Private Lives

Make a decision – do we want the ‘Fourth Estate’ endorsed or controlled?  A thought: ‘As far as individual rights go in a communist state, there really are none. No freedom of speech, religion or assembly. No free and honest elections or media. No expectation or right to privacy. In fact, most people in Vietnam and China assume their email, cell phone traffic and other forms of communications receive at least a routine cursory check now and again’. See People Living Under Communism: Very Limited Rights (If Any) by John E. Carey, Peace and Freedom, 25th July 2007.

The findings of the Leveson report into alleged phone hacking and media ethics are not due to be published for about two years. My question is, why? All too often in this country we see the wheels of enquiry turn at such a frustratingly laborious and costly pace, that even the donkey turning the wheel will have forgotten why he started walking in circles in the first place. The world will be a different place in 2013. The London Olympics will be history and Greece, Italy, Ireland: perhaps even Spain may be using currencies long thought consigned to the to Euro monetary graveyard. The diamond jubilee will be the subject of documentary retrospectives, and the ‘red-tops’ will be speculating on England’s prospects in the following summers F.I.F.A. Brazilian extravaganza. In amongst all of this we will all have to be reminded about some seriously disturbing testimony given to Leveson, an enquiry that began crawling back in 2011. Not withstanding the feelings of all concerned which include the family of Millie Dowler, the public too will all have to relive the days when the news infamously made the news. Are we seriously being led to believe that all of those people that lived through Leveson once will have to continue to wait two years for some conclusion? Of course no one can predict an outcome, and neither should they. The only thing that is guaranteed is that the British media will continue in its present state, regardless of eventual outcome for an unnecessary length of time. Surely even those who work in the media would appreciate a speedier process, if only for clarification. I guess we’ll all have to be patient and remember the reasons why all of this process was deemed necessary in the first place. Watching some of the testemony given live on T.V made me begin to wonder just how safe all of our private lives are, and not solely from media intrusion. Should, for example, an employer or unknown third party have access to any aspect of those areas of our lives that exist only behind the doors to our homes? An employer who has been more than happy with the conduct, productivity and general demena of an employee may, if presented with certain privy knowledge, perhaps concerning marital, sexual or financial problems,  may view that individual in a wholly different light.  Surely such bias or prejudice would be morally wrong. President Clinton is still regarded as one of America’s most respected holders of that office, even avoiding impeachment in the light of matters arising from his private life. He helped bring peace to Northern Ireland, peace to Eastern Europe, increased the prosperity of the American people and, some have said, that had he been president instead of Bush, America would never have invaded Iraq. Speculation: of course. My view is that no individual, organisation, employer (private or public), religious, political or media group has any right whatsoever to intrude in any way, shape or form in any aspect of our private lives. That’s communism. Remember, most people in Vietnam and China assume their email, cell phone traffic and other forms of communications receive at least a routine cursory check now and again. Ring any bells or ring-tones?

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