Monday, 18 April 2016

EU Referendum: Like A Candle In The Wind

Above is a screen print of a recent American publication - National Enquirer - which has made forthright allegations regarding the songwriter Elton John's private life, more specifically the circumstances over his married life.

It is an issue which has now become a Westminster one - vexing the UK media who are currently unable to report explicitly the implied sordid details as they are obviously desperate to do so.

Conversely the National Enquirer is able to be so publicly indiscreet by virtue of being protected by the American Constitution, it can go where the UK media fears to tread, restricted by domestic privacy law - a law heavily inspired from Brussels but fully enforced by a very compliant British establishment.

This lack of ability to report what is common knowledge worldwide on the internet has lead to a series of articles in the UK media, particularly the Daily Mail, spitting feathers at its inability to name Elton John and crucially his married partner Furnish, as part of an injunction.

With this in mind we note that the website PopBitch gives a detailed insight on how newspapers, and therefore readers, can circumvent injunctions by laying down many clues for the readers to follow while not being in contempt of court.

However and much more interesting for this blog is not Elton John's private life - we couldn't care less about that - it is the observation of the vigorous manner the media have attempted to frame the issue as one of free speech, a deceptive attempt for the media to portray itself as upholding the principles of the fourth estate.

This is contentious. Instead it seems that it is details of Elton John's private life which is the media's concern not the responsibility holding the establishment to account which the fourth estate apparently prides itself on doing.

Free speech is something this blog fully embraces, it is the sunlight that exposes the powerful. But we are left in a position where we have to question the direction of the sunlight from the legacy media. Where is the Super Trooper being aimed at? Celebrities? Or trying to inform us on how our country is governed.

The answer resides in the so- called journalistic principles regarding Cameron lying about "vetoing" an EU treaty in 2011 which never happened, or that Cameron's so called negotiations earlier this year were less than impressive and involved directly lying to Parliament or that there's an exit plan which is doing the rounds in Whitehall which is being comprehensively ignored.

In addition why, for example, has the Daily Telegraph have a editorial block on the word "Flexcit" - the only publicly available feasible EU exit plan - being used in its articles by Telegraph paid authors and why has the media failed to report that the Electoral Commission has allowed itself to be completely bullied regarding the time scale of the referendum to the extent it fully capitulated with no fuss.

The legacy media cannot be unaware not least due very often to the comments under the articles which robustly alert them to their mistakes; comments which are often patronisingly dismissed as"below the line". Perhaps in this context can we consider it more than a coincidence that the revamped pro-EU Telegraph website no longer accepts comments. A change which has occurred just before an EU Referendum?

We are tempted to conclude therefore that regarding the UK media if Elton John truly wants a private life then all he needs to do is have a photograph of him prominently holding up a copy of Flexcit. The self censorship of the media will do the rest for him.

It would have been more effective and would have been a hell of a lot cheaper.

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