Support your local ex-spook
THE FREELANCE very rarely singles
out individual new members of the branch for mention. But we have
to make an exception for David Shayler, who got a round of
applause at the October branch meeting.
That's the David Shayler who appears to merit his own entry in
newspaper style-guides: "must always be prefixed `renegade
MI5 agent' on first mention". Now he's writing about
security, not least his own.
On 6 October the government obtained a finding of contempt of
court against Punch magazine for publishing certain
of David's allegations about the security services - although
"very large amounts" of these had, the Treasury
solicitor admitted, already been published. Mr Justice Silber held that
the 1997 injunction barring publication of the allegations was
not concerned with "national security" - in which
field prior publication is usually regarded as a defence - but with
protecting the administration of justice. He granted Punch leave to appeal.
David reminds us that he's due to make a brief appearance to
plead at the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey, on
Thursday 2 November. He invites members to show up
before 10am to express support for freedom of expression and inform
all of the importance of freedom of information.