The UK mass media is controlled by a relatively small number of people, but sets the “tone” of public debate. In the last week I have come across three examples where stories of considerable public interest are simply not reported, and strangled by silence.
The first of these is the climate-change emails scandal. Hackers stole a bunch of emails from the University of East Anglia, by leading climate change scientists, together with source code for the climate models being used as the basis for all the predictions of world catastrophe. This revealed much data which Freedom of Information requests had failed to extract. It revealed systematic and seemingly fraudulent tampering with the data and the algorithms by those same scientists. The source code revealed comments showing intentional “fudges” to mask the fact that global temperatures had actually been declining during the late 20th century. There are endless extracts from this at Small Dead Animals. But you wouldn’t know anything about this scandal from the UK mass media. The “theft” of emails is reported; not the fraud thereby apparently uncovered. The fact that Phil Jones, the director, has been forced to step aside is reported, as a minor thing, with the expectation that he will be vindicated. Mid-week I watched a “news” item on ITV droning out propaganda for minute after minute as if this scandal had never broken.
Another item has been the scandal where Members of Parliament have claimed “expenses” for such items as cleaning the moat at their stately home and other items clearly not for the purpose of carrying out their duties. This has been a major national scandal. The local MP, John Gummer claimed $15,000 a year for gardening services, for four years. Other MP’s who have helped themselves to our taxes have had to resign. Yet … I have seen little trace of this in the local media, on the TV. A local MP, a substantial scandal, and … silence. As a result it seems that he is likely to continue as MP for a further 5 years, despite being 70 years old and doing little that I can see.
We should be grateful for the blogosphere. Those who tell us what the mighty and corrupt would rather we did not hear do us all great service. This is why we need free speech online.