Saturday, 11 January 2014

The 20 year rule... or was it 30?


Get the party poppers and champagne out; this is only going to be a short article. Phew. But still, however, one I think that is extremely important, owing to my whole 'free speech' obsession. Which, to be honest, I don't even see as a bad thing. Because Free Speech is, I think, one of the most important things to have in a country, because in a way it is the building blocks of everything else. I read an article once in 'The Spectator' that argued, interestingly, that granting a country full democracy before free speech becomes common place can only end in tears, because free speech gives people the chance to actually make an educated decision about who they are going to vote for. In fact, the way I see it, democracy is the icing on the cake, and  free speech is the cake. So democracy without free speech is like icing without cake, and eating purely icing tends to result in a slightly sicky feeling (believe me, I’ve tried). I’m aware the metaphor is once again running away with itself, so I’ll get to the point.
   In Britain, we have this law that after 20 years information that previously was kept private from the public can be published, which is how I knew about Margaret Thatcher’s plans to deploy the army onto striking minders. And I think that's a great plan. Because it means that we actually get to know what went on behind some of our most controversial moments, and that give a better backdrop and therefore chance of understanding our history. Except the more mathematically minded of you may of realised that the 1984 miners strike was 30 years ago. And the most observant of you may have noticed that 30 years is actually a little bit longer than 20 years. 50% longer, in fact.
  And it's not just with information about Thatcher that the rules have proved to be extremely lenient. The Royal Family’s idea of 20 years is also 30 years. And unless someone’s going round with a Tardis, it seems to me that, actually, no-one quite seems to stick to '20 years'. 20 years is like speeding laws. You know it’s there, but if you have to, then they can be broken.
  If you've been reading my posts for a while, you'll be able to work out exactly how I feel about this. I'll give you a hint: my current mood is a close to 'annoyed' as a bullet in the brain is to a headache. Because could somebody please explain to me that point of a law promoting, basically, free speech, that be changed whenever the government sees fit? That doesn’t say to me that the government is doing it's best to be on the level of the public, really. You can’t form educated opinions without the facts, and we are being denied the facts...
 So anyway, you lovely lot, my oven timer is beeping to tell me that my cookies have just finished baking, and I think that a burnt mouth is worth the first taste of cookie. Thanks for reading, again, and it won’t be long until my next article!

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