Sunday’s Andrew Marr show had Hugh Grant talking about his concerns regarding the PM’s future actions following the recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry. He is a leading light in the “Hacked Off” campaign – a group of people who are said to represent victims of media intrusion. They want to ensure that the media does not regulate itself, but somebody else does.
This sounds altogether sensible and surely is what most of the public want.
But who is that somebody else?
Will the external regulator be a government body, arms-length, shoulder length, or somewhere nearer the scapula? The spine itself? Or even that powerhouse of society – the Brain?
Or will it be The Media Standards Trust?
The problem is that regulation of the press is a complex matter, and although the public are perfectly capable of working out complex matters, most people if asked to give a “yes” or “no” answer off the cuff will neither have the time nor inclination to delve into the complexities and will, especially after the Murdoch et al fiasco, and the more recent intrusion regarding photographs in France of the Duchess of Cambridge give the knee-jerk reaction :
“Of course we want independent regulation of the press”
Here is a letter that has been sent to David Cameron today:
(No idea why they are victimes rather than victims but this witch is too damned busy in The Spell Pantry right now to work it out!)
However, perhaps it is time to revisit the words of Ian Hislop of Private Eye.
This was what he said when he was before the Leveson Inquiry.
“I do think that statutory regulation is not required. Most of the heinous crimes that came up and made such a splash in front of this inquiry have already been illegal.
Contempt of court is illegal, phone tapping is illegal, policemen taking money is illegal. All of these things don’t need a code, we already have laws for them.
The fact that these laws were not rigorously enforced is again due to the failure of the police, the interaction of the police and News International – and let’s be honest about this, the fact that our politicians have been very, very involved in ways that I think are not sensible with senior News International people.”
These words still seem to The Witch Doctor to be some of the most sensible uttered during that inquiry.
His whole statement is worth listening to again as “Hacked Off” ratchet up their campaign. (There are a few interludes in the recording but keep watching to hear the whole thing).
a red apple ……………………
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