Freedom of speech – and cladding debacle
As a journalist, freedom of speech is sacrosanct, yet in recent day’s certain bodies have taken it upon themselves to become the decision maker as to what should and should not be given a voice.
Considering the first of these – The President’s Twitter account being closed down, is this right or wrong, I am not debating the terrible events on Capitol Hill, but the principle should the right of a person to communicate their thoughts in a free world be quashed?
Permanent suspension of @realDonaldTrump By Twitter Inc.
Friday, 8 January 2021 ‘After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.’
Second and closer to home, a recent hot topic that we have just reported on, it has been revealed that the government has sought to effectively gag unfortunate property owners seeking to have funds to sort out the problems caused by flammable cladding to buildings.
Reported in the Sunday Times, allegedly they have had sight of a draft document by the government covering an agreement, between the building owner or leaseholder and the government.
The wording is, ‘The Applicant shall not make any communication to the press or any journalist or broadcaster regarding the Project or the Agreement (or the performance of it by any Party) without the prior written approval of Homes England and [the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government ]’ and its press offices.
Exceptions may arise it goes on to say, ‘where such disclosure is in the overwhelming public interest (in which case disclosure will not be made without first allowing Homes England and MHCLG to make representations on such proposed disclosure).’
Ironically, the UK Cladding Action Group tweeted – is ‘clearly a matter of public interest’ and ‘No department should be hiding behind non-disclosure agreements to stop scrutiny of their actions,’ the group said.
As we now move into a really critical and difficult phase of this terrible pandemic, open speech, and communication more than ever is perhaps what is needed, and I am hopeful that liberties will not be taken regarding what is, and is not in the interests of the population to know. And if you have a story or news of any kind please just drop me a line.
If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at [email protected] – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward.