"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Guardian Backs Off Of Anti-Masonic Claims

Today, The Guardian felt sheepishly compelled to make major edits to their original story from February 4th, as well as issuing the following statement. Hopefully, they plucked the feathers from that crow before they cooked it:
This article was the subject of a public complaint by the UGLE and an investigation by the Guardian readers’ editor. On 20 February 2018, consistent with the readers’ editor’s conclusions, the article was amended to remove a misleading impression conveyed by the original headline, standfirst and lede to the effect that the existence of the three named lodges was secret or covert, that they met secretly at the Palace of Westminster, and that New Welcome Lodge had MPs among its membership currently. As the body of the article reported from the outset, the lodges meet at Freemasons’ Hall, the UGLE headquarters at Covent Garden. The lodges’ existence has been public for many years, and two of them have Wikipedia pages. The UGLE says no MPs are currently members of New Welcome Lodge, and that its records do not show “lobby journalist” as the profession of any of its members but it cannot say with certainty that there are no lobby journalists who are UGLE Freemasons. In response to the readers’ editor’s request for the number – not names or lodges, if the UGLE was constrained from disclosing them – of current MPs who are Freemasons, the UGLE said its chief executive believed that fewer than 10 MPs were UGLE Freemasons and that typically they were members of a lodge local to their constituency.
The original headline of the article was 'Two Freemasons' lodges operating secretly at Westminster.' It was changed this morning. That first article made nebulous inferences that there was something dodgy going on involving Freemasons, government officials in Parliament, and the Westminster journalists who cover them—all based on innuendo and just plain wrong information. It was all presented as "secret" and "covert," whatever it was, and subsequent articles and editorials were designed to create the aura that Masonic membership combined with any position of authority or influence were not to be tolerated by English society and government watchdogs. 

The article's online version has now been substantially revised, but excerpts of that first article can be read HERE ('Shocked! Guardian Discovers Freemasons In The Pressrooms... Just Not Theirs').

The immediate response of the United Grand Lodge of England that led to these corrections today (#EnoughIsEnough), as well as the resulting furor can be read HERE ('UGLE Responds To Attacks In The Guardian')

In addition to the Guardian's changes today, ten days ago The Daily Mirror completely removed their own version of the anti-Masonic allegation that was based entirely on the erroneous Guardian piece after a complaint was filed with IPSO, an English press watchdog group. 

Bravo to David Staples and the communication office of the UGLE for their quick actions and for at last standing up to this type of yellow journalism.

That said, it should be noted that, so far anyway, there has been no actual retraction by any paper in their print editions. Only these online changes have been made.

1 comment:

  1. Its not over till its over and it will never be over. Vigil must be kept. The vigil against creeping efforts to undermine our freedom to associate. This was about a fanatical expression of an ideology. Much like when you catch a fox in the hen house, it will surely scurry away to its nest. ONLY there plan on the next chicken coup raid while you sleep. Bravo UGLE, enough was enough. I hope the journalist, as she called her self, takes a lesson from this. Examines her moral compass, and realizes that organizations exist with purposes other than material gain, and accumulation of power or wealth. Although I doubt it will change her purpose. That purpose is to destroy what she does not understand, and cares not to understand. Perhaps her Ideology runs counter to western ideals of liberty and freedom. But that's just supposition. I do suspect political agenda.


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