A Small Fightback 2

There are important similarities between the Damian Green case and that of Sally Murrer. Sally is the local journalist who was harassed, strip-searched and intimidated by local police, because she was given information on the police bugging of a Member of Parliament.

As her lawyer said in court “The measures used by Thames Valley Police against Sally Murrer are familiar in authoritarian states where the police are used to discourage the media from reporting on issues of public interest using confidential sources”.

That is absolutely true. The fact that Sally has been cleared in Court after a defence based on the European Convention of Human Rights is a small fightback for liberty. But her unnecessarily brutal treatment by the police (what possible reason can there be for strip-searching a journalist?), and her ordeal have already done that totalitarian work. She has announced she no longer has the confidence to continue journalism.

The extraordinary thing is the way that the media have failed to give Damian Green, let alone Sally Murrer, the prominence they deserve. Media inattention to startling human rights abuses is of course another characterisic of a police state. Indeed we have been treated to an egregious BBC commentator telling us that, after the Bombay incident, the Indian people are demanding “More stringent anti-terror laws and more powerful anti-terror police, as we have in the UK”.

Happily, the blogosphere reflects the concern of the educated public much better than the once free media. And the isolation of the Nu-Lab hacks and trolls on these issues is startling.

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2 thoughts on “A Small Fightback

  • frog2

    A good amount of comment on Green at guardian CIF, still going .

    I put in a number of references to Sally Murrer, too.

    Hope she sues .


  • David Redfern

    Unfortunatly using the term 'Police state' diverts peoples attention from the root of the problem; an authoritarian political environment, and I apportion no single party to this term as, regardless of who runs the country after the next election, the political and institutional power amassed over the past 30 or 40 years by all parties will not be surrendered without a fight.

    The Police become the whipping boys whilst the Politicians pull the strings; as long as there is any political influence, including financial, over the Police there will be political interference in, and abuse of Police powers.

    It may seem illogical but I believe the Libertarian party, with it's restricted government and empowered Police force, provide the most sustainable means of personal freedom. If the focus of senior officers attention is on crime prevention rather than political aspirations then 'compromised' senior officers are minimised. Believe it or not, the Police want to do their job, preventing crime and catching criminals not messing about in a political chess game.

    This government, is using the Police, and any other institution for that matter, to further its authoritarian ends; but we wouldn't call it a 'media' state because the media is controlled and manipulated by the government. Although arguably, with selective reporting and strip searched journalists that could be as appropriate a term as 'police' state.

    No, the term 'Police state' is a euphemism for fascist state which correctly emphasises the perpetrators, our government, not the Police.

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