Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gov't Censorship of Blogs?

I have written before about uncertainty about how the new press regulator will affect blogs - such as my 'A View from Rural Wales'. So I tabled a Parliamentary Written Question to clarify matters. The Written Answer, with its specific reference to 'lone bloggers' and 'single person blogs' leaves me just as uncertain about what I can do. Seems to be the case that the might of British Government is passing legislation, in effect, banning me from allowing Huw Cookson and Daragh Quinn from writing a guest post which they have done in the past.  That's the trouble with censorship. Its like volcanic larva - destroys all in its path.

Written Question from Glyn Davies, MP for Montgomeryshire.

....under what circumstances the blog of an hon. Member would be subject to the provisions of the new press regulation system ?

Answer from Edward Vaisey, relevant Minister.

As Leveson recommended and in line with cross party agreement on on 18th March, the Gov't will be establishing a system of exemplary costs and damages to create an incentive for the press to take part in the new self regulatory system. The clauses being introduced in the Crime and Courts Bill are to give effect to this new system and include a definition of 'relevant publisher'; groups such as lone bloggers and tweeters would not be expected to join the self regulator. This means that single person blogs, such as the hon. Member's 'A View from Rural Wales' would not be effected.

The obvious follow up question (and one which I will ask is what the position is if I invite friends to contribute 'guest blogposts' as I have done in the past. The words, 'Dog and Breakfast' emerge quietly from my lips.

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