Wednesday 7 December 2011

Sarky Celebs

I'm off on holiday at the end of this week until the new year - catching up with holidays not taken because of my time-(mis)management during the year. I had thought of jetting off to warmer climes but finally agreed with Mrs Blog that we'd rather stay at home and chew the fat. In the teeth of my grumpy and sociopathic tendencies Mrs B has organised or agreed to a series of social events through the festive season which is no doubt better for me than holing up with a book or three for the duration which would be my first instinct.

I give notice that I'm not going to post any worky blogs now until 2012 as I have found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that doing this when I'm off duty does tend to drag my attention back onto professional matters at the expense of the fun and games which should be the order of the day when you are on holiday. It's a "work-life balance" matter - though I hate that term as it implies that work is not a part of your life which is a rather sad way of looking at it, even if on a bad day it might feel that life doesn't begin until 5pm!

I think I might also have to stop watching the news in order to lower my blood pressure. It is not raised by the international financial crisis so much as by the cynical parade of sarky celebs attending the Leveson Inquiry in order to whinge about press intrusion. We are being softened up by these egotists and by the politicians (the most vocal of whom seem to have had their own embarrassments with the press over expenses and other matters they'd prefer us not to know about) for significant restrictions on freedom of speech.

In fact the excesses of the press such as phone-tapping, belligerent door-stepping, and buying information from the police are matters for which there are already legal remedies - they are crimes. If anything we need to take action to protect freedom of speech in the light of the outrageous use by the rich and powerful of super-injunctions and libel laws to shut people up (remember Bob Maxwell?).

Freedom of speech is vital to the protection of poor and vulnerable people - not least people with a mental illness - because the bullies and scoundrels who would like to exploit them are fearful of exposure. In return for this it is a small price to pay if the occasional wealthy film-star or sports supremo is put off his breakfast by some tittle tattle in the paper about his private peccadilloes.