It perhaps goes without saying that the most defunct and notoriously futile arm of the entire Jordanian government apparatus, is the Lower House of Parliament; the very small government body that “the people” actually get to “vote” for. The Lower House never ceases to amaze me in its imbecility and it is a constant reminder how we are often our own worse enemies.
This recent piece of news that Lower House Speaker Abdul Hadi Majali has taken a decision to limit reporters’ access to Parliament is an example of such imbecility. And here is perhaps the worst part of the news:
But House Media Adviser Hamdan Hajj told reporters the speaker only seeks to regulate journalistsâ€™ access to Parliament…
â€œIf the decision is implemented, it will facilitate journalistsâ€™ missions and their access to information and deputies,â€ Hajj said
Putting the words “access to information” and “regulate journalists’ access to Parliament” in the same sentence is just so oxymoronic I don’t even know where to begin. The fact that anyone with any common sense can even rationalize a government body’s move to restrict journalists to anything in this day and age, and try to do any amount of spin-control for the issue, is just so asinine, I really, really, don’t know where to begin.
But I’ll give them credit: this is something the Jordanian government, and Jordanian politicians are pretty good at: spinning anything that, by any ordinary definition would be considered authoritarian, undemocratic, regressive and even corrupt, in to something along the lines of “oh, we’re just trying to make things better.” Yes, indeed, we’re simply trying to “facilitate”.
So before we get lost in the official talking points, let’s simplify:
This is simply a disgusting show of dictatorial control over the media sector, stemming from Jordanian politicians who want nothing more than to hinder any hope for media reform in the Kingdom, and, above all, keep their so-called constituents in the dark about their daily debaucheries.
And these are the people who make and vote on the laws that govern us.