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Jock Young 1942-2013

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Criminologist who questioned conventional ways of thinking about crime and its control

"...Soon after arriving [at Middlesex University], he established a single honours degree and set up one of the first master's programmes in criminology in Britain. In the 1980s he headed the Centre for Criminology at Middlesex and in 1987 was appointed professor. During this period, Jock laid the foundations for a more engaged "realist" criminology that argued for critical criminologists to take crime more seriously. He argued that law and order was indeed a socialist issue, insisting that the victims of crime are predominantly the poor and the marginalised."

Miranda, Manning and the media

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On this site, we have already noted the growing overlap between media and politics in several articles, in the Editor's blog. But the present threat to freedom of speech in the UK and USA, or more precisely the legal right of citizens, including journalists and bloggers, to criticize government policies and actions is a major one. It comes from a Conservative government, renewing the Blairite poodling up to the USA that the vast majority in the UK despised. Labour is perfectly capable of it though, as they proved over their last turn in office. The Tories though are open and shameless about it; indeed, they don't even see the issue.

And who now is the target? Why, surprise, surprise, it is one of the leading critics of Obama's growing authoritarian practices, including suppression of whistleblowing at all costs: Glenn Greenwald, a writer reviewed on this website and only a 'journalist' since he started to work for The Guardian on the Snowden case. The US and our Tories didn't feel confident to go for him directly so they went for his partner, a Brazilian, David Miranda. How strategic and cheap! Smear the critic implicitly by revealing him as gay, and feed the age-old censorious link between radical politics and sexual deviance!

This all happens on the day the American with a conscience about the open slaughtering of civilians, Bradley Manning, is given 35 years for being a man of honour. Maybe he will turn out to be America's Mandela? In the meantime, all we can do is condemn in the strongest possible terms this attempt to crush the legitimate and peaceful critique of Anglo-American authoritarianism.

The piece below by the editor of the newspaper most involved, Alan Rusbridger of The Guardian needs to be recorded and read as an insight into the extent of our politicians' insecurity about the moral validity and even political integrity of their actions.

David Miranda, schedule 7 and the danger that all reporters now face

 

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