I was pleased when David Cameron stood up for press freedom by walking out of all party talks on press regulation, Labour and the Lib Dem’s were obviously trying to bump him into legislation which would shackle our free press but…!
Press Regulation – a mark of a democratic and free country is a free press and the and the depth of that democracy and freedom is directly related to just how really free the press is!
It is a fact that both the Labour and Lib Dem parties belief in a true free press and democracy is total just so long as that press is shackled and controlled to avoid criticism of Labour and the Lib Dem’s, they do though regard the Conservative Party as fair game!
When Cameron walked out of the all party meeting on press regulation he was standing up for the principles of freedom and the free press and when he returned I thought and hoped he had won the argument but no, he returned because he would lose the Commons vote on the Monday which would have given Labour and the Lib Dem’s control of the issue and the press regulation would have been even tighter than it is now!
The media of course, particularly the BBC, were painting David Cameron’s potential loss in the Commons vote on press regulation as a major embarrassment which is probably one of the reasons he authorised a return to the negotiating table but why did he agree to meet in Miliband’s office, why did he just send Oliver Letwin with virtually no political backup and why did he not go himself?
But would it have been am embarrassment to have let Labour and the Lib Dem’s take it to a coalition hostile Commons vote, I don’t think so, it would have been a vital moment which would have demonstrated a real difference between David Cameron and the Conservative Party on the one side standing for democracy and freedom in the United Kingdom with Labour and the Lib Dem’s on the other side trying to shackle such freedoms.
I am confident it would have backfired on Labour and the Lib Dem’s, it was a trap into which they were quite willing to walk but Cameron saved them, with world opinion and the entire world press on his side it could have transformed his fortunes overnight, David Cameron the Protector of Freedom and Democracy but once again he displayed poor judgement!
And let us repeat once again, appalling as the actions of the press were and they were truly appalling, every miss-demeanour was covered under existing law and punished under existing law, editors and journalists have gone to prison with their careers in ruins, they will think more than twice about doing those things again.
Press regulation simply to protect the powerful, whether they are in politics or are just pompous personalities is a fast track away from Freedom and Democracy!
If in the past things were not investigated then we have a problem with the police to deal with, if more journalists are discovered to have broken the law then they should go on trial but there is no reason to shackle something which has been the very bulwark of our Freedoms and Democracy for centuries and sometimes, in the words of Boris Johnson, we need a gutter press to keep the gutters of public life clean!
We call on the press, collectively, to reject the press regulation being proposed but to set up their own possibly loosely based on the Irish model, I think they have to be seen do something but in reality it is not needed because everything is already covered under existing law on the other hand to create regulation to protect the powerful, whether they are in politics or are just pompous personalities is a fast track away from Freedom and Democracy and this proposed press regulation does only protect the powerful, the innocent ordinary people of this world who became caught up in the appalling behaviour of the press are already protected by existing law providing the police enact it!
Ireland’s press regulations, which include an ombudsman and a council of publishers, public citizens, and journalists, are less restrictive than the proposed British version.
The new regulatory body has teeth – any newspaper that refuses to register with it will face “exemplary damages” in any court action against them.
Press reforms a ‘noose’ for editors says rights lawyer. Westminster rumours that Michael Gove would be use a TV appearance to lay into press regulation plans proved wide of the mark. Geoffrey Robertson, QC, said that Hacked Off had created a “noose” that could strangle left-leaning publications.