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So now the Labour Party wants to censor journalists

By forcing them to sign up to be journalists and striking off the list anyone who breaks the code. Wonder which party will decide who gets to be on the list and who will be struck off. Are you getting a kill-the-messenger feeling?

This is a retrograde licensing act. Labour has gone all the way back to the 17th century for this.

Do these people know nothing about British history and the successful struggle for press freedom. (That's another rhetorical question, therefore no question mark.)

Guess they were doing something more important when John Milton's Areopagitica was read in school.

Or, wait. the Left began to really push its ideology on the schools back in the Sixties. There's no reason that schools would be teaching about the great British inheritance of freedom.

From the 1600-1645 Liberty Timeline

On June 16, 1643, Parliament established a Licensing Order designed to bring publishing under government control by creating a number of official censors. Authors would be compelled to submit their work to the censors for approval before it could be published. The great poet John Milton, who will write Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, had been campaigning for civil and religious liberty as a pamphleteer since 1640 when he was 32. He had been a defender of Parliament, but he was appalled by its plan to suppress books before they were published, and in 1644 he published Areopagitica as an appeal to Parliament to rescind their Licensing Order.

Milton argues that God has given us reason and the freedom to choose, for God does not want our forced obedience but our willing love. He observes that the opinions and judgments of mankind are often mistaken, and can only be corrected by open discourse, when truth will win out. He ends by warning that when printing is regulated, music and dancing and every gesture will have to be regulated, too.

Milton's Areopagitica has almost no effect on Parliament, but it will tremendously influence the principle of freedom of the press later in Britain and in the U.S. Constitution. Milton continues to write, completing The Second Defence of the People of England in 1654, though by then he is blind.

Thanks to Instapundit for the update.

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