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Another blow to freedom of speech (how on earth can bloggers blow the whistle on their employers without the protection of anonymity?) from - surprise, surprise - Mr "Justice" Eady (see http://www.acdemocracy.org/article/invent_index.php?id=449 )

Why is this a blow to the freedom of speech Gavin? Whistle-blowers and anonymous bloggers are two distinct entities.

Regardless of what Eady has done in the past it is common sense and right that he has ruled in the way he has in this case.

...and as far as Private Eye is concerned, do you honestly believe that they could argue any case in a balanced manner?

Thanks for your comment - something for garden bloggers to consider.

"Whistle-blowers and anonymous bloggers are two distinct entities"

Not so - they overlap considerably.

There have been several recent instances of employees of public bodies (police, health, education) and corporations, using blogs to expose their employers' practices - of which this is only the most recent.

Often their motivation is simple indignation at the stupidity and greed of their employers. And when they have been "exposed" (always a risk, even without M'Luds' help), they have suffered professionally.

Following Eady's logic, journalists shouldn't be able quote sources anonymously either, in any medium. If that were to happen, far fewer injustices would come to light.

But if all you're writing about is what's outside your window and what you've read on the web today, I can see that's unlikely to be a worry.

"But if all you're writing about is what's outside your window and what you've read on the web today, I can see that's unlikely to be a worry."

A totally useless and unnecessary comment - why cant you Hort Week guys ever enter into a grown up conversation?

The crux behind all of this is the accuracy of the information. If an employee blows the whistle on an employer and the employer is in the wrong then I am sure the repercussions for whistle-blower would be negligible.

I have read parts of the NightJack blog before it was pulled and it appeared to me that at least on of his shoulders had a huge chip on it.

If you had read details of his actions you would realise that he released information of ongoing cases that could prejudice the outcome of the case.

There was more than a possibility that his actions could have resulted in the wrong people being harmed by any information that was released - I don't call that whistle-blowing, I would call that irresponsible.

If the NightJack blogger had felt so strongly about what was happening at the 'nick' then why didn't he leave the job and take up a role standing up for human rights?

Taking the piss out of someone on a blog behind the cloak of secrecy is hardly a defensible action.

BTW - Your identity is no secret yet I note that you have not provided details on your Hort Week page.

http://community.hortweek.com/members/2358531.aspx

I am with Philip in that anonymity is generally undesirable when denouncing any form of wrongdoing. One must have both good reasons and fairly solid arguments before going public on something that looks less than wholesome.

However, I am with Gavin in that the number of serious injustices coming to light will diminish considerably without it. Petty issues confined to small business and organisations do not even merit mass media attention, unless murder is involved. Individuals running large corporations and institutions, which are the natural prey for journalists, have at their fingertips considerable resources to damage the career and reputation of those involved in whistleblowing an injustice. Moreover, those closely associated with the whistleblower will be heavily penalised too.

We have allowed Western society to become smarmy, self-serving and hypocritical. We wipe ourselves freely with rights and duties that we have inherited from those who suffered to attain them, and then we go around preaching about democracy and freedom.

Enough to see what some former Prime Ministers and Presidents get up to these days, after vandalising society and the world at large.

It is about time we recover some values and put some procedures in place to allow people a safe outlet for their concerns, in a way that will be taken seriously.

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