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Where's Philip Pullman's Article on Liberty gone?

Philip Pullman wrote a punchy and poetic article on our disappearing freedoms for The Times yesterday - it appeared in the print version and I linked to it, but it seems to have been wiped from the ether - did anyone save a copy?

cache:www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article5811412.ece - Google Search

UPDATE - The Times definitely seems to have pulled it, I wonder why, but thanks to commentators, and Mr Google who has now updated his results, I have now found a couple of copies on the web, one of which I reproduce below.

Malevolent voices that despise our freedoms

To mark the Convention on Modern Liberty, the children’s author has written this article

Are such things done on Albion’s shore?

The image of this nation that haunts me most powerfully is that of the sleeping giant Albion in William Blake’s prophetic books. Sleep, profound and inveterate slumber: that is the condition of Britain today.

We do not know what is happening to us. In the world outside, great events take place, great figures move and act, great matters unfold, and this nation of Albion murmurs and stirs while malevolent voices whisper in the darkness - the voices of the new laws that are silently strangling the old freedoms the nation still dreams it enjoys.

We are so fast asleep that we don’t know who we are any more. Are we English? Scottish? Welsh? British? More than one of them? One but not another? Are we a Christian nation - after all we have an Established Church - or are we something post-Christian? Are we a secular state? Are we a multifaith state? Are we anything we can all agree on and feel proud of?

The new laws whisper:

You don’t know who you are

You’re mistaken about yourself

We know better than you do what you consist of, what labels apply to you, which facts about you are important and which are worthless

We do not believe you can be trusted to know these things, so we shall know them for you

And if we take against you, we shall remove from your possession the only proof we shall allow to be recognised

The sleeping nation dreams it has the freedom to speak its mind. It fantasises about making tyrants cringe with the bluff bold vigour of its ancient right to express its opinions in the street. This is what the new laws say about that:

Expressing an opinion is a dangerous activity

Whatever your opinions are, we don’t want to hear them

So if you threaten us or our friends with your opinions we shall treat you like the rabble you are

And we do not want to hear you arguing about it

So hold your tongue and forget about protesting

What we want from you is acquiescence

The nation dreams it is a democratic state where the laws were made by freely elected representatives who were answerable to the people. It used to be such a nation once, it dreams, so it must be that nation still. It is a sweet dream.

You are not to be trusted with laws

So we shall put ourselves out of your reach

We shall put ourselves beyond your amendment or abolition

You do not need to argue about any changes we make, or to debate them, or to send your representatives to vote against them

You do not need to hold us to account

You think you will get what you want from an inquiry?

Who do you think you are?

What sort of fools do you think we are?

The nation’s dreams are troubled, sometimes; dim rumours reach our sleeping ears, rumours that all is not well in the administration of justice; but an ancient spell murmurs through our somnolence, and we remember that the courts are bound to seek the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and we turn over and sleep soundly again.

And the new laws whisper:

We do not want to hear you talking about truth

Truth is a friend of yours, not a friend of ours

We have a better friend called hearsay, who is a witness we can always rely on

We do not want to hear you talking about innocence

Innocent means guilty of things not yet done

We do not want to hear you talking about the right to silence

You need to be told what silence means: it means guilt

We do not want to hear you talking about justice

Justice is whatever we want to do to you

And nothing else

Are we conscious of being watched, as we sleep? Are we aware of an ever-open eye at the corner of every street, of a watching presence in the very keyboards we type our messages on? The new laws don’t mind if we are. They don’t think we care about it.

We want to watch you day and night

We think you are abject enough to feel safe when we watch you

We can see you have lost all sense of what is proper to a free people

We can see you have abandoned modesty

Some of our friends have seen to that

They have arranged for you to find modesty contemptible

In a thousand ways they have led you to think that whoever does not want to be watched must have something shameful to hide

We want you to feel that solitude is frightening and unnatural

We want you to feel that being watched is the natural state of things

One of the pleasant fantasies that consoles us in our sleep is that we are a sovereign nation, and safe within our borders. This is what the new laws say about that:

We know who our friends are

And when our friends want to have words with one of you

We shall make it easy for them to take you away to a country where you will learn that you have more fingernails than you need

It will be no use bleating that you know of no offence you have committed under British law

It is for us to know what your offence is

Angering our friends is an offence

It is inconceivable to me that a waking nation in the full consciousness of its freedom would have allowed its government to pass such laws as the Protection from Harassment Act (1997), the Crime and Disorder Act (1998), the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000), the Terrorism Act (2000), the Criminal Justice and Police Act (2001), the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act (2001), the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Extension Act (2002), the Criminal Justice Act (2003), the Extradition Act (2003), the Anti-Social Behaviour Act (2003), the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004), the Civil Contingencies Act (2004), the Prevention of Terrorism Act (2005), the Inquiries Act (2005), the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (2005), not to mention a host of pending legislation such as the Identity Cards Bill, the Coroners and Justice Bill, and the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill.


And those laws say:

Sleep, you stinking cowards

Sweating as you dream of rights and freedoms

Freedom is too hard for you

We shall decide what freedom is

Sleep, you vermin

Sleep, you scum

Source: Times Online


This article?

This article?

Most odd. A search using the keywords "Are such things done on Albions shore?" showed the article header, but the article link returned a 404 error.

they pulled it. a sentence in the articl was "sleep you stinking cowards" very apt for the Times.

Another one I saw at around 2pm yesterday an article in the online Daily Mail about Robert Preston being a government stooge and how he was being used to divert attention from Labour by whinging about Goodwin's pension. It disappeared an hour later! Did the BBC apply pressure? Can't find it at all now but it was definitely there!

I find it surprising he wrote it since he has gone on record indulging in elitist enviro-misanthropy calling for managing humanity with carbon rationing,.


I received via the Council a survey form from "Mori North" suposedly about our thoughs on crime. It is a highly intrusive form, for example:- if white, are you Irish, Scots or British. What is your religion. What is your sexuality with four boxes to tick. What TF is going on.

That is where liberty has gone, out the bloody window.


re Robert Peston article in Daily Mail.

The article has been heavily edited since it first appeared, the chart linking individuals has vanished.

[quote]Fresh questions have been raised over whether BBC Business editor Robert Peston is being used as a Government stooge during the financial crisis.

On Wednesday's 10 O'Clock News, Mr Peston breathlessly reported that Sir Fred Goodwin was already drawing a pension of £650,000-a-year.

He said that his pension post was worth a 'handsome' £16million. It was revealed yesterday that Sir Fred can actually claim an annual pension of £693,000.

The announcement completely overshadowed yesterday's disclosure that RBS had made a record £24billion loss - the biggest-ever in UK corporate history - and that the taxpayer would be insuring the bank against future losses of £325billion.

The timing of the story has once again sparked suspicions that the journalist is being used by the government to play down its own part in the current mess.

Rather than focus on the fact that the public were being asked to insure RBS against losses, the story of Goodwin diverted attention.

In his blog Mr Peston said of the Goodwin story: 'Perhaps unsurprisingly, when I informed the Treasury we were about to run this striking story, I was told that ministers were very unhappy about the generous terms of Sir Fred's early retirement package.'

On the Six O'Clock last night, Mr Peston referred to his own controversial role in the story.

Watched by millions of viewers, Mr Peston said 'he had a feeling' that Sir Fred 'slightly blames me' for the story entering the public domain.

The BBC has already defended Peston against a senior banker's claims that he was 'acting as an instrument of the treasury' over HBOS and Lloyds deal.

Tory MP Greg Hands has also previously written to the Serious Fraud Office raising suspicions that a government 'mole' was behind some of his stories.

The letter, said to be backed by shadow chancellor George Osborne, implied no impropriety on Peston's part, but questioned who his sources were.

Peston has shot to national fame with a series of exclusive stories on the credit crisis and bank rescue plans.

He has been forced to defend himself against claims that he started a run on Northern Rock as a result of his reporting.

There were also complaints over Peston's 'biased' coverage of Mr Osborne's dealings with Mr Deripaska.

More than 100 viewers accused him of 'twisting' facts on it and questioned why the corporation's business editor should be reporting on the story.

In September Peston revealed for the first time that HBOS and Lloyds TSB banks were in secret takeover talks.

In October he also told audiences that the heads of the leading banks were in talks with the government about the bail-out plan.

He was even accused to prompting the collapse of the Northern Rock after he broke the story about the bank asking for emergency funding early in the crisis.

Peston was blamed by some for starting the run on the bank that followed after his revelations.[end quote]

Has anyone asked The Times for an official view on why this was pulled?

Their answer should be interesting...

either (a) We were leaned on by Mandelbum's heavies (honest but unlikely) or (b) it never existed, you dreamed it (a bit much even for them) or (c) some form of weasel words dictated by the need to cover their asses in case of MORE heavy threats from governmen.

My money's on (c)

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