Friday, 22 March 2013

Threat to independent blogs in Britain?

Please sign this petition:
The terms of the proposed Royal Charter under which the British press will be subject to a degree of state or state-backed regulation (to those sitting in the politburo in Beijing so often lectured by the west about the need for a free press, the distinction must seem a fairly academic one) also appear to include the much-overlooked aim to regulate any blog that carries news-related material aimed at readers in the United Kingdom [here].
It seems clear, at least likely (although, frankly, I wouldn't want to be too sanguine about it in the long term once the principle of regulation is established) that very small, low-traffic  blogs such as this one, despite commenting upon and relaying news stories, both ecclesiastical and secular, to a largely British readership, would be exempt from the provisions and sanctions of the Charter [see here], others would not.
We are very aware in the fevered atmosphere of politics (both secular and religious) where, increasingly, the litigious apostles of 'equality and diversity' hold sway, of the real possibility of vexatious complaints. It would seem from much of the discussion about the  proposals now being endorsed by our political elite that dealing with such complaints could prove both all-consuming and prohibitively expensive; Cramner's  experience last year with the ASA seems to make that point very forcibly. It could well lead in Britain to the end of high-traffic independent blogging as we know it. Again, we either have a free press and blogosphere, or we don't. There are always those in positions of influence who would prefer we didn't.
If you value free speech and the continued expression of a wide variety of conflicting views both in print and on the internet, please sign the petition below:


  1. I signed the petition ... I may not live in the UK, but some of my readers do ... and many of the blogs I read are based there ... so I figure that gives me a stake in the debate!

  2. I'd be happy to sign, Father, but there's no indication of what I'm supposed to enter in the two boxes! Is it signature and e-mail?

    1. Your name in the upper box and your email address underneath. Many thanks!


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