Harriet Harman appeared on the Andrew Marr show last Sunday.
The Witch Doctor waited expectantly for Mr Marr to ask her about the Intertwinglement between the pro-paedophile group PIE and the pressure group the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL, now Liberty) when she was employed as legal officer from 1978 to 1982. During this time Harriet Harman was reported as indicating clearly that she felt the age of consent should be decreased from 16 to 14. She may well have good reasons for this and if she tells us all what these reasons were then The Witch Doctor will consider them seriously and may even become an enlightened witch on this matter.
Sadly, there was no enlightenment.
The question was not asked.
And so it was not answered.
There was total silence on the subject of the affiliation of NNCL with P.I.E
Instead, HH indicated she wants ONE independent judge-led overarching inquiry into the BBC, care homes, Stoke Mandeville etc instead of lots of smaller inquiries.
Then the conversation quickly swung to the Leveson Inquiry and statutory regulation of the press.
Ms Harman indicated she is totally against self-regulation of the press. She says there is not a proper press complaints commission.
The Witch Doctor, being a suspicious soul, is wondering whether The Media Standards Trust, one of the Intertwingled Triplets (the other two being Common Purpose and Demos,) and birth mother of the “Hacked Off” campaign is waiting expectantly in the wings to take up the role, or be closely intertwingled with the new regulator if that is what Leveson recommends.
However, consider this:
What exactly is “The Press?”
Where does it live?
It lives in newspapers, magazines, the BBC and other radio and television programmes.
But some say that hard copy is in crisis. Newspapers have had to set up a second home which in all likelihood will need to become their primary abode. Newspapers now need to have their own corners in the World Wide Web. They don’t quite know how to make money there. Do they, like “The Times” charge for access, or do they allow free access like the Guardian and Telegraph and hope they attract enough readers to make advertising a worthwhile means of income generation?
How does “The Press” feel about Citizen Journalism?
It is inconceivable that any external regulation of the media will not sooner or later impinge on or subsume the bloggers and the tweeters. The spontaneity of ordinary folk who report, discuss, debate and challenge the world they live in – ordinary folks who don’t earn a living from their writing and who at the moment may freely express their views wisely or foolishly to the whole world. Ordinary folks who would not be able to afford the subscriptions, fees, fines, that an external regulator may decide to impose. Ordinary folk who would scorn the regulator’s bureaucracy and eventually would say “enough is enough” – and walk away.
Hopefully The Media Standards Trust, the birth mother of the “Hacked Off” campaign will not succeed in promoting itself as regulator.
After all, it is the case that The Media Standard’s Trust and Common Purpose had very peculiar terms and conditions associated with linking to their websites. These did not bode well for the freedom of the World Wide Web.
a red apple ……………………
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