Guido popped down to Hacked Off’s parliamentary rally this lunchtime to watch a panel discussion with well-known friends of the press John Cleese, Harriet Harman and Simon Hughes, hosted by “Dr” Evan Harris. Cleese had the audience laughing nervously when he compared journalists to murderers, claiming:
“Of course they want to regulate themselves, we’d all like to regulate ourselves wouldn’t we? Builders, accountants, murderers, they’d all like to regulate themselves. The murderers would make a very good case – they’d say we murdered a lot of people, we know people who have murdered people. We really are best qualified to regulate”
About 20 minutes later, Harris halted proceedings to inform the room that “a journalist is here tweeting”, naming and singling out WikiGuido and bizarrely referencing the Brooks Newmark story. Harris told the room that Guido had tweeted about Cleese’s ‘murderer’ comparison. The exchange below is not verbatim, but is backed up by multiple witnesses and video.
WikiGuido: [From across the room] It was a direct quote.
Harris: You clearly don’t understand context.
WikiGuido: It was a direct quote.
[Audience members begin to heckle.]
Audience member: How do you sleep at night?
Another audience member: Let him speak!
[At this point most of the room began chanting “stand, stand, stand” at WikiGuido. He did.]
Harris: He’s Alex Wickham, who writes for Guido Fawkes website. And also did the work on the Brooks Newmark thing. I don’t think we want to give him a platform…
WikiGuido: Well the room wants me to speak. I thought you believed in freedom of speech? It was a direct quote.
[Several audience members shout “let him speak”]
Harris: We are not going to give you the dignity of a platform.
As the Press Association reports:
Video also via PA:
Dissent will not be tolerated…