Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Banned By The State VI - Journalists From Care Homes

I missed this story while I was away last week, but one week on it's still utterly outrageous. Why the hell should residents of care homes be banned from talking to journalists ?

Apparently there's a debate going on in Staffordshire at the moment, because the county council are planning to close 14 care homes. Sadly - criminally, in my view - that debate is being stifled following an email sent by the council to local newspapers, informing them that residents could only be interviewed by journalists off the premises. Given that a great number of residents cannot get out of their homes, this section of the public is effectively banned from talking to newspaper journalists.

The council's excuse is that they want to exercise their duty of care and protect vulnerable residents from unscrupulous journalists and photographers. Bollocks. More to the point, they're worried about the damage to their image caused by pages of local newspapers given over to adverse comment about plans to close homes.

There is just no way on God's earth that the State should be allowed to get away with this kind of thing. People are being denied their voice just because they can't move. (And because they're likely to be criticising the county council. Let's face it, if they were all saying the council was wonderful then there'd be no ban). It is a dreadful and wholly immoral restriction on people's right to express an opinion.

It is tempting for me to end each of my "Banned By The State" articles with the words "Who the hell do these arrogant bastards think they are ?". This time, I have to succumb.

Who the hell do these arrogant bastards think they are ?

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