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Meet the Famous British Liberals Who Support Government Control of the Media

Finally: A handy guide to all the UK's famous musicians, filmmakers and writers you can now profitably avoid with a clear conscience!

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

March 28, 2014 - 3:00 pm
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Phone-hacking-claims-007

I braced myself as I scrolled down to the list of names.

Who would break my already fractured old heart?

Who would I have to add to my already lengthy “You’re Dead To Me” list?

You see, over 200 British authors, actors, musicians and other bigwigs have signed the “Hacked Off” petition, “urging UK press owners to embrace the cross-party Royal Charter on press regulation.”

The English press is legendarily ruthless:

Most reporters ensconced in Florida’s “Tabloid Valley,” where the National Enquirer and other supermarket tabs were headquartered, were British ex-pats.

(See also Evelyn Waugh’s barely fictional satire Scoop.)

But in 2011, critics said, British journalism hit a new low, when reporters at Rupert Murdoch’s loathed (and now defunct) News of the World were charged with hacking into the cell phones of 9/11 victims’ families — and, not incidentally, those of some celebrities, too.

Now — led by hacking “victim” and (admittedly adorable) whoremonger Hugh Grant — some celebrities and other leftist power brokers are pushing back, with great success:

While celebrities and victims of hacking fronted the campaign for tighter regulation of the press, it has been the liberal and left-wing intelligentsia and media that have driven the crusade to curb the popular press. It was they who formed Hacked Off, used the hacking scandal to demand and get the Leveson Inquiry into the entire ‘culture, practice and ethics’ of the UK media, and wrote the report’s demands for statutory-backed regulation.

Now more than 200 prominent members of what are sometimes called the chattering classes have publicly signed up to the demand for the press to bend the knee to the Royal Charter. It would be difficult to overestimate the abandonment of liberty that represents. The Royal Charter deal, stitched up by all the main political parties in an infamous late-night meeting with Hacked Off, seeks to impose a regulator using the ancient anti-democratic instruments of the Crown, the royal prerogative and the Her Majesty’s Privy Council. (…)

It evokes grim shadows of the old system of Crown licensing of the press, started by Henry VIII in 1529 and expanded under successive monarchs, under which nothing could be published without official permission.’

Those who defied the Crown licensers could expect to be sent to the Tower or the gallows.

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Top Rated Comments   
Britain is lost. I gave up on them when I realized they were allowing parts of their cities to be strictly muslim areas with all the requisite savagery, intolerance and enslavement of half the population. We're not too far behind them.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wouldn't it be fun if they actually put back the old rules and Richard Dawkins was jailed for blasphemy?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (28)
All Comments   (28)
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Britain is kind of at the crossroads. The only way for it to become great again is to distance itself from Europe and keep in close touch with its American and Commonwealth allies. It must also ensure Muslim populations obey the laws of the land and reclaim areas enclaved by by aggressive middle easterners.
But one of the most important things is to pay no attention to celebrity airheads who want to change the culture of free speech. How many of them have made a significant contribution, except to themselves. The problem is that fame has gone to their heads. They think they are more intellectual than members of Mensa.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am a little surprised seeing some of the actors on the list. They are just the performers and not in the most part the authors of the works they perform. The writers, producers, directors and the acedemics are the real shock. Don't they realize they have started the landslide towards total control of the media, arts and culture? This is just the continuation of the slide into total government control the UK has seen over the last few decades. They are more of an "apartheid" nation now than SA. And they have allowed the minorities to take that choice from them. Where are the Great Britains now?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why shouldn’t the British people be governed in manner they wish to be governed. Once Great Britain became part of the EU is voluntarily submitted itself to centuries of EUropean tyranny. It’s not as if the Continent has a long history of freedom of the press, speech, religion, or anything else.

Totalitarianism is inherent in EUropean politics. It cannot be expunged.

The best solution is the dissolution of NATO, and non-interference in EUropean affairs by the United States.

Let the EU be the EU. They want it. They deserve. They’ll get it.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Didn't America become founded and declare war against Britain? I say we won and they need to follow or shut up!
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh yeah we did not decide to have a monarchy but we became a constitutional republic and not a democracy, and decided that all men and women in this country had certain unalienable rights (those granted by God Almighty) in the Bill Of Rights which the Second Amendment says can not be infringed and we can also use the First Amendment to say anything without fear of being jailed for saying it, of course there might be some consequences but you are allowed without hindrance unless someone might decide to punch you in the face but at least you wont be jailed for the use of language!
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
hmmm... I guess you have to be either British or Canadian. With the exception of Monty Python (who I still love their old shows), most of the people mentioned in the article... I either don't recognize or don't give a flying fig about.

Salmon Rushdie's Satanic Verses was a quirky little book I found mildly interesting, but I doubt it would have garnered so much media attention if it weren't for the Fatwa against him.

I was at one time a fan of Ian Anderson, but it sounds like he did not sign this. Good for him!
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jethro Tull has not performed in over 20 years but Ian did play the flute quite well if I remember the last concert I saw him and the rest of the band playing in in Nashville Tennessee!
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jethro Tull (with Ian Anderson) performed in Israel in 2010 (and I believe again in 2012).
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kathy, thank you for this. Some major disappointments for me but glad to know where not to send my money. The novelists and minor actors - what's their excuse? Certainly they weren't harassed by the tabloids. Just good old fashioned leftist oppression, I guess.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Britain is lost. I gave up on them when I realized they were allowing parts of their cities to be strictly muslim areas with all the requisite savagery, intolerance and enslavement of half the population. We're not too far behind them.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Leftists worship their patron saint Erdogan: “democracy is like a train. You take it where you have to go, and then you get off” and round up those who disagree with you.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
What a bunch of Brits!
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
So Stephen Fry signed for this New Think plan, as did Emma Thompson, but his friends Hugh Laurie and Rowan Atkinson did not, neither did rockers Ian Anderson or Martin Barre, neither did presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. The signers are ones who have had their feelings hurt by the press or have the most to be exposed? I thought they were into letting it all hang out.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Note to self: Start putting Rowan Atkinson quotes in place of Monty Python.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Atkinson has been a lonely voice denouncing political correctness, oversensitivity and censorship for many years. It is indeed sad and troubling that his old pals, including Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, aren't as clever or brave.

Not a single old punk rocker on the list. I feel vindicated and unspeakably relieved :-)
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
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