The end of freedom of speech?

Freedom of speech has always been something of a chimera. It is not an absolute right, coming, as it does, bundled with the expectation of seriously expensive consequences if you libel or slander someone.

However, the right to say anything unflattering or critical of pretty much anybody would seem to be under threat as such an offence has apparently migrated from the realm of civil law and become a crime. Continue reading

The War on Apathy…

I reblogged this post What is wrong with all of you: because it echoes what I’ve been writing myself over the past couple of years, and was immediately taken to task (even though I didn’t write it), by someone who is a full-time carer and stuck at home.

But here’s the thing – it’s not aimed at them, or at me, as I am stuck at home too, through illness. It’s aimed at people who are capable of organising, or participating in, protests, but don’t.

As for me, Continue reading

Blogging perspective – can bloggers work?

The claim has been made, occasionally, that if bloggers can write for themselves, they can work for an employer. Is there any truth in that?

Well, it’s been suggested that I write a year-end summary of this year’s posts. Actually counting them is out of the question – not enough spoons to concentrate for that long – but extrapolating from what I’ve written so far this month which, surprisingly, turns out to be 29 posts, including this (and there’s one more to come today), that would come out at over 600 posts for the year.

That feels Continue reading

Prosecution by newspaper? What’s McAlpine playing at?

McAlpine claims his lawyers have the names of 10,000 Twitterati** who tweeted or retweeted about him and the paedo allegations (1,000 tweets, 9,000 RTs). The suggestion has been made, in the press, that the plebs, to avoid prosecution, make a £100 donation to a children’s charity while celebs will Continue reading

Lord McAlpine and Twitter…

Please note: This is not, as one fruitcake on Twitter claimed last night, an argument in favour of censorship. That should be perfectly clear to anyone who takes the time to read it properly.

Twitter is not the Wild West and, sooner rather than later, the rule of law will be imposed, and that day is getting pretty close. It is, however, worth pointing out that most people on Twitter are law-abiding – not that you’d get that impression from the press.

Lord McAlpine , if we can believe newspaper reports, plans to sue Twitterati who tweeted unkindly and libellously about him last week. He also – and this is where it goes off the rails in my view, plans to sue retweeters too.

Doesn’t he first have to prove intent?

And wasn’t the name of McAlpine linked to the child abuse case, and released into the public domain, by the police? In which case, can it be a civil offence to repeat something already in the public domain when at the time its libellous nature was unknown? I don’t see how.

As for retweeting on Twitter, it means Continue reading

Is Twitter destroying your social life?

The Guardian, it seems, can’t be bothered to report on yesterday’s TUC march in London, in which an estimated 150,000 took part.

It can find the space, however, to launch one of its regular bullshit attacks on social networking, in “How social networks can destroy your social life. Written by John Naughton,** an OU professor of “the public understanding of technology” who demonstrates that, while bitching about things he doesn’t like, he really understands little.

**Tried to discover if he has a Twitter account, but Continue reading