He’s talking right now on Newsnight about the BBC’s report on Wednesday about Afghanistan, where they interviewed leaders of the Taliban. Fox is claiming that this is not objective reporting; he seems to think that objective journalism only contains information from and statements by the side that the prevailing opinion believes is in the right.
This is, quite simply, utter crap. If he believes it, he is the worse form of complete fucking idiot. If he doesn’t believe it, he’s a political weasel who deserves screen coverage less than those he is seeking to censor.
Quite simply, we cannot sustain a democracy unless the public has a reasonable amount of information to go on. That includes statements that may be complete lies, from people who may be our utter, implacable, enemies. The people must make these determinations: they cannot be pre-decided by people like Liam Fox. Any belief that this is not the case is arrogant, and a worying public admission. That it is not unexpected is perhaps the most searing indictment of our current political system.
Liam Fox does not deserve his seat in parliament. If David Cameron supports him, he does not deserve the leadership of his party, and his party certainly does not deserve to form a government.
That this leaves us with the option of an immature party that cannot decide whether to stick by its beliefs or to chase votes, and a party split by the already-made decision to ignore its history to cynical win victories, should be an indication of the mountain we have to climb to achieve any kind of real democracy in this country.
You might expect me to laud the BBC for sticking up for its reports here. I don’t simply because its reporters don’t have the balls to call Liam Fox on his unacceptable propaganda – precisely what he is complaining about from the other side.
While I’m here: Amnesty International’s campaign against online censorship.