Nelson Says: "They're trying to shut me up"
HUMAN RIGHTS ACT - FREEDOM OF SPEECH
According to Article 10, every person is entitled to think and to receive and impart ideas. Many years ago, this website was front page news (Sussex Express 2003). It was reported in the Sussex Express news article that Wealden District Council were taking legal advice as to how to remove this website.
Clearly, the information on this site is damaging to Wealden District Council and other Council's around England. However, the articles are well researched and reported as to the facts. Unfortunaely, there are goings on that should be properly investigated and the perpetrator(s) brought to justice.
The modern age of communication is a godsend to honest people wanting to share information. Clearly, the ease with which other persons experiencing planning problems can find our site and identify with the cases reported, is something of concern to Council's and may be their Achilles Heel. Council's hate bad publicity. They have whole departments with nothing to do but generate good media releases. The last thing they want is for maladministration or misfeasance they thought was buried and forgotten to be brought back into the public domain.
Now, let us consider Wealden's tactics. They could not come straight out to get our editor. Well they could have, but they know his rights are protected by Article 10 We know they know this because Charlie Lant, their chief executive told the Sussex Express as much. Wealden also know there is already another case where a Court has ruled that such an action would offend against our editor's freedom of expression (or indeed any other contributors rights). See: Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd 1992 QB 770.
So, the only way to have a go at our editor for his sterling efforts, was via the back door. It seems to us that Wealden's current steps to interfere in our editors private life, has more to do with their intention to bring down this website, than any legitimate cause of action. Wealden fund the local police and work hand in hand with them in all such matters. In turn, the police work hand in hand with the Ministry of Justice, and that is where things start to get serious. All they need is an allegation to be able to frame a person - if that is what they want to do. The tactics are similar to council planning officers failing to fully advise members as to material considerations.
Looking at this in the context of a criminal trial, the police need not investigate an allegation that well to deny a defendant evidence for a defence. Other tactics involve employing junk science and giving a claimant time to perfect a story which is obviously flawed, rather than taking a statement immediately a claim is made. It is only when a statement is taken immediately, that a defendant might trace the development of a false allegation.
Both councils and the police use the media for their own purposes and the media become willing participants where the sale of newspapers and scandal are concerned - completely ignoring the right of a defendant to a fair trial. In the past some newspapers have been fined for libel, or coverage which is defamatory in content.
If you have a legitimate complaint about your local authority or the police, evidence of corruption, or maladministration, why not put up a website about it - it is your right and you are protected by Articles 9 and 10 and other Articles as to peaceful protest. Email us for a link and maybe the growing number of cases will galvanize our politicians to positive action.
Perhaps this is a contributing factor to the plethora of reported serious abuses of authority plaguing Council's up and down the country. Where planning is concerned there is very limited access to justice! What is your MP doing about it?