Thursday, 29 November 2012

Leveson, Free Press, Gandhi, London

Mohendas 'Mohatma' Gandhi, the great Indian leader, momentously visited London in 1931.
Somebody asked him: "What do you think of civilisation in Britain?"
   Gandhi replied: "I think it would be a very good idea."
I thought of Gandhi's response as I listened to Members of Parliament pompously striving to claim the moral high ground about preserving the UK's 'free press'. 
  Ruth, a character in Night and Day (Tom Stoppard, 1978), said: "I'm with you on the free press. It's the newspapers I can't stand."
    What would Gandhi have made of one man owning tens of newspaper titles when millions of people control none at all? 
  'What do you think of the free press in Britain?
- 'I think it would be a very good idea.'

MPs 'free press' pontifications were prompted by Lord Leveson's report on media ethics and practices published today (29 November). 

Paul Coleman, London Intelligence, November 2012 

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