In the wake of Lord Leveson’s inquiry into press standards, First Minister Alex Salmond has intimated he is all for press regulation, something which must be resisted at all costs.
One of the cornerstones of a free, democratic Scotland is a free press.
Everybody should contact their MSP to demand that no regulation, beyond the current self-regulation of the press, should happen in Scotland.
I strongly believe the issue of protecting press freedom is far more important than the rubbish we hear about an independence referendum which is two years away. What good would independence be without freedom to express ourselves and be reported by the press?
In the Borders, without intrepid reporters at this publication, we would never have been aware of the terrible suffering of “Miss X” – and the same can be said of the multi-million pound education overspend in the 2001/2002 financial year at Scottish Borders Council (SBC).
Thankfully, due to the reporting of such debacles, changes were made at SBC that should prevent a repetition.
Newspapers that are free, fearless and vibrant, which ask questions, shine a light in dark corners and stand up to corruption etc. are an essential ingredient of any transparent and open society.
We must take all steps to safeguard such freedoms – it is at our peril that we ignore those who want to upturn such freedoms we have had for over three centuries.
The McCanns and others indubitably have a grievance, but surely they should be satisfied with the demise of a newspaper and executives, and journalists probably having careers ruined after being arrested and facing trial.
If the draconian proposals to control the press because of the suffering of a few individuals in a country of 60 million were to be extended to other organisations, we could find ourselves without health and police services.
I suspect MPs are seeking revenge for their greed in using taxpayers’ money to enhance their already bloated lifestyles being exposed by a newspaper.
Many believe that 93 per cent of MPs should have been facing criminal charges, not just the three who were made scapegoats.
William W. Scott
St Baldred’s Road