Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Sorry for being old and late

21 July 2021

Wow... it's lunchtime and I'm only just getting to the Aardvark column for the day.

What's gone wrong?

Well nothing in particular but there is a *lot* happening at the moment and not all of it is good.

Don't worry, there's nothing affecting me directly, it's more about the way the world is headed I'm afraid.

It seems that things are just going downhill faster than I expected from the perspective of rights, freedoms and the future of the individual in a world that is increasingly being monitored, controlled and dictated to by corporate and political interests.

This isn't conspiracy-talk, its observations and first-hand experience with the organisations and mechanisms that seem to be proliferating at a break-neck pace in our modern world.

There's quite a bit I can't really talk about yet but one topic that does concern me is the attitude of governments towards the media.

The media has always been our check-valve on the misdeeds of governments. Thanks to the freedoms and liberties enjoyed by the press, governments have always had to be careful to toe the line when it comes to being honest and above-board.

Sure, media scrutiny doesn't always stop a government from doing stupid or plain "bad" things but it does hold them to account by keeping the public informed and prepared for the next polling day.

However, that is changing.

Australia has already enacted legislation that threatens to jail journalists who write stories that embarrass the government of the day and now The UK is looking to do the same.

It seems that increasingly, governments are not happy with the media looking over their shoulders and reporting on the bad things they do. The solution seems to be an easy one: Don't stop doing bad things, just silence the media.

This strategy is seeing the rights and freedoms of the media gradually eroded by successive pieces of legislation, perhaps eventually to the point where we'll end up with little more than a state-run media organisation that delivers all our "news".

Perhaps we should be reminded of the words uttered by many politicians in recent times when they've been challenged about the increasing intrusion of the state in to the privacy of citizens: "Only those with something to hide have anything to fear [from scrutiny]".

Oops... I forgot the "two sets of rules" ideology that governments have embraced.

"Do as we say, not as we do" is the true attitude of those who have the freedom to abuse their power.

Sometimes it becomes hard not to be at least a little despondent when you look around and everywhere you see increasing abuses or simply complete annexing of freedoms, liberties and rights -- in the name of favouring the elite and powerful.

As I said... there's quite a bit going on in the background right now that I'll get to at some time in the future but suffice to say -- I'm not impressed at all by the path we're heading down.

Or maybe I'm just getting old and should admit that the millenials shall inherit the earth and they seem to be unphased by the direction in which we're headed. Perhaps I'm just old and my perspectives are outdated -- something that could well be true.

What say you?

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