Freedom: a word laden with meaning, that turns the heads of billions, moves the world, holds more power than tanks and guns, is imbued with poetic resonance and romantic spirit, a spark that fires up the human soul. The course of history is changed by its restless demands and always for the better.Really? I suspect you are about to repudiate that in your own column.
And I’m right:
But freedom has never been as free and simple as the songs of freedom that serenade it. Nor is it always the small, good guy, taking on the dark forces. The WikiLeaks drama supposedly embodies that struggle. It doesn't. True, Assange and his web warriors have opened up the labyrinthine crypts and vaults holding official US secrets and conspiracies, and thereby have exposed the lies governments tell and harm they wilfully cause. Diplomatic niceties sound even more fraudulent than once they did; the communiqués about and between various states reveal such dirty politicking their leaders will never again be believed. They deserve no better.There’s a ‘but’ coming, isn’t there?
However, the widespread cynicism will now burn all before it. Without trust between rulers and the ruled, governance is impossible. (That is what Mr Clegg and co need to understand.) Assange's freedom to publish, while vital, cannot be the only consideration. What happens next? Who deals with the ensuing disarray?Ummm, perhaps the people who created it? And I’m not referring to Assange…
We journalists must interrogate our own motives too as we relish the endless revelations. We have no means of validating what is going out – and some of the material must be inaccurate or incomplete. The freeing up of so much untested information makes folk swallow and gorge on it, surely very unhealthy.Well, it never bothers you journalists when you are happily regurgitating the latest statement of ‘research’ from some fakecharity or government quango, so why worry here?
A harder, though equally incontrovertible, truth is that even in the most developed of democracies, where freedoms are guaranteed by constitutions and cumulative wisdom, there are legal and also unspoken, generally understood limits to what is acceptable in the public space. These are indeed frequently and necessarily contested. However, in the last decade, an unprecedented resistance has being mounted by those who cannot compromise, who truly believe anything goes and that restraint is a form of censorship. These freedom fighters have brought down political correctness and delivered the dubious benefits of loose tongues and careless thoughts.Political correctness has been ‘brought down’..?!?
Truly, proof that Yasmin inhabits her own little world…
And so now we have the abominable Frankie Boyle making filthy jokes on TV about disabled children while people roll about laughing I presume.You ‘presume’? Shouldn’t you find out, you being one of those fearless, fact-seeking journalists?
But wait, Yaz is in full-on ‘It’s all about meeeeeeee!’ mode:
The hitherto lawless and feral internet world is having to becoming more self- aware and conscious of the effects of words and images on real lives. Legal constraints are creeping in too. Good. It's time the space was civilised. Freedom has given licence to cowards to abuse, threaten, intimidate, cruelly demean, give vent to racism, sexism, paedophilia and the most wicked emotions of which humans are capable. Even more nauseating are their claims of high virtue and democratic valour. (This will set them off, the demented bloggers, the bulldogs who go after me week after week.)Heh!
Her conclusion, however, isn’t quite so amusing:
Some information can provoke such devastating consequences, it does need to be kept from the wider public.Who’s going to decide that, Yaz? You?