Comment is Free provided we agree with you
Richard Aitken (@rajakarta) has had his comment removed from the Guardian’s Comment is Free by its moderators. This is perfectly acceptable behaviour: moderators have a duty to remove profanity, illegality, sedition and so on. But I thought I’d have a look at Richard’s comment noir, which he has reposted here: Paste ID e73dd5950b at PrivatePaste, to see just how evil and immoral he is.
I can find nothing wrong. It is an opinion – but it does criticise our Darling Tony B’s story “Blaming a moral decline for the riots makes good headlines but bad policy” in the Observer. Richard points to the contradiction between the establishment’s hard line against those at the bottom of the social scale and those at the top:
I think the lack of justice meted out to those guilty of malfeasance related to the financial crisis may be indicative of that. It might also explain the double standard, which has permitted expense account abusing politicians to cut a cheque for the balance owing on their transgressions, whereas “otherwise ordinary young people who got caught in a life-changing mistake” (vis-a-vis the riots) wind up in the dock.
In fact, Richard’s views are quite similar to my own:
Until the people feel they have a real say in our country, until equal before the law is a fact not a hollow platitude, until the rich actually pay their tax levies in the same way as the poor, then last week will be just the beginning.
Broken Britain? Disconnected, more like…
I can find no justification for the moderators to remove this comment – other than they might disagree with Richard Aitken. Frankly, the Guardian should change its name: it is certainly not guarding our freedoms. And Comment is Free should change to Comment is Free Provided You Don’t Say Anything Contradictory to Our Editorial Policy.