Lord Putnam (famous as the Director of the film Chariots of Fire) was on the Beeb this morning in his role as leadetr of a government all-party commission on misinformation. He was bemoaning delays in the government’s getting a bill passed to outlaw such “misinformation.”
What does it mean? Putnam mentioned how advertisers on social media rankled at seeing their wonderful wares advertised alongside “conspiracy theories and hate speech.” Clearly, then, such things are to be banned by law. Which ought to be a little worrying.
For example, in the last month the author J. K. Rowling has been cancelled on social media and castigated by the mainstream world for hinting that “menstruators” used to be called something else beginning with “w.” Similarly, actor Lawrence Fox has been depersoned for tweeting “All lives matter”. Both, accused of hate speech, would find their words to be censored by law, as well as by social media, celebrities and pharisees of all descriptions, when such an Act is passed.
Conspiracy theories, too, are a dodgy area. If they’re about a flat earth or lizards taking over the world, then why should we police people’s attraction to crazy and harmless ideas? But if they’re about official cover-ups of Pakistani rape gangs in our cities, or governmentally sanctioned staging of fake chemical attacks in Syria – or just good old dodgy dossiers on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – then such a law is putting untrustworthy governments beyond accountability by labelling whistleblowers as “conspiracy theorists” by law.
My piece on BLM (UK) Ltd over the weekend would, of course, be suppressed by such a law. Cultural Marxism, dismissed as a “right wing, anti-semitic conspiracy theory” in our press, could not be mentioned, even though we can see it playing out on our streets and can Google the webiste of the organisation behind the destruction of statues and police forces on our streets, to find it committed to the overthrow of capitalism and the nuclear family. In real life.
What we’re actually looking at is a law to impose state censorship, which is to restrict “information” to that authorised by the government, or perhaps by the global oligarchs who own the media. That has a poor track record in the Soviet Union and the Third Reich, and the dislosures of Katharine Gun, Edward Snowden or Julian Assange are not particularly reassuring about our own politicians’ commitment to open truth.
Only fourteen percent of the public trusts politicians to tell the truth, and politicians are abrogating to themselves the right to censor all public truth. Why would that be a good thing?
Such a law would, undoubtedly, give a free rein to official conspiracy theories whilst outlawing investigative journalism. Specifically, I have already mentioned recently how odd it is that, in the face of both Communist and Islamist acts of terrorism within the last week, the biggest threat to democracy in the UK is uniformly said by politicians, press and all the Twitterati to be “Far right extremism.” The best they can offer in support are a few football hooligans, forces veterans protecting statues, and of course Christian school governors defending biological categories of men and women. Does anyone really see a totalitarian putsch in the offing from that lot?
In contrast, Britain has just emerged from a well-established real four year long threat to democracy, which was only settled by a landslide general election vote for Brexit, after our political and intellectual establishment did their darnedest to overturn the result of a popular referendum on it. The public, or at least those not initiated into conformity by the educational system and the media, saw that even the Conservative Prime Minister was in on the conspiracy whilst trumpeting her commitment to carrying through the people’s vote. The will of the majority only prevailed despite the “reliable information” of the BBC and the other mainstream media.
So is there a single good reason for the people to trust the Government, or anyone it might appoint or authorise to guard the truth for people? Do we have an Establishment worthy to defend us from the errors of believing in UFOs, in falsified moon landings, in non-government-employed climate scientists or epidemiologists or sociologists, in fundamental biology, or in historical church teaching and the moral positions ubiquitous before last year?
They are already calling all these contradictions of the official line conspiracy theories and hate speech (as Lord Putnam demonstrates). Once that is backed up by law, then we will have become slaves of the government and of the rich and powerful.
To finish, see David Putnam the Director endorsing right-wing misinformation about the benevolent sufficiency of governments: