May the Fourth be with you, if you are blue

LP Columnist Barry Freeman
LP Columnist Barry Freeman
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Britain’s national press, its ‘Fourth Estate’, should be a foundation stone of functioning democracy.

It has become a wrecking ball.

A largely overseas-owned and predominantly right wing entity, since the Scottish independence vote, any cursory nod to offering an impartial news service – all they EVER offered, at best – has flown out the window.

From orchestrating the most deceitful General Election campaign in living memory to the incessant and unhinged blitzkrieg of Jeremy Corbyn, UK newsstands now 
brazenly act as the agit-prop arm of the Conservative Party.

Last week this came to a head with the revelation that four of the most zealous Tory newsletters had known about, yet declined to publish, a salacious ‘sex scandal’ story concerning the Culture, Media & Sport Secretary John Whittingdale.

Now, at this point I’d just like to clarify that I couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss who Mr Whittingdale sleeps with; to be honest, the thought of this hangdog Minister in the throes of passion with ANYONE gives me dry heaves.

Ditto the rest of Westminster, to be honest – with the sole exceptions being those surprisingly common sexual adventurers who trade heavily on their supposed ‘family values’.

The type who, for example, preach ‘Back To Victorian Basics’ while dallying with a colleague who wrecked the British egg industry.

Two-facedness aside, so long as consent is mutual and national security not imperiled, what damned business is it of mine? Yet the fact remains, such ‘news’ is the stock-in-trade of at least three of the rags who had the goods on Whittingdale.

Their collective bleat? Post-Leveson we have changed our ways. An abrupt volte-face given that only last autumn an affair Jeremy Corbyn conducted 30 years ago was gleefully paraded across page after page.

Meanwhile, on Friday, in what can only be construed as a nose-thumb in the wake of peddling this line, The Sun front page revelled in the sexual peccadilloes of a golfer.

Press pressure group Hacked Off and others enraged by the suppression of Whittingdale’s antics have been accused of hypocrisy, a current go-to-word when Tories are caught with their pants down, though this is anything but.

They are not saying these rags should have published the story, merely pointing out their inconsistency in NOT doing so. Few critics of the press, however, are asking why.

They know why. So do you.