Thursday, 11 October 2007

NUJ sub-editors, Raleigh & Genocide

In the Daily Telegraph this morning, Alasdair Palmer reviews Freedom's Frontier: Censorship in Modern Britain by Donald Thomas. It's the history of the British Government's attempts to suppress free expression and details just how inept our state censors have been. This current Labour Government's efforts to silence the British National Party by prosecuting its chairman are included.

The Telegraph report of this in its original form probably read as follows:

"The two trials which led to the acquittal of Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP, for inciting racial hatred, had exactly the same result of spreading, rather than suppressing, the BNP's views: the BNP received an unprecedentedly large vote in the local elections that followed Nick Griffin's trial."

But then a sub-editor, who just happens to be a member of the National Union of Journalists, ran their eye over the copy and what actually appeared in the newspaper was thus:

"The two trials which led to the acquittal of the odious Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP, for inciting racial hatred, had exactly the same result of spreading, rather than suppressing, the BNP's repugnant views: the BNP received an unprecedentedly large vote in the local elections that followed Griffin's trial."

Easy isn't it? The inclusion of two derogatory adjectives and the omission of a Christian name by some NUJ toadie has turned a factual report into a smear on the British National Party.

My chest swelled with pride this morning when it was reported on Radio 4's Today programme that the profits of the British cycle manufacturer Raleigh were at a thirty year high. Disappointingly, John Humphrys quickly deflated that pride by pointing out to Raleigh's Chief Executive, " . . but of course you don't actually make any bicycles in Britain do you, and you are not really a British company at all". And the embarrassed chap had to admit that Raleigh bikes were now made in Eastern Europe and the Far East, and not a single one was made in Britain. His get-out clause was - ". . . we do still have some management posts here in the UK".

I just hope that others listening to that news felt the same anger that I did - so now, the one time workshop of the world can't even make a bicycle!

Across the pond, the White House is upset that Congress has voted to allow US historians to describe the slaughter of Armenians by the Turks in 1915 as "genocide". Bush and Co don't refute that 1.5 million Armenians were systematically wiped off the face of this earth, they just don't like this new more accurate terminology at this time. Bush fears it might sour the American/Turkish relationship when the situation is rapidly deteriorating in Iraq. It's food for thought that politicians in 2007 can seek to influence the annals of history just for political convenience today.

1 comment:

Aberdeen Patriot said...

Martin just a quick one please set your blog up to display more than 1 post on the main page, it makes it easier to scroll down and see older posts


pps more scotish stuff in freedom.