New law to prevent free press facing state competition from propaganda on the rates?

Eric PicklesEric Pickles (remember him?) thinks you need a “New law to prevent free press facing state competition from propaganda on the rates”.

Eric wants to stop local authorities using public money to make political points – which might be fair enough – but dressing it up as motivated by a desire to protect the local press is disingenuous.

Eric does not much not like council newspapers and might have a bit of an argument that the very best of them (by which I mean no more than half a dozen) might compete with (rubbish) local newspapers.

But Eric also does not like the political content (when he disagrees with it, or it with him) of leaflets posted through your door, adverts on buses and bus shelters, websites and the like.

But putting a stop to them – as Eric wants the power for himself to so do – will in no way affect the commercial welfare of your local paper (certainly not as much as buying it would, but why would you do that?).

To pretend otherwise, as he does in his four-week consultation launched today (click here) is er .. what did I call it? .. oh yes, disingenuous.

Which means ‘not candid or sincere’. And not for the first time eh Eric?

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