Posted by: Witch Doctor | April 7, 2013

The creeping attempts to castrate the media


The GMC offers advice to anonymous Bloggers, Tweeters and FaceBookers who are medically qualified – shortly after the Leveson Inquiry offered advice to the press.

Today My Black Cat is deeply involved in her Continuing Professional Development into conspiracy theories.

The Witch doctor yawns when she is in this mode because most of what she discovers will not make her a better witch’s cat. And that, of course, is the purpose of her CPD.

However, now and then, while she is immersing herself in the dross, she comes up with something that might turn out to be interesting.

Today she is focussing on The Intertwingled Triplets.

If you have been reading this blog for ages, you will know that the Intertwingled Triplets are Common Purpose, Demos and The Media Standards Trust.

You will also know that “Hacked Off” is a child of the Media Standard’s Trust.

It now seems that she has discovered another Intertwinglement.

It is an outfit called “Full Fact”

Andrew Gilligan had much to say about “Full Fact” in yesterday’s Telegraph.


“A director of Hacked Off, the campaign against the “lies” of the press, gave false evidence under oath to the Leveson Inquiry, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.

Will Moy, the head of Full Fact, a “non-partisan” group campaigning against “inaccuracy in the media”, told Lord Justice Leveson that his organisation was “constituted as a charity, and in the process of registering as a charity” and as such operated “under a statutory public benefit obligation”.

Impressed, the judge drew extensively on Full Fact’s evidence in his report, describing it as politically “independent”, its work as “extremely important”, and saying: “I am pleased to recognise that Full Fact can claim to be one of the organisations that does seek to ‘guard the guardians’.”

He said its submissions went to the “very core of what I’ve had to consider”.

In fact, in July 2011, seven months before Mr Moy testified, Full Fact had been refused registration as a charity after another judge heard that it lacked the “requisite objectivity” and was not “established for the public benefit”.

The same Andrew Gilligan had much to say about “Hacked Off” in the 30th March 2013 edition of The Telegraph:


“Who are Hacked Off? And how did Brian Cathcart and a small group of even more obscure allies come from nowhere to write perhaps the most important constitutional change yet of the 21st century?

The royal charter which has just ended 300 years of an unregulated press was, as they boast, “drafted with the help of Hacked Off”. The even more controversial “statutory underpinning,” with its coercive damages and fines, was, as they boast, “a measure suggested by Hacked Off’s chairman”.

The bragging is, if anything, underplayed: Lord Justice Leveson all but cut and pasted their suggestions into his report and the Government has adopted them with relatively few changes.”

And in it, My Black Cat discovered another couple of Intertwinglements that she had never heard of: – CCMR – the Co-ordinating Committee for Media Reform. And “Engage.” No doubt she will explore this spawn from the original Intertwingled Triplets in due course.

“CCMR, which has received virtually no publicity in the mainstream media, is closely intertwined with Hacked Off, sharing key personnel.”

Glory be, The Telegraph has almost but not quite used Witch-speak. We prefer the word “Intertwingle” to “intertwined.”

Don’t we, My Black Cat?


  1. Disturbing, very disturbing. All the more reason for us to continue to blog, tweet and facebook and keep the real truth out there. I’m slightly in awe of your Black Cat and her ability to find these things out, WD.

  2. […] emasculation of the BBC on the HSCB’s progress through Parliament is a sad testimony to that and Witchdoctor has just written a chilling post on how a small group of interested parties managed … And that means we have to find a way round the GMC’s guidelines. I intend to keep blogging. I […]

  3. My poor Black Cat is becoming bereft of rats since the science of Intertwinglements is taking up too much of her time. She is not a great fan of facebook though partly because of things like this going on!

    And this too….

  4. Full Fact were denied charitable status by the charity commission at first instance, they, I think appealed to the charity tribunnal, and therefore might have thought, as many do they would get charitable status.

    I think they should ,if we trust them to do what they say on their tin-ie check the accuracy of what is in the media, have obtained the status, as for the purposes of education.

    The fact, Full Fact were not granted charitable status, under the then charity commission’s culture, probably points to a lack of connection between Full Fact and Common Purpose UK, which did gain such status, but I feel under charity law should not, as it is secret society, and cases, such as the carmalite nuns, and the masons have been held not to be charities because they are not open to the public

    We do need orgainsations like Full Fact to check accuracy of the little that now manages to get into the media but only if we can trust them to do this accurately..

  5. An organisation like Full Fact ,if ensured to be independent of the media and state would be of invaluable benefit to the public, rule of law and democracy.
    As such an organisation could, so far as it is possible, objectively try to ascertain the truth and accuracies of matters stated in the media.

    This would also go a long way towards real meaningful, unagended press regulation, yet the Charity Commission has refused Full Fact charitable status, without which, unless it is otherwised financed, will inevitably result in it dying financially – such is the power of the charity commission.

    Sadly, since the passing of the Charities Act 2006 it is legally difficult, expensive and complex to appeal and thus reverse a CC decision.

    To be a charity, Full Fact would have to prove their purpose, to check the factual accuracy of matters in the media, was education, and benefited the public.

    The is no definitive definition of ‘education’, but the generally accepted one is under the case of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting, which decided that if the purpose was decided by the courts on an objective basis to be ‘useful’, it would be educational. That case decided the public reporting of court cases was useful, and therefore the organisation that did this charitable.

    On this basis Full Fact would be charitable as it satisfies this test, and clearly benefits the general public.

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