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Bonkers Blog August 2011

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7 August - Political censorship in the UK - Click the YouTube button to see the video full-size

When I was last with my hospital consultant we spent more time discussing Bexley council’s obsession with secrecy and their dubious methods of enforcing it than matters medical. Following my comment last Friday that August is devoid of significant council activity and there is consequently a shortage of news he sent me a link to how the British government censors news. It’s not Bexley related but if you have come here expecting to find something new, I don’t like to be a complete let down, and if I don’t use the doctor’s link he may start lecturing me on why I’m not taking statins again or find something else to complain about!

His link takes you to a site which shows a video in which it is explained that the UK government is getting YouTube to remove videos it doesn’t like. Not because they are libellous, or pornographic or anything remotely like that, but purely because they show people exercising their legal rights in a way that government doesn’t like - err, on second thoughts maybe there is a Bexley council connection.

It is said that about 2,000 videos are being removed through UK government intervention every year (latest period available, 2009), far higher than in any other European country. My doctor is a little out of date, whilst the link he has given refers to a particular video that has been censored and shows only a short extract, web users are a resilient lot and so of course the video keeps popping up again. Currently it is available in full from a new source but as it says beneath the video, “Please download the video, because it will be blocked”.

The video shows a disturbance within a Courtroom in Birkenhead while someone is challenging the legality of council tax, but things get out of hand when it becomes apparent that the council has not followed the Judge’s directions. The explanation of the case, such as it is, is given at the end of the video; but the real question is why are we not supposed to watch the video? At least no one tried to stop camera users entering the building as would be the case in Bexley where our council’s form of censorship is imposed before the event, not after it.

Note: This video has been withdrawn from YouTube.


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