In her column published today, where she expresses the thought that we shouldn't be so perturbed by Owen Bonnici's Media Control Act, lawyer Claire Bonello cites "lawyer Andrew Borg Cardona" (yours truly) writing that if the people behind a web-site ( in this case) don't tell us who they are, how can we assess their credentials to write about the subject?

I stand by this, but it does not mean that I agree with Bonnici's Bill, for all that Dr Bonello appears to make that leap of faith.

It simply means that I don't necessarily take that web-site seriously.

OPINION: Transparency, not hysterics

Perhaps that's the difference between people who choose to succumb to Big Brother's eagerness to regulate and control our thought processes and those who prefer to rely on their own resources to make judgements.

This even applies to the judgements I make about columnists who put their names to their columns, who all have their personal agendas.

I have been lambasted in the past, and continue to be - generally in the more Labour-leaning media - for having the temerity to have an opinion and express it. Whether I deserve this or not is not for me to judge, but knowing some of my columnar colleagues and their particular outlook on life, perhaps I will be forgiven for smiling a knowing smile.

I know why they choose to pronounce themselves in a particular way.

What many people are forgetting, just to get back to the Media Control Bill, is that it constitutes, plainly and simply, an attempt to instil the chill of fear into the hearts of journalists and other purveyors of information. Minister Bonnici may put it about all he likes that Mrs Caruana Galizia is not the target of the Bill, and he may even have his hand on his own heart while he does this, but the fact remains that unless one is registered with the Media Registrar, one will not have the privilege of protecting one's source.

People who should know better, and those who do but don't care, see this as a valiant effort to protect the innocent from the slings and arrows of scurrilous rumour-mongering and the consequent destruction of families.

Funny, isn't it, incidentally, how people who don't give a toss about how their behaviour affects their families, get all prissy and hissy when others dare mention this behaviour?

Being forced to reveal one's source does not protect anyone at all from anything: someone who wants to spread nasty rumours will do so anyway. Having a source you don't reveal doesn't add to - or subtract from - the strength of the defences available to you.

The story will stand or fall on the basis of the evidence, whatever it is.

The only reason Big Brother's acolytes want to force people to reveal their sources is to intimidate potential sources and stop them from feeding the media with leads.

Think it through and take as your inspiration the eagerness with which Minister-Non-Minister Konrad Mizzi's lawyer, who feels oh so strongly about democracy, tried to get the Court to force Mrs Caruana Galizia to tell it who had told her about his client's penchant for a late night noggin in female company.

It is people like this who want sources exposed.

Trump wants to do exactly the same thing in the States and what Trump wants, and people who are pale imitations of him also want, should be resisted, axiomatically.


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