The freedom of the press in the U.K. has died by an overwhelming vote by the House of Commons, with only 12 dissenting Conservative party members daring to vote no. It is proof that without a check on its power, and without a firm belief in liberty that transcends the state, democracy will destroy freedom.
Unless they register with a “press register” (established by Royal Charter), anyone who makes publishes “news-related material” will be liable for “libel damages” with huge fines. Even if they register, they can still be liable if in the government’s opinion they were not punished by their “regulator” sufficiently.
This ends the legal right of publishers to publish without censorship or attack by the government, which was established by John Wilkes back in 1771.
That all three major British parties, the Conservatives, Labour, and the Liberal Democrats, voted either overwhelmingly or unanimously is perhaps most ominous.
The only significant party to stand up against this act of evil was the U.K. Independence Party. The UKIP leader and Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Nigel Farage, spoke out against this unequivocally:
“For this government, or any bunch of so-called politicians to support the legislative underpinning of a voluntary agreement to oversee the press would be a huge mistake, and the first step on a very slippery slope. Control of the media should not now, or ever be in any way the responsibility of politicians.”
The UKIP may very well reap the rewards at the next British parliamentary elections… assuming that anyone is allowed to agree with them…
A little mood music: