Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More from The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism

Tony Blair compared the entire British media establishment to "feral beasts" yesterday, in a lengthy lecture he gave them, wherein he also proposed the need for "some form of new external regulation" of that same British media establishment.

Where to begin?

We could, I guess, talk about the absurdity of his saying things like this:
A free media is a vital part of a free society. You only need to look at where such a free media is absent to know this truth. But it is also part of freedom to be able to comment on the media. It has a complete right to be free. I, like anyone else, have a complete right to speak.
In light of events like this:
Soon after Labour's 1997 election victory, the economics editor of a daily newspaper wrote a story to which some people close to Gordon Brown took exception. The result was dramatic. Charlie Whelan, then the Chancellor's press secretary, yelled down the telephone to the unfortunate editor the details of how she, and her newspaper, were to be punished. She was to be declared a non-person: for a year there would be no briefings in her direction, no press releases and no invitations. As far as the Treasury was concerned, she would no longer exist.
Or, simply, in light of the more salient recognition that Tony Blair's New Labour party is "the most media-obsessed government Britain [has] had in modern times"--employing, to cite but one glaring example, a notably ruthless former journalist as its Director of Communications shortly after it took government in '97.

But that would be to focus on Tony Blair's hypocrisy. Which, you must realize, is exactly what he wants us (or Britons, anyway) to do. He wants us to focus on his hypocrisy, I say, in the hopes that we will be persuaded that he regrets it; so that we will then give this honest, ultimately well-meaning man's New Labour Party carte blanche to correct it ... Even, that is, if it is to be at the expense of a free press.

This, it seems to me, has always been New Labour's desired endgame. They're playing the media now as much as they have ever done.

... But I feel silly even bothering to point this out.


Mr. Blair presents us with an admirably sinister variation on Nixon's adage:

Any change becomes impossible to resist when bureaucrats exacerbate--to the point of propagation--the chaos in which they exist, and to which only they (as its authors) can offer remedy.