Thursday, August 23, 2012

Prince Harry: The real scandal

There’s nothing to get shocked about by pictures of Prince Harry playing “naked billiards” with a young woman.

He’s a young, single man on holiday and no doubt it was all a bit of a joke. Good luck to him. It doesn’t tarnish the Royal Family’s reputation because it really doesn’t matter one way or the other.

What is far more shocking is the refusal of the British press to reproduce the pictures – even though they are just two clicks away on the internet.

This is an absurd situation which will have us heading back to the days when the only people in the world who didn’t know about King Edward VIII’s affair with Wallis Simpson were the British public.

The traditional press is in decline and has been for years. This is in part because of the rise of the internet though it’s as much because of the parasitic monopoly position of the BBC.

The traditional press is still the place where real news is to be found first. But it has to be a free press – not subject to political interference let alone subject to fatuous Government inquiries set up to create a smokescreen for David Cameron to hide behind.

Our press is either free or it isn’t. And, these days, it isn’t. The real scandal over Prince Harry’s naked pictures is that the press has been subdued, tamed and terrified into toeing the Government line.

Whatever happened to “publish and be damned”?

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