International press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Friday published its views on the manner in which the Speaker had reacted to Labour MP Glenn Bedingfield’s complaint about us in Parliament.
True to form, Bedingfield reacted in his usual bully-boy fashion, saying – without a trace of irony – that RSF was “condoning blatant lies”.
The irony lies in the fact that not only were we never defined to be liars, blatant or otherwise (incidentally, the Speaker has stated that the matter is closed), it is Bedingfield himself who has difficulty grasping facts.
We are used to the fact that publicly-paid officials, often receiving a Parliamentary honorarium along with some nicely iced buns, dedicate themselves slavishly to spinning the truth – also referred to as lying by some – for the greater good of their masters. Bedingfield is popularly perceived as a faithful servant in this function.
We are considering whether to sue Bedingfield for libel, though we probably won’t waste our time, given that it would be a bit like suing a toddler for mewling.
Reporters Without Borders in fact reminded Bedingfield of the state of press freedom in Malta: