To tell the truth
November 29th 2011
I was reading the latest on the Leveson inquiry, which is the British investigation into the sometimes horrible excesses of Britain’s tabloid newspaper culture. Front and center in the investigation, headed by Lord Justice Leveson, is an examination of how much damage was done to individuals who were spied upon and betrayed by the tabs. In a more general way, the panel examines how much damage these newspapers have done to British culture. Among other things the Lord Justice is tasked with is determining what, if anything, needs to be done to bring these entities to heel.
It’s the type of situation that cries out for a good dose of irony, and it came in the form of a website called “Guido Fawkes”, which published the formal statement of a witness scheduled to appear before the inquiry, three days before that scheduled date. The judge is demanding that Paul Staines, the owner of Guido Fawkes, reveal the source(s) that leaked the statement to him, and is considering what punishment is appropriate to the case, which violates the law much in the way revealing empaneled grand jury deliberations is in America.
Where the irony comes in is that Guido Fawkes, better known to English children as Guy Fawkes, is the man who tried to blow up Parliament in 1605, had his plot discovered on November 5th 1605, and was executed several months later. The fifth of November is commemorated in England as “Guy Fawkes Night,” a cheery holiday – considering – that features bonfires and fireworks and combines Halloween and Fourth of July. It is the Guy Fawkes mask that was worn by Prisoner #5, better known as “V” in “V for Vendetta” and has since gone on to become a symbol of Anonymous and Occupy. Continue reading