13 March 2006

Freedom of Expression: Plods Blogged Off

Two interesting items juxtaposed on the BBC website today. One (and in the long term probably the more important) is a report on new guidelines by the Metropolitan Police on police officers' private blogs ("New Met blogging rules spark anger") . At least one policeman has been driven to remove his journal from the internet. The other is the row over the Commissioner's taping a phone call with the Attorney-General ("Met chief in phone recording row").

Readers from outside these shores may be interested to know that a "plod" means a gendarme. I think the original PC Plod was a character in Enid Blyton.

These items are symptomatic of the erosion of freedom of expression since New Labour came to power. On a broad construction of clause 1 of the new Terrorism Bill I would advise against inviting Sir Ian Blair to a performance of Tosca in view of what happened to the chief constable of Rome.

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