Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The 4th Estate

Apparently the only newspaper Julian Assange has access to while in custody is the Daily Express. Now that alone is degrading and inhuman treatment and tantamount to torture. For those not familiar with this august organ of the 4th estate, the old saying is that Daily Express readers think the country should be run the way it used to be run 70 years ago and the country has gone to the dogs in the meantime.

Over a hundred years ago Oscar Wilde said: “At the present moment there is only one estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism.”

Much of the traditional press has given up on investigative journalism, preferring instead to, understandably, promote the partisan views of the owner – who himself may have political ambitions or want concessions from government. Today digital journalism, such as that practised by Michael Moore and Julian Assange, is the only real bastion against state abuse of democracy – without it we are powerless.

Well. I’ve done my bit in striking out against the world’s most powerful man – Simon Cowell. Bought my copy of Cage Against the Machine on Monday.

On Saturday we’re off to spend the Christmas period in St Ives, Cornwall. The place we’ve rented has no Internet connection. Wish I’d known before we committed, else I’d have asked for another cottage. By way of excuse the rental company said that there was an internet-enabled cafĂ© nearby, but that’s as useful as a Royal Protection Officer is to Prince Charles when I want to watch BBC iPlayer and my laptop battery has the lifespan of a Nick Clegg promise.


  1. As full of tasty morsels as a Christmas Pudding. I will miss my daily diet of CB over Christmas. I might buy you a dongle just to keep you on-line

  2. Alan: I had one recently, but it was a bit temperamental.

  3. Take plenty of Mars bars for when the cold sweat and shakes set in... ;)