Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Bill

Have you seen the news from Zimbabwe that Mugabe has now signed the so-called Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Bill into law? This bill, which allows only reporters approved by a state-controlled Media Commission to work, is Robert Mugabe's new curbs on the freedom of the independent and international media. Dissenting voices will be muzzled.

Note the name of this bill. It has as much to do with "Freedom of Information" as the "Animal Health (Amendment) bill" has to do with promoting Animal Health.

The enactment of this most unpleasant and unnecessary British bill depends upon the collusion of the RCVS - and we have heard little to suggest that there is much hope that vets will stand out against the bill any more than the majority of them stood out against the brutality of the foot and mouth policy.

The dissent clearly stated in recent submissions to the Lessons Learned Inquiry on the warmwell site does give a tiny bit of hope. At least the voicing of dissent in this country does not, yet, result in expulsion or a two-year prison sentence.

I read in today's Scotsman Lovemore Madhuku, the NCA chairman in Zimbabwe, has said, "The bottom line is whether Zimbabweans will be able to rise to the occasion and join any form of mass protest, " he told a press conference. "If people are not interestedthats the end of this whole country." "They deserve what they have," he said.

There are some parallels aren't there between Zimbabwe and England's once green and pleasant land. Never ever thought I'd be saying such a thing.