Real champions of free speech 

your say June 14, 2018 01:00

Re:  “Western newspapers not always right”, Have Your Say, yesterday.

According to Nigel Pike there was “stuff all” in the mainstream media regarding the failure of the UK authorities to prosecute rape gangs, but in fact this scandal was exposed in a series of articles in The Times newspaper. You don’t get more mainstream than that. Since then, the issue has been widely reported and commented upon in both mainstream and social media.

We also have the UK mainstream media to thank for reporting an exchange some time ago between a Muslim and Nigel’s heroic reporter “Tommy Robinson”. When asked by the Muslim why he didn’t get a proper job instead of inciting anti-Muslim bigotry, “Robinson” replied “Fine, but where else can I earn 4,000 pounds a month?” (Apparently the money comes from donations and advertisements on his website.)

So “Robinson”, far from being a fearless crusader for freedom of expression is in reality just another chancer on the make.

Meanwhile, back here in Thailand, the threats to media freedom are real. Many issues which should be a matter for public debate cannot be commented upon, and last week we had the unedifying spectacle of a senator fulminating furiously against those media outlets (including The Nation – well done!) that had dared to publish photographs of some of his colleagues asleep at their desks.

Puncturing the self importance and sense of entitlement that can afflict some of those in positions of power is one of the essential duties of a free media. Long may that continue.

Robin Grant