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(not satire – it’s UK today)

An audible collective sigh of relief could be heard all over Fleet Street this week as the realisation slowly started to dawn in the tormented minds of professional hacks that they might just have had their overpaid asses saved by a knight in the unlikely form of Lord McAlpine.

As an example of this, a triumphant Grace Dent in the Independent yesterday gushed eloquently about how Twitter is so scared of being sued by Lord McAlpine for mentioning his name that what she calls “a kind of hush” has descended on the internet about the subject.

In her article, Ms Dent attacks “Twitchfork mobs”, “frothy-mouthed freedom-of-speech defenders” and “publish-and-be-damned” bloggers on the internet. A group of people who incidentally have single-handedly been responsible for the demise of mainstream media – an industry which had previously been able to guarantee long-term lucrative employment for the likes of Ms Dent.

A fact which I’m sure has nothing to do with her clear repugnance towards users of social media and bloggers.

It’s not actually terribly surprising that some journalists are enthusiastically joining in the vicious establishment assault on internet users which is happening at the moment – after all they have the most to lose in a world that no longer needs to get its information filtered through this special race of chosen people.

Previously, journalists – like the oracles of classical antiquity – were people considered to be sources of wise counsel – a special race of superhumans who were the portals through which the gods spoke directly to the rest of us mere mortals.

The internet – and social media in particular – have destroyed this cosy arrangement and it seems that some of these soon to be redundant self-appointed oracles like Ms Dent are rubbing their hands at the prospect of the possibility that they might soon be able to return themselves to what they see as their rightful place on their pedestals.

Reining in social media and bloggers is a major step to achieving that aim.

I’m not attacking all professional journalists – some do a very good job indeed – but I’m sure the good ones are not the ones who are going to be under threat from mere amateurs.

So let’s destroy the ‘hush’ that they claim has descended on the internet and social media over the McAlpine affair with a very loud, shrill, uncomfortable fact.

Lord McAlpine has so far received more money in compensation than the majority of the children who were actually raped and abused got.

Most of them got nothing at all because UK courts decided the children’s homes’ insurers were not liable.

That’s a fact which needs repeating.

Lord McAlpine has so far received £185,000 payout from the BBC taxpayers – whereas the child abuse victims either got next to nothing or nothing at all.

But why has this fact not been reported by the mainstream media?

So here’s my challenge to the ‘professional’ reporters in the mainstream media. Prove I’m wrong about this fact or admit I’m right and start damn well reporting on it.

I’ll even give you a clue to give you a head start: Royal and Sun Alliance.

I won’t be holding my breath though.

Because the truth is – the threats and attacks on bloggers and social media have nothing at all to do with Lord McAlpine’s reputation and everything to do with a comfortable elite trying to put normal citizens back in our boxes where they think we belong.

 

 

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