegally in private information back in 2006?
The Information Commissioner Richard Thomas’ produced a report ‘What Price Privacy?’– the outcome of a police investigation called ‘Motorman’ into the illegal trade in data. But that was the last of it, it was sat on and no further actions were taken, which speculators assume was because of heavy police involvement in that illegal trade.
Like me, I suppose many people would like to see a lot more police activity, and prosecutions, even if it means exposing some of their own in this collusion of silence.
But the wider issue and the second can of worms is not just illegal activity. It is the lazy journalism that has pervaded our press for many years, especially in the arena of political reporting. (I use the word reporting humorously), in the support of ‘the project’. That project being the EU.
I have said many times before that in any ‘revolution’, those who are at the forefront, those who enable it, will be the first to be thrown to the wolves once their usefulness is over. We have seen it with the Bankers, with politicians, we are now seeing it with civil servants and journalists, both TV & Press. They have fulfilled their useful idiot roles, now they are to be cut loose.
The years of ‘cut & paste’ repetition of government propaganda, the lack of backbone to hold government to account, the lack of investigative reporting has brought journalism into disrepute and into the same category of loathing with the public as politicians enjoy.
Adam Boulton summed it up perfectly:
Two important sectors of our society now feel under a great deal of pressure, beset by plunging fortunes and public esteem: newspapers and politicians. As they go down they are turning in on each other with increasing viciousness – politician against journalist, politician against politician, journalist against journalist.
The EU project no longer needs them, they have reached their objectives, the near total control of our national government, the subversion and inclusion into the EU structure of local government, state control of our economic heart, a police infrastructure and hierarchy that buys in totally to internal threats and people control extending the theme of thugs in uniform at all levels, the destruction of our ancient laws and customs, our manufacturing base, our fisheries, our agriculture, regulation of every facet of our lives and the dismantling of our Armed Services, in short our ability to be independently self sustainable.
Along with our politicians, the journalists of the UK (with very few exceptions) should be shunned, outcast as the enablers of the treason to force servitude onto a free and independent people.
The establishment thinks its got MSM journalists neutered, whilst the MOD sees investigative journalists as an internal threat. It’s here in the Ministry of Defence: The Defence Manual of Security Volumes 1, 2 and 3 Issue 2 (2001) (this full document is a 36meg download) but the 2 page extract tells journalists what the MOD thinks of them. Non Traditional Threats Posed by Other Individuals or Organisations (pdf) including investigative journalists and pressure groups. They have joined the rest of us in becoming Enemies of the State.
Journalists certainly have the means to redeem themselves, lets see how many have the balls.