18 March, 2013

The Press

The House of Commons meets tonight to debate regulation of the Press. At least, when I say 'debate', they will talk about the deal which has already been stitched up by the three main parties.

I am against the Press being regulated by the Government either directly or indirectly, such as by a Royal Commission set up by the Government. The reason I am against it is simple: I don't trust them. Sooner or later some hack, newspaper or blog will be warned off writing about the Government. It is thought that many of the great pieces of investigative journalism - the cash for questions articles, the entertaining series in the Telegraph about MPs' expenses, the Thalidomide scandal of the 1960s, would not be possible under the proposed system.

Much has been said by the politicians to the effect that they are supporting the victims of journalist malfeasance. Apart from the fact that I don't believe in altering the law to please 'victims', who may be emotional or unobjective, the attacks on the Dowlers and the McCanns (whose child disappeared) were already illegal. All we need is to tighten up the system of their access to the law.

If this goes ahead it will be a bad day, not just for the British Press, but for British freedom.

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