September 27, 2011

BRITAIN: UK Labour Party wants journalism licenses, will prohibit “journalism” by people who are “struck off” the register of licensed journalists. “The UK Labour party’s conference is underway in Liverpool, and party bigwigs are presenting their proposals for reinvigorating Labour after its crushing defeat in the last election. The stupidest of these proposals to date will be presented today, when Ivan Lewis, the shadow culture secretary, will propose a licensing scheme for journalists through a professional body that will have the power to forbid people who breach its code of conduct from doing journalism in the future.”

I’d suggest that they read the Areopagitica, but they are undoubtedly both ignorant of, and contemptuous of, the English-speaking world’s long opposition to press licensing. But the fact that press censorship is part of their strategy after being defeated crushingly tells you a lot about both their connection to reality, and their core instincts.

UPDATE: Reader Patrick Lasswell emails that there’s a free Kindle edition of the Areopagitica. You can also get it from Project Gutenberg.