Just hours before Parliament was dissolved at one minute past midnight on 6 November, the House of Lords’ Communications and Digital Committee published a report calling for urgent action to safeguard the future of public service broadcasting. The report – ‘Public service broadcasting: as vital as ever ‘ – points to the current threats and calls for urgent measures to safeguard the future of broadcasting as a vital part of UK society and democracy. It warns that public service broadcasters (PSBs) need to be better supported to ensure that they can continue to produce high-quality drama and documentaries which reflect and examine UK culture. In return, the broadcasters need to adapt to ensure that they serve and reflect all audiences. Continue reading Urgent action needed to support public service broadcasting says Lords Committee
It was some 15 years ago that Craig Murray first became a thorn in the flesh of the British State. He’d had a distinguished career in the UK diplomatic service, but his last posting in 2002-2004 as British Ambassador, Uzbekistan brought him into conflict with the State. Responsible for the UK’s relationship with Uzbekistan, he found Western support for the dictatorial Karimov regime unacceptable having exposed the human rights violations of the administration. In October 2004 he was removed from his post for his revelations. Since then he has pursued a varied career as an author, broadcaster and human rights activist and was Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. At the 2005 General Election, he stood against Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in Blackburn as an Independent candidate, winning 2,082 votes. More recently he has turned his attention to the treatment of Julian Assange, still being held in prison in Belmarsh high security prison, awaiting a hearing scheduled for 25 February on his extradition to the USA.
Julian Assange is to remain in prison when his jail term ends because of his “history of absconding”, a judge has ruled. He was due to be released on 22 September after serving his sentence for breaching bail after fleeing to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012. But Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard there were “substantial grounds” for believing he would abscond again.