The government’s dashing through a recently developed statute which, if it goes ahead, would have a bitter result on British democracy and our entitlement to speak up on matters that are important in order to us.
From May 2014, harsh new rules would stop non-politicians from speaking up on the essential matters of the day. A large span of campaign factions and non-profit organisations, everybody from The Royal British Legion, with Oxfam, to the RSPB, are warning about the danger this will create.
In a thriving democracy, everybody should be in a position to communicate their opinions, and everybody should be permitted to get in order to high point what elected officials are saying and doing on the matters that are of importance to them.
Politics is too significant to leave to political parties, and when we speak up about decisions that have an effect on us, and what lies ahead for our country, we can often alter things for the better.
If we permit this gagging order, it means that there will be a limitation on information or remarks that is made by the public, or remarks that has been handed over to an organised third party.
Gagging orders may be utilised, for instance, to keep legal trade secrets of a business, to keep safe the good character of ongoing police or military operations, or to keep from harm the freedom of disturbance of an injured party or child, or equally what occurs in government.
Conversely, as their drawback, they may be misused as a functional implement for those of monetary means to frighten witnesses and stop the release of information, using the legal system rather than other techniques of intimidation.
In spite of a huge crusade in opposition to it, the Tories did accomplish to get it passed in what has become frequently known as the ‘gagging bill’. The gagging bill is a way to silence people who would in fact want to have a voice in what happens in our country and, inside our government, but now can’t do that.
The mainstream corporate media have amused themselves with the government by frequently alluding to it as the lobbying bill, in spite of the fact that the larger part of the lobby industry will still be completely untouched by it. Essentially the bill keeps safety in house corporate lobbying operations from any sort of authorised examination, meaning that a cloak of secrecy will still cloak their control upon our politicians.
The fact that the inappropriately named lobby bill does hardly anything to control the pursuit of corporate lobbyists isn’t even the worst of it. The truly shocking part is the sizeable second section of the bill which is plainly blueprinted to muffle attackers of the government such as charities, voluntary organisations, protest groups, trade unions and religions, which in spite of the bile from disagreeable anti theist ranter brigade, have done much good work in promoting social justice.
The intent to utilise this latest law in order to repel the freedom of speech of organisations that find fault with government plans was made completely comprehensible by the communication used by Iain Duncan Smith in his harangue against the Trussell Trust food bank group earlier in January.
It was an extremely bad day for anybody wanting to save the environment, save a hospital or be against tuition fees, and it must be transparent. Civil society must never be deprived of its voice. We must stand up for our convictions and to decline self censorship.
We must toil tirelessly to make sure that this bill does not silence charities and campaigners because this bill will inflict a huge regulatory strain on charities and voluntary organisations, which is now one more confirmation that David Cameron’s Big Society is a con.
One thing is for certain, The Tory gagging laws will not be relevant to the corporate restriction on the mainstream press, and whilst charities and protest groups are muzzled from condemning government strategies, the cheerleaders of neoliberalism in the right wing press, such as the Murdoch emporium, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, and the Express etc will be permitted to carry on spurting their brazenly prejudiced Tory party advertising.
The fact that the Tories will never gag their attack dogs in the mainstream corporate press presents differing parties with a possible means of evasion. If they proclaim themselves media organisations, or aim their disapproval of the government by means of the press outlets such as their own tabloids, periodicals or websites, the Tories would be forced to bring in harsh press status in order to shut them up.
In conclusion, this is very discouraging stuff, and despite the best attempts of the charitable sector, Tory led government has brought in laws intended to gag their critics. The only glimmer of hopefulness is that this legislation is so badly thought up that it is doomed to failure.
The most advantageous way to test this is through a majority of non compliance. Nevertheless, it may only take the courage of a small number of organisations to rotate this legislation in opposition to those that thought it up by making sure that the Tories efforts to gag their critics rebound spectacularly by rendering far more public attention to the differing organisation than merely letting them alone would have.