Blair Calls For Chinese Style Net Controls In the UK
Declares war on "pernicious conspiracy theory" media coverage
Outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair has savaged online media today in a speech in which he declared war on the free press by hinting at new restrictions on internet journalism and suggested that the media should be brought more into line with the government.
Blair complained that the media was too "feral" (i.e. not tamed by the government) and referring to online journalism stated:
"In fact, the new forms can be even more pernicious, less balanced, more intent on the latest conspiracy theory multiplied by five."
This is an outright call for a crackdown on the free press. Blair is out in the open here saying the media is too independent of the government, he is admitting that the freedom with which the media, especially online, is now operating is hurting his government and its agenda.
Despite the fact that it is the government itself that has consistently lied to and refused to listen to the British people, Blair blamed the media for an undermining of trust in the government amongst the people and further accused the media of being responsible for a moral downturn in Britain.
"The damage saps the country's confidence and self-belief; it undermines its assessment of itself, its institutions; and above all, it reduces our capacity to take the right decisions, in the right spirit for our future.'' Blair stated.
This is rich given the fact that when New Labour came into power in 1997 Blair's government quickly became masters of spin, using the media as a tool of hype to whip up a frenzy of positive attention towards itself.
Blair even admitted that his government readily did this and is to blame for what he now sees as a brutal backlash:
''We paid inordinate attention in the early days of New Labour to courting, assuaging, and persuading the media ....such an attitude ran the risk of fuelling the trends in communications that I am about to question.'' Blair stated.
So there you have it, the government used and spat out the media and now it doesn't like the fact that it is no longer trusted and is scrutinized as if under a microscope, especially by the independent and online media which does not pander to corporate masters.
Therefore Blair's solution is to bring in an online journalism regulator to decide what is "balanced" reporting and what is not. Such a move is exactly the kind of thing that has been witnessed in Communist China in an effort to crackdown on criticism of the government there.
Blair has recently been under the media microscope concerning the BAE cover up over Saudi arms dealing. Before that he was subject to scrutiny and twice questioned by police over the cash for honours scandal where peerages were handed out by the government in exchange for financial favours. No doubt these are the kind of "conspiracy theories" Mr Blair wishes the media to be unable to cover, along with the scores of lies he told in the lead up to the Iraq war.
Blair can whine and whine all day long but the fact is it is the openness with which his government has conducted its criminal actions and its own attempts to use the free press as a propaganda arm that has led to a surge in media scrutiny.There is nothing he nor his elite masters can do to win this battle save shutting down the internet and free speech completely and risking revolution.