With regard to the Stormont Executive’s attempt to direct your journalism towards a ‘proper’ course, may I say I am not surprised.
There is in every politician a little of the ‘Mugabe’ — an aberrant condition, probably fuelled and expanded by a sycophantic Civil Service and loads of easy cash.
Paradoxically, it is usually those who regard themselves as liberal thinkers who are most prone to try and make those who are not necessarily ‘on message’ toe the line.
In the Sixties, when Mr McGuinness was a youth working in the gasworks in Derry, there was a unionist politician who regarded himself as the sole arbiter of truth about the Maiden City, to the extent that he would try to demand a veto on any Press or broadcasting report of which he did not approve. Has full circle been achieved?
With regard to the DUP, the Belfast Telegraph has long been regarded as ‘uncompliant’ to the extent that a rival Protestant Telegraph was created.
Long may you remain responsible only to the whole community and to your own consciences.
During my service with the BBC, Roy Mason, the Labour Secretary of State, tried to pressurise my editor because I had reported that the newly-announced De Lorean project seemed to be a considerable risk and a possible calamity.
That piece to camera is still used in The De Lorean Story which is broadcast from time to time on BBC3.
I don’t know why it came to me, but when I heard about your visitation, I thought of a sculpture in Andalucia, in southern Spain, which was erected to thumb Marbella’s nose at Franco’s Fascist regime. The inscription in Spanish reads ‘Freedom does not die, but (with guardianship) it must be re-born every day’. See to it.