About a month ago a nine year old school girl launched a blog about school dinners. Martha Payne who attends a primary school in England started photographing her school meals and rating them on a blog called Neverseconds. Within days of launching her blog she received widespread praise and was even endorsed by Jamie Oliver.
Then, a couple of days ago, following a newspaper report about Martha's blog, the school council ordered the girl to stop photographing her meals because some of the comments were upsetting the school's catering staff.
Suddenly, millions of people took to Twitter to air their anger and disbelief. This made the already popular blog even more popular and within a few hours the local authority leader appeared on BBC Radio Four to announce that he was withdrawing the banning order. Mostly thanks to the ban, the blog has had 3 million hits and has raised over £65,000 in charity.
This story came hot on the heels of a local soap opera that's unfolding right in front of our eyes.
As you might recall, during his parliamentary speech preceding the no confidence vote against the Minister of Justice, Franco Debono chose to go full out against certain journalists, bloggers and, an editor, whom he mentioned by name.
Franco argued that although he's been treated terribly and horrifically by these members of the press, with the way the libel law stands at the moment, it is not worth trying to fight it out in court.
I understand that everyone, even a politician, is entitled to getting annoyed and angry at particular members of the media, but why choose a parliamentary speech addressed to all the members of parliament including our legislators to make your point?
On the one hand Franco was arguing in favour of democracy and against oligarchy, and on the other he spoke about stopping certain people from writing whatever it is that they write.
'Dan il-pajjiz mhux immexxi mill-bloggers,' he repeated over and over and over, insinuating of course, that he thinks that the country is in fact run by bloggers.
Now I know that Franco has made many unfounded threats in the past, I also know that he's made some good points and some pretty ugly gaffes, and had he not been chairing the Parliament's Select Committee for the re-codification and consolidation of laws (including press laws) I wouldn't worry about his dire need to stifle free speech; but unfortunately he is.
Someone who thinks on the lines of censorship and increased regulation, someone who deems it fit to ask the Prime Minister to stop a blog... or else... is a scary person to have in such a position.