Sunday, 30 November 2008

Matthew Parris may have missed the point

I admire Matthew Parris's writings and his latest piece in The Times is well up to the mark. However in one paragraph he misses something, he writes:
"The common law offence of “aiding and abetting, counselling or procuring misconduct in a public office” sets such a ridiculously low hurdle that thousands of my colleagues in the newspaper industry, many MPs, most Opposition spokesmen, and innumerable helpfully indiscreet police officers would be behind bars if every offence was investigated and prosecuted. Much journalism would become impossible, legitimate questioning and debate by MPs would be ruled out, and activity in the public interest would be outlawed."
What he doesn't seem to consider is that Gordon Brown and his government might prefer it if much journalism was impossible and if legitimate questioning and debate by MPs could be ruled out. Maybe Matthew Parris credits Gordon Brown with more respect for democracy than he should.

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