“If They Give You Ruled Paper, Write the Other Way”. How free would you regard yourself? In our modern democratic society, it seems we have the basic rights like freedom if speech, but what’s being hidden from us and why? And most importantly, by who?
Censorship plays a vital role in the UK; it protects citizens from offensive images and children from seeing horrendously graphical movies etc. But there’s always the elusiveness about our news channels, media sources and information from outside sources. How much can we really trust the people who give us press coverage from around the world?
The case of Labour Party member Walter Wolfgang uttering the line “that’s a lie and you know it” in response to former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in 2005 is palpable to how certain establishments will not have anything said against them. This is an obvious public disagreement with government by a man who then had the Prevention of Terrorism Act used against him. This is in the same country where freedom of speech is used in the name of a democratic and fair society, so what’s going on?
We all love our mobile phones are we’re constantly bombarded with adverts about the latest ones with the flashiest features but our news channels will never show the truth about our luxuries. Battery life depends on a substance only found in the Democratic Republic of Congo and this is a country which has been ravaged by civil war, big brands use the substance found in this country to make their phones sustain longer battery life in order to have more and more features. In this greed they fund these civil wars where elderly women are raped by child soldiers for initiation and civilians are killed. We’ve heard of blood diamonds but these are blood phones and we all own one-from teenagers sporting bright, loud flashy models to middle-aged businessmen.
I’m not saying don’t use your phones or not to trust media, but just think about this – there are six billion people in the world and only about 20 stories being shown to us a day, with all the papers bearing the same stories – sometimes even with the same pictures. There are things we won’t get told and things which we will never know, so I for one don’t consider myself free. Censorship is a form of silencing, sometimes needed and sometimes used so subtly that we don’t realise we are having our attention diverted from matters which are horrifying and shocking.