Our Readers' Opinions
February 24, 2012
Beware of defenders in any new broadcasting legislation

Fri, Feb 24. 2012

Editor: “I have set watchmen upon thy walls O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” Isaiah 62: 6, 7{{more}}

It is for this reason that I am telling Vincentians to “Beware”, once again, as I WILL NOT KEEP SILENT, neither will I rest if any anti-right media bill is brought before this country, worse yet passed to become law. Such legislation has always been a threat to the inalienable rights and freedoms with which God has created all mankind, including Hawkins Nanton.

Nanton’s article, captioned “New media legislation – An opportunity to lift our game”, published in the Midweek edition of the SEARCHLIGHT newspaper, Tuesday February 14, 2012, page 7, was a response to an article called “Beware of any new broadcasting legislation” by this writer, published in the weekend edition of the SEARCHLIGHT, Friday February 10, 2012, on page 9.

Nanton pointed out what he calls a lack of consideration by this writer, of “the collective rights of the state, the rights of the others, your rights, my rights.” Collective Rights is a phrase that hides state tyranny over individual rights – For example in Communist China, the ex-Soviet Union and in North Korea. There is nothing called collective rights. The issue is individual rights. It is these individual rights of each citizen like Nanton himself which are always subject to violations whenever anti-right legislation is passed in any state.

To continue his ‘arguments’, Nanton pointed to the United States’ rejection of the “UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions solely on the basis of trade-related factors…”. This Convention contravenes the sovereignty of the United States, Mr. Nanton, and, therefore, contravenes the rights and freedoms of the individual. It was rejected because it promotes collectivism under a New World Order. You must understand that when it comes to legislation, the people have more to fear from government than from the exercise of God-given natural rights and freedoms.

Another of Nanton’s preposterous statements was my alleged attack on “the right to establish order in the media…”. There is no “right to establish order in the media.” – That is not a right. There is a need, however, to protect individual rights and freedoms from the media, which has already been accomplished in current, existing legislation. Any new move to interfere with the freedom of the media is in effect an effort to suppress individual rights and freedoms.

Consider this seriously, Hawkins Nanton, that human beings suffer more fatal attacks on rights and freedoms from monolithic authoritarian organizations like government than from individual breaches from a citizen. The legal protectors are more dangerous than the illegal acts of the individual.

Further exposing his lack of sound knowledge on the issue, Nanton asked the question of why is the media being legislated, and pointed to an apparent “legal vacuum where media and communication is concerned” as reason to “…regulate the media as a sector of the economy…” Come on! The media is the regulator of government excesses, thus it is a raw deal for the regulator to be regulated by he who he regulates. Additionally, the media is more a watchdog of society than a sector of the economy.

Nanton purported that “Information is also a product…” whose production is an economic activity which the state has the right to regulate “in terms of where it is produced and how it is priced and disseminated.” This is a false, communistic view of information, which is a product of the individual free thought and analysis. Any attempt to regulate information as a product would mean government interference of free thought through curbing free speech.

Government is made up of individuals that have individual free thought and free speech. It is absurd and grossly unfair for those individuals to regulate other people’s free thought which is expressed as free speech; they should regulate themselves alone.

Nanton finally showed that “the social arm of media legislation…prohibits the dissemination of content which goes against the moral fabric of the society as a whole.” Now know this: The issue of morality is already dealt with in legislation, and added to that, there are always problems with governments defining morality in legislation.

My dear Vincentians, beware of zaniness defenders in any new broadcasting legislation.

Jeanell A. James