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From Elsewhere: Bloggers Leveson will affect YOU too.

March 17, 2013

Tomorrow the liberal left in the form of the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties will do their utmost to shut down the free press in the United Kingdom.

Riding on the back of public revulsion at the hacking of the phone of murder victim Milly Dowler, those like the Labour party (who probably do have a lot to hide) have turned the original phone hacking cases (hacking was a criminal offence anyway under the Interception of Communications Acts) and the Leveson Inquiry into them, into a full on attack on press freedom.

If the Leftists preferred legislation goes through then we will have lost much.  The gag which this will put on the press, not just the dead tree press, could preclude a modern analogue of the great investigative journalism stories of the past such as the uncovering by the Sunday Times of the Thalidomide scandal or the Daily Telegraph’s exposing of parliamentary expenses padding.

Guido Fawkes has a sobering  piece on his site showing how Leveson will not only affect tabloid stories about celebrities who accept random blow jobs from strange women, but will affect bloggers, many of whom are filling in the gaps that mainstream media such as the BBC are not filling.

Guido said:

One thing that surprises Guido is that his comrades in the liberal, progressive blogosphere have seemingly not noticed that the proposed Royal Charter aims to control and regulate them as well as the tabloids.

Schedule 4, Point 1 of both the government and the opposition’s versions of the Royal Charter will bring blogs under the regulator’s control:

“relevant publisher” means a person (other than a broadcaster) who publishes in the United Kingdom: a. a newspaper or magazine containing news-related material, or b. a website containing news-related material (whether or not related to a newspaper or magazine)” ”

Read the rest at:

Leveson style press controls will not be used to protect the Grants, Dowlers and Jefferies of this world, they will be used by local councils to suppress dissent, companies to hide misdeeds and politicians to hide incompetence and malevolence.  Such controls would most definitely also be used by the professional shroud-wavers and offence takers of Britain’s Islamic groups in order to shut down criticism of their ideology.

Although I hope for any press controls to be defeated, if they are not, remember just who slilenced the voices of British journalists and remember them by the killers names, Labour and Liberal Democrat.

The Left are going to try to kill the concept of a free press in Britain, we shouldn’t let them succeed and we can defeat them by continuing to use our right to free speech to publish our opinions and news items.  I would certainly advise British bloggers, especially political bloggers, to host their blogs in nations which are more appreciative and supportive of a free press than Britain has become, and it is a terrible indictment of how bad the situation has become that I feel the need to give such advice.

After this will anybody be able to say the words ‘Left’ and ‘Freedom’ with a straight face?

  1. Alice-Louise permalink

    This is scary stuff indeed! It certainly feels as though we are heading towards being a police state, where certain authorities wish to keep us in blissful ignorance about the real problems with our country (re your previous post about the rapes in Bradford) Where we are no longer able to have the freedom of speech and even our thoughts are controlled. No doubt, there will always be people who generally don’t care. They live for today and don’t think about tomorrow…too consumed by celebs and Simon Cowell productions to be aware. It certainly feels as though we are being conditioned into becoming politically correct zombies who are like lambs being led to the slaughter which is Islam.

    • Fahrenheit211 permalink

      The last Labour government has a lot that it would not like brought out into the open. Not only would Labour not like journalists digging into its immigration policy but Labours lethal performance on health and incompetence with the economy is something that Labour would desperately like to bury and a neutered press would make it much easier to bury such things.

      The Left in particular would love to have a state where there was no dissent, we can see this in the sort of societies which the Left or those who base there governance on leftist nostrums creates. Countries like Stalinist Russia, the imprisoned nations of cold war eastern europe, the kleptocracy of Zimbabwe and the total prison camp which is North Korea. The Left cannot handle dissent or the independent eye and this is why the Left is supporting this attack on press freedom. It’s not about the McCanns or the Dowlers it is all about the Left punishing those who’ve criticised them in the past. It is this ‘gravitation towards authoritarianism’ which I believe is behind some of the collusion between the Left and Islamic groups.

      Personally I believe that this is going to rebound badly on the Left. The sight of the Left siding with those who would make our press a bit more like pre glasnost Pravda will wake up a lot more people to what they have done.

      As for bloggers, I can see a lot of bloggers (especially those hosted overseas like this one) saying ‘F**k you Lord Leveson’, and carry on as before, the state cannot jail or impoverish or punish everybody who speaks up. If I see one casualty of the Leveson policy it will be Private Eye magazine, which may have to cease in print form if the legal situation gets too bad and go for overseas hosted web format instead. I really really hate the Labour party for so many reasons, press censorship included.

  2. This rant presents no evidence for any of its claims. So nothing to see here, just the usual prophesies of The End of Civilisation. Again. Where have we heard that before?
    Every advance from the abolition of slavery through to the invention of the internet has been greeted with howls of reactionary doom, for dire forecasts of apocalyptic proportions. Mass adult literacy was seen as a necessary evil at best, and a death sentence for the status quo at worst. Which of course it was.
    By keeping Rupert Murdoch’s sticky fingers off the charter, and bolting the back door of number 10 to other press barons, this tweak in the existing legislation will have no effect on what is laughable called ‘freedom of the press’, meaning the freedom of the monopoly media machines to make as much money as possible regardless of the suffering and injustice caused. It will only effect those companies ruthless enough to put profit before anything in their greed to get the story. And those ready and able to use intimidation to control the political process, as the coporate media have done for decades. More stringent and intrusive measures in other countries have not had any significant effect. British newspapers do not have to produce a special Irish edition.
    The Sun’s political editor was on top form talking about the ‘flourishing yet declining British press’ today. That clarity of thought completely sums up the reactionary hysteria over the curbing of the power of billionaires. That does represent a step back for them, wherever it happens. All legislation and shifts in morality represent a shift in the value of something, in this case, the value of personal information and dignity, which the print-age dinosaurs liked to think they owned, and could suppress all dissent with (or without) the law. Now the law has for once excluded them from backstairs power, which is the real reason they hate it so much, and why David Cameron has lost the battle, and will have to walk the carpet of shame. Downing Street doublethinkers will be working furiously to turn this into a victory, but it’s transparent swank. which goes nicely with the bluster from Wapping. The sound of reactionary calling to reactionary across the marshes.

    • Fahrenheit211 permalink

      It seems that you are someone who wants the press to be controlled, who wants for the first time in years the press to be ‘licensed’ by the state. That is not a healthy position for a democracy to be in. It is not just a tweak in existing legislation, you misrepresent the Leveson rules by saying that, it is an open assault on press freedom.

      Yes, in an ideal world, all journalists would behave ethically all the time, but it is not an ideal world. Sometimes journalists will cross the ethical line without good reason and then they need to be disciplined. Sometimes however what would on the surface appear to be unethical behaviour may be excusable if the story is in the public interest, for example with the Thalidomide story. The problems with phone hacking or unauthorised message retrieval were offences in law anyway. There was and is plenty of legislation available to deal with these abuses without having to bring up the spectre of a licensed press.

      I’m assuming that you are a supporter of the ‘hacked off’ campaign judging by your point of view and your antipathy to the newspapers of Rupert Murdoch. I’m no fan of the excesses of some of the newspapers (not just those owned by Murdoch) but I would rather have a free press with a few warts and unsavoury characters working in it, than one that is glossy, bland and controlled by politicians and civil servants.

      Being concerned about press freedom is not ‘reactionary hysteria’, press freedom in the UK was the result of a long and hard fought battle between the state and publishers. Those who want to return to such a time where the state had editorial control over news publications are the true reactionaries.

      • Take your vast bloated Strawman argument to the banks. They might buy it.
        The main threat to democracy in the last 30 years has come from the politicised corporate press. News International in particular, but not alone, who have been guilty of perverting the course of history. The 1980’s, as we are now discovering, was a very different place from the one portrayed in the Sun, and voted on during that delusion.
        This parochial bye-law merely keeps their sticky mitts off the Royal Charter. In ten years time you will still be able to publish your reactionary hysteria, if you haven’t seen sense by then.
        The system is corrupt and needs rescuing from itself, if the press are to retain any credibility. Opposition to underpinning is merely opposition to the eradication of another unelected privilege, the one which would give a tory government in cahoots with Rupert Murdoch free rein to cripple the Charter over tea and sandwiches.

      • Fahrenheit211 permalink

        Dear Little Richardjohn, were we talking about banks, funny that, I thought we were talking about freedom of the press?

        Are you worried about the press being politicised per se or are you worried about the press being politicised in a way you don’t agree with? It certainly seems that way.

        These changes are not a ‘parochial bye-law’ as you put it, it is the beginnings of state licensing of the press, and it is something that must be resisted.

        Things are bad enough for those who wish to do journalism in Britain as it is, what with draconian libel laws and other restrictions on free speech, without adding onto that a system where news publishers are subject to a state licensing system.

        Many of us who write on contentious subjects find that we cannot base our servers in the United Kingdom because of Britain being a home for libel tourism and we have to be based, and publish, in countries that are more friendly to free speech.

        The fact that I, and others like me, cannot host our blogs and websites in the UK for fear of breaking laws that restrict free speech, or draconian libel laws should be seen as a matter of shame for Britain.

        You say that these measures are needed to help the press retain credibility, I think that the Leveson rules will make the press less credible. Readers will look at the press and wonder whether or not the content of the newspaper or website is influenced by Government.

        I’m a conservative but I have no desire to restrict the freedom of speech of those on the political Left, sadly it seems that the Left in the form of Labour and the Lib Dems have desires to restrict freedom of speech for those not in agreement with themselves.

        You DO seem to be foolishly in favour of the press being licensed and all I will say is be careful what you wish for. The way to judge things like restrictions on the press is to consider ‘what would my political enemies do with such a law?’ I don’t want the BNP or some far leftist group or a religious fascist group to be able to use press restriction laws to favour their own cause. Would you want a party like the BNP to hold ultimate editorial control over a news outlet, I certainly don’t, which is why I support free speech even for my enemies. I cannot abide the Guardian or the Morning Star or the Socialist Worker but I support their right to report what they want and publish their own opinions.

        This blog is not going to ‘register’ with any Leveson agency, editorial control should belong with editors and not polticians, sleazy celebrities or corporates and polticians with something to hide.

        BTW for your information, I’m Ex-NUJ but I left the union because my local chapel and especially my chapel mother’s extreme left-wingery was affecting the service that ordinary paid up members, such as myself were getting, it became an extremist group with which I didn’t want to be associated.

        I have no confidence in the sort of people who are likely to have oversight on the British press in the future, in fact I trust them far, far less than I would trust Rupert Murdoch. There are worse things out there in the field of media freedom than Rupert Murdoch; there is jailing of journalists, the suppression of blogs and the disappearance of those who speak out or write about issues that concern them.

      • The press has been politicised for generations by money, at the expense therefore of democracy.
        “it is the beginnings of state licensing of the press” Total, hysterical fantasy. The equivalent of the Iowa militia restocking their bunkers at the prospect of a democrat in the White House. Presumably you think this is part of the slippery slope that also kept chimneys child-free.
        Protecting a Royal Charter from corrupt billionaires is only sensible. The legislation has nothing to do with the press or any other form of expression. It is merely the equivalent to the ‘agents and assigns’ clause in many business contracts, which defines the active and non-active parties to the agreement.
        Your grasp of this issue does not qualify you to be the voice of the people. They do not want a press full of lies protected by ranks of lawyers, which is what we have. Leveson will at least make lies a lot more expensive.
        I notice you could not give an example of how this law would crush freedom of expression. Thought of any yet?

      • Fahrenheit211 permalink

        Little Richardjohn, I’ll try to address your points roughly in turn.

        Agreed that sometimes interests such as the Beaverbrooks and the Rothermeres were influential but it is not just money that corruptly influences the press, politics does as well. For every ‘Hurrah for the blackshirts’ headline from the Daily Mail right, there is a ‘Walter Duranty’ type from the New York Times Left. As I said it is not just money that influences media it can be politics and ideology as well.

        It’s not hysterical to shout fire in a crowded theatre when there genuinely is a fire, and I’ll ignore your hyperbole about shoving small children up chimneys, but this is an unprecedented move in peacetime and is a slippery slope towards more control and self censorship amongst journalists, other writers and publishers. This sort of behaviour is not beneficial to democracy. Of course like any other reasonable person I want news to be accurate and honest and non-libellous. Where a journalist has broken the law, as with unauthorised interception of communications, then the criminal courts are the place to deal with such breaches. As for giving people redress against wrongdoing by publications, then rather than these cumbersome and ultimately dangerous Leveson rules, would it not be better to give those people wronged by news outlets some form of community legal assistance to bring a case using a simplified and more just libel law? That way those who have been treated unjustly because lies have been told would have better redress. All large businesses have lawyers, why should newspapers be any exception? People and corporations and voluntary groups hire lawyers for protection.

        As I said before it’s not just money that can corrupt. What protection is there (and I cannot see any) against this regulator not being influenced overtly or covertly by the government of the day?

        I can easily give you an example of how current laws restrict freedom of expression and that example is this particular blog. Because this is an primarily an anti jihadist / anti the ideology of Islam blog (but not anti-Muslim individual), there is always the risk that if it was published in the UK then I would be at risk of arrest and prosecution under the racial and religious hatred act 2006. Because I make use of the ‘fair comment and mockery’ clause inserted I believe at the behest of the House of Lords, this may have been unlikely but I do not want to be at risk of malicious prosecution egged on by pressure groups like the Muslim Association of Britain, Jamaat e Islaami or similar groups. Now you may not agree with my political opinion but I should have a right to express it, the same as you are entitled to your right to express your view.

        This risk of a malicious complaint or of a politically or ideologically motivated complaint, especially those made by ‘third party’ groups will be greater under the Leveson rules than under previous press complaint regimes and this will hamper the coverage of difficult subjects like Islamic aggression in the West. It will also hamper those who seek to bring to light the misdeeds of our politicians and our corporations.

        I’m with Frazer Nelson of the Spectator magazine, I want nothing and will have nothing to do with the poisonous Leveson rules.

      • There is no fire on any slippery slope. If you want the libel laws repealed, you’d find the mega-papers were the first to squeal. Their money buys them the libel laws.
        As for your paranoid Islamophobia, I wondered when we’d arrive at your real reason for fearing a responsible press.
        I suggest you consult the European Human Rights Charter for redress. You can join the queue with the owners of the Sun and Mail, and Abu Hamza. Illustrious company indeed.

      • Fahrenheit211 permalink

        Oh dear he’s used the ‘Islamophobia’ card. Go to the back of the class. A phobia is something that a person is irrationally frightened of, it is quite rational to fear much of what is created by the ideology of Islam. As you used the Islamophobia word, maybe you would like to read this blogs take on the word and the accusation of Islamophobia

        I want a responsible press but I do not want a neutered one which is what many politicians, the super rich and celebrities would love to see. I don’t have any problem with newspapers being sued for libel where there is a case and the evidence to do so. I certainly concur that it appears wrong that actions for libel can only be made by those with substantial resources. There should be some form of assistance for those with modest means and with good cases to bring a libel action. In other words a cheaper way of actioning a libel.

        Re the ECHR, I’d much rather that the scope and limit of such laws was a matter decided in the UK by our own institutions after open debate. The HRA although it has helped some genuine cases (such as rights of those in care homes etc), its effect overall especially when it is applied wrongly to give a free pass to those who promulgate violent alien fascist ideologies and to those who commit crimes, has been very negative. The ECHR when incorporated into British Law and because how it has been applied has caused further distrust and distancing between the citizen and the judiciary. People now too often see judges as serving the abstractions of human rights law rather than ‘defending the children of the poor and punishing the wrongdoer’. That disconnect cannot be good.

        I have no problem in being lumped in with the Sun because even though its politics may not suit everyone, it’s well put together and written in a lively way and the Mail is one of the top rating news websites in Britain, both papers know their markets. Would you rather everyone be forced to read The Guardian?

        I would rather have news outlets with problems than a news outlet that is constantly looking over its shoulder wondering what the newsrooms ‘political officer’ may say.

      • “I want a responsible press but I do not want a neutered one which is what many politicians, the super rich and celebrities would love to see. ” The super-rich like Rupert Murdoch have a neutered press, they neutered it themselves. Both by owning the companies that produce it for profit, and by expensive legal chicanery which will not even allow the words Ryan, Giggs and Super-injunction to be mentioned in the same paragraph. Ordinary people cannot afford such protection. Now it will cost Rupert Murdoch a cool million if he steps on their toes, plus a p[roper apology. What’s your problem with that? Too much equality, obviously. The Plebs becoming insubordinate. Leveson is not for the super rich, they just prove the point, if they can be driven to distraction by press intrusion, ordinary people have no defence whatsoever. Now they do, and there’s nothing the Baron of Wapping and his cabal can do about it except sulk and make fools of themsleves.
        Their days of perverting history and degrading their readership may not be c ompletely over, but at least they willnow have to pay a reasonable price for it, and won’t be able to bully people into silence quite as easily.
        The result will be healthier more robust journalism, purged of toxic information dealing. A neater, sweeter press in a cleaner, greener land, in fact.
        Now give one example of a story you’ve published which Leveson would ban. Since you can’t think of a hypothetical one.

      • Fahrenheit211 permalink

        Sorry that I cannot be too detailed with my reply because I’m busy.

        Superinjunctions were IIRC a creation of libel and defamation lawyers aimed at preventing journalists exposing the two faced celebs who shagged their way round in private but presented themselves as wholesome monogamous family men, how then can Rupert Murdoch own both the papers and the lawyers who are hampering them? That comment doesn’t make much sense.

        Also what is wrong with making a profit, whether that be by news provision, mining or making widgets?

        As I said before, there are better ways of giving people redress when a newspaper has printed something untrue than having political oversight on the press.

        Please give an example of a case of a British newspaper in the time period we are discussing ‘perverting history’. Even the Daily Mail has apologised for its 1930’s ‘hurrah for the blackshirts’ headline. Of course all publishers will have their own spin or house opinion that is the beauty of a free press. Each publication SHOULD have its own opinion, spin and house style. It is right to have the freedom to flick between the likes of the Spectator and Huffington Post. I would not want EVERYTHING to look like HuffPo or the Speccy though.

        As regards readers being degraded, nobody is forced to read a particular newspaper or outlet and as for Rupert Murdoch influencing voters, often it can be the other way round. A canny newspaper owner or proprietor watches which way the political winds are blowing and Murdoch saw that Britain’s working classes were favouring a change from Labour socialist thinking to the more free market thinking of Margaret Thatcher’s approach. It wasn’t the Sun wot won it, it was giving people the chance to advance, buy their own council houses and be aspirational. The Mirror stuck with the socialism and the Labour party and the Mirror saw its circulation decline.

        You said: “The result will be healthier more robust journalism, purged of toxic information dealing. A neater, sweeter press in a cleaner, greener land, in fact.”

        I think that you are in for a rude awakening if you think that. Probably when the first story you think should be told, isn’t, due to censorship or worries about Leveson penalties on the part of journalists.

        I can quite easily give a hypothetical scenario where Leveson would affect me. How about I write about a sex abuse ring or a group of extremists based round a group of people who go to the same mosque, or I’m told about oppression of women in one of Britain’s Islamic enclaves and I write a true but none too flattering piece about these subjects. Before Leveson even though there are other laws that could be used to suppress my opinion but it is difficult, after Leveson some Islamic advocacy group can put in a third party complaint without having to justify the complaint being in ‘significant public interest’. All such a group has to do is moan that they are mildly offended and action can be taken against me. That is not an environment that says ‘press freedom’.

        So I’ve given you my personal scenario (which you said I had not but which ommission has now been corrected).

        Here is an opinion piece that I published which could, under Leveson rules, especially the third party complaint section, cause problems for blogs like this one.

        In this article I compare those who convert to Islam to an imaginary 1940’s idiot who chose to dress up as a member of the Wehrmacht. This article doesn’t call for individual Muslims to be assaulted or killed, it only attacks the ideology of Islam and points out the utter stupidity, in my opinion, of choosing to follow such a path. It is not pointing out a problem where there isn’t one. Under Leveson a similar Islamic advocacy group could make a complaint even though those making the complaint were not the target of the article. Like it or not Leveson will cause problems.

        or if you want an example from somewhere else other than here what about Andrew Gilligan, he did a fantastic series of exposes of the corruption in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets caused by the extremist group Islam for Europe? That sort of journalism is at risk as well if a group like Muslim Association of Britain brought a complaint as a third party.

        I’m afraid that your desired press utopia will disappoint you quicker than you think.

      • Censorship is the business of corporate media. Their version of the 1980’s proves that, one which is now being discredited on a regular basis.
        As one of the richest and most powerful celebrities of all, Murdoch and his kind have access not only to the usual legal shackles and bludgeons such as super-injunctions, but an entire media machine at their beck and call. And they use it regularly to promote their political agenda and smear and intimidate their opponents into silence. Who knows what inconvenient secrets still lay buried in the lead-lined Wapping vaults?
        So the idea that somehow Murdoch is cowering in Hugh Grants shadow is ludicrous.
        It’s quite simple. Murdoch and their buddies have had some of their backstairs power removed. And are now sulking. If they can’t be allowed to break the rules they will take their ball home.
        In all yesterday’s insane, doublethinking, Orwell-abusing Sun there was not one concrete or hypothetical example of a single story which would be blocked or hampered by Leveson – because they were too ashamed to name the only ones they could think of. Namely those stories which involved gratuitous abuse of the rights to peace, privacy and respect of those unable to afford to take on the News International legal team, which includes those with Hollywood bucks on the hip. But then, The Guardian’s Simon Jenkins couldn’t come up with anything better than the Scientologists use of the libel laws, which is not Leveson.
        Your example is nonsense. Where and how will Leveson stop you being offensive? If you name names without evidence, and tell lies about people then you have to answer like a grownup. What else would you expect? If you indulge in random scapegoating and hatespeech, you’re no better than those you attack, and are in the same position as them under the race-hate legislation.
        Which Leveson ‘guidelines’ would you have to break to be prosecuted?
        Meanwhile, so much for the myth that laws as such curtail press freedom.
        Let alone such indirect, enabling legislation such as this.
        According to international journalists, Ireland (editors chained in dank dungeons) has a freer press than us.
        “The Press Freedom Index is an annual ranking of countries compiled and published by Reporters Without Borders based upon the organization’s assessment of the countries’ press freedom records in the previous year. It reflects the degree of freedom that journalists, news organizations, and netizens enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by the authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom”.

      • Fahrenheit211 permalink

        I’ll get back to commenting on your comment later and also explaining why speech codes inhibit free speech later when I have time. But before I go I will say that you do seem to be obsessed with Rupert Murdoch and thinking that there was a different version of the 1980’s and I wonder at the reason for that. If I may ask a question were you or was your family one of the Wapping strikers? I ask this because I worked in newspapers at the time, late 80’s and I recall feelings at the time were very strong and there was split between those who, like me who saw the future being in new technology and the SOGAT and NGA people who wanted to keep the ‘Spanish Practices’ of the old ‘hot metal’ print days.

        Now I freelanced, as a photojournalist, for Rupert Murdoch’s papers (amongst others) in the 1980’s for a while right after I resigned from the NUJ so I have first hand experience of that particular company and other press companies of the time. Yes there have been abuses of power in the press, including NI, but these problems have been spread across different newspaper groups and although they came to light first in News International, other concerns such as Mirror group have also been affected by such bad behaviour.

        I’m quite prepared to debate issues of press freedom with you but you do seem obsessed with Rupert Murdoch to an unhealthy degree whilst failing to see problems of a similar nature that have happened in other newspapers.

        As to how Leveson will hinder me, I answered that question already, the devilish part of Leveson is the ‘third party’ complaint system. This gives licence to any religious loon, special interest group, dodgy fake charity and spiv to bring actions against journalists. I don’t think you realise just how dangerous such a third party complaint facility could be. You appear to be letting your obsessive hatred of one particular newspaper proprietor blind you to future threats to press freedom.

  3. What has happened to Murdoch’s campaign against the European Convention of Human Rights, by the way? Any major advances in pulling Britain out now that he’s crawling to them on his hands and knees?

    • Fahrenheit211 permalink

      Even if you don’t believe in a particular weapon if you are attacked then you use whatever weapons are available.

      You do seem to have a very odd obsession with Rupert Murdoch and cannot see that a) other media companies have had similar problems with rogue staff and b) your prefered press controls would impoverish us all.

      • So your point is that Human Rights only matter when they’re the rights of billionaires. Everyone else can whistle.
        Consistency, that’s the important thing.

  4. Fahrenheit211 permalink

    To LittleRichardjohn. Re Gilligan. Gilligan did not just publish hearsay and there are documented and other evidential links between the South Asian theo-fascist group Jamaat e Islaami and their European offshoot, Islam for Europe and senior members and staff at Tower Hamlets Council as well as the East London Mosque. If this had been hearsay then I’m sure that the lawyers at the Telegraph would have stepped in. Even Ofcom has found that Luftar Rahman the mayor of Tower Hamlets has been involved in illegal political advertising. Lack of evidence and heresay you reckon, that’s not how it looks.

    RE Chris Jefferies, yeah like any organisation, entity or profession there was a fuck up in this case by the press. Mr Jefferies was handomely compensated for that mistake. Even without the Leveson rules, someone defamed as Mr Jefferies was still has a course for redress.

    As regards Human rights courts in your last comment, I don’t like the constant interference in British law by the ECHR but that doesn’t mean I would refuse to use it if the occasion required it. Of course access to courts for redress should not only be for ‘billionaires’ I never said or even implied that I held such a point of view.

    I don’t believe that British culture is innately superior but what I do know is that Britain took a long time, and suffered civil war, despotism and disturbance on it’s way to becoming a modern state, it would be miraculous if countries like Greece and Italy (one of whom had suffered long occupation by the bestial Ottomans) could achieve that modern mature state standard in less than 200 years. It’s not that Britain is superior in some things, such as media, free speech etc it’s just that Britain has been doing such things for longer. Britain has had a free press for longer than either Greece or Italy have existed as unified independent states.

    BTW I’ve given you answers to your questions where I can and set out my stall politely but still you persistently believe that the Leveson rules are not going to end in tears. If you believe that the Leveson Rules will paradoxically bring about some media utopia then I’m afraid that it seems that you are both naive and foolish. When in the future, some favourite cause of yours is not covered by the censored press because it embarrasses a future Labour government maybe then will you repent of your folly for calling for the neutered and muzzled press that your beloved Leveson rules will bring about.

    You have not made one good case for the Leveson rules, all the problems with the press were subject to existing criminal or civil sanction. All you have done consistently shout ‘Murdoch evil’ every five minutes like stuck record. When the censors come for you and your kind, I’ll just laugh and say ‘I told you so’.

    • I agree, Gilligan did not publish hearsay and his story would still be published now. Who would stop it? Not the law which keeps the press barons from tinkering with legislation at will. And not the code of ethics which Gilligan and all responsible journalists abide by, and which was so neglected by the IPPC and the owners.
      By implying that Italian levels of corruption could simply never happen here old chap, you are obviously wallowing in chauvinism of the most laughable kind. The truth is that British culture has been poisoned by the Murdoch lie machine, specifically, but also by others, and many lives destroyed. If you want journalists to be as trusted as bankers, sabotage Leveson, if you can. The moguls will certainly try. But as with all reactionary paper tigers, they will have to bend with the wind of public consciousness in the end, and the public are buying fewer of their scum-sheets every day.

      • Fahrenheit211 permalink

        Little Richardjohn said:”I agree, Gilligan did not publish hearsay and his story would still be published now. Who would stop it? Not the law which keeps the press barons from tinkering with legislation at will. And not the code of ethics which Gilligan and all responsible journalists abide by, and which was so neglected by the IPPC and the owners.”

        As I have stated before, the beefed up ‘third party’ complaint system is going to end up being used as licence to harass journalists and publishers by various loud pressure groups. I can quite easily comprehend a situation where stories such as Gilligan’s would be less likely to be published if outlets were afraid of complaints from the likes of the Muslim Association of Britain, or some other Muslim Brotherhood/Jamaat e Islaami sockpuppet front group.

        By implying that Italian levels of corruption could simply never happen here old chap, you are obviously wallowing in chauvinism of the most laughable kind.

        Like it or not Britain has not had the sort of routine multilevel corruption that some of the Southern European states have had. That is not to say that corruption has not and does not go on. Things, corruption-wise certainly appear to have got worse, especially in the public sector which now appears to operate almost completely in an atmosphere of ‘producer capture’.

        The truth is that British culture has been poisoned by the Murdoch lie machine, specifically, but also by others, and many lives destroyed. If you want journalists to be as trusted as bankers, sabotage Leveson, if you can. The moguls will certainly try. But as with all reactionary paper tigers, they will have to bend with the wind of public consciousness in the end, and the public are buying fewer of their scum-sheets every day.

        Thank you for your boilerplate leftism LR, because that is all it is. Again you go back to the subject of Rupert Murdoch and ignore other media entities. Don’t you recall the scandal of Robert Maxwell? Here was a hugely prominent and powerful figure but this time a Labour supporter who cheated, stole and dissembled. Why are you not concerned about the influence of Maxwell in the present time the BBC or the Guardian? No I think that you are one of those people who want free speech but only for your own ideas and points of view.

        It looks like the legislators themselves may have sabotaged Leveson by making such a dogs breakfast of it. The sight of the legislation has woken up a lot of people to the threat to free speech. BTW regarding your ‘wind of change’ comment people are still consuming the products of the ‘media moguls’ that you don’t like, the are just doing it digitally. If you want proof of that then look at the web figures for the Daily Mail and also check out the, still healthy, print figures of The Sun. You are in the position of not liking the mass media and you are enraged that people choose to buy and consume the media that you do not like.

        This blog is proud to play its very small part in telling Lord Leveson and his band of censors to ‘Fuck Right Off’ and people like you are part of the reason why Leveson should be defied.

      • ‘Complaints’ on what possible grounds? I can see an unresearched series of rumours parading as fact getting into trouble. But no opinion-pieces or confirmed reports. Would it perhaps allow complaints against offensive advertising, such as the degrading pornography used much of the time? Is that the real problem?
        “Britain has not had the sort of routine multilevel corruption that some of the Southern European states have had. ” We’re talking about High-Level corruption, not nobi-wallah graft. Murdoch, no less, colluding with prime ministers. Direct political influence at the highest level.
        Now the Sun’s print figures are collapsing like everyone else’s. And with them the influence of newspapers on public opinion, which is why they have to resort to the methods they do, and why their owners are desperate to cling to whatever power they think they still have. Leveson represents a real threat to that power, and in spite of the inevitable problems with the Royal Commission favoured by the press barons, will be implemented sooner or later. And if made unworkable by media sulking, will still have the original model to fall back on. One thing is certain, the old days are over. And if this is a mess, it is the result of generations of corruption by those controlling the press, and the IPPC.

      • Fahrenheit211 permalink

        Firstly, false or malicious complaints based around the increasingly discredited ‘hate crime’ and ‘hate speech’ laws brought in by Labour have had a chilling effect on what people can say. Banning speech doesn’t work if you want to challenged hateful statements about people of different races then you challenge such speech not ban such speech. There are no ‘unresearched rumours’ on here. All pieces (apart from opinion pieces) are referenced to either mainstream or other sources which I used my on judgement on whether I trust them or not. Where a source is ethically iffy or has been caught out running hoaxes then I’ll quote but give my reservations(for example where I quote the right wing Jewish Defence League site but with reservations -see article at: )

        High level corruption as you say is bad, but multilevel corruption where NOTHING gets done without baksheesh are worse.

        Although The Sun like all newspapers has taken a circulation hit (although not as bad as the Guardian) it is still a big seller and such media is moving to a digital paid environment. As I said previously, Murdoch may have had influence with Government (the same as Unions, Charities, Trade Associations also do) but he would also have been influenced by which way the political wind was blowing. People didn’t vote in their droves for Margaret Thatcher because of the Sun but because they had seen that Labour state socialism as it was had failed dismally.

        You are still blinded by your hatred for one particular newspaper proprietor to the threat that state control of newspapers will bring.

      • “All pieces (apart from opinion pieces) are referenced to either mainstream or other sources which I used my on judgement on whether I trust them or not. Where a source is ethically iffy or has been caught out running hoaxes (for example..!)”
        Yes. What do you do to ‘iffy’ sources? You never said. You never finished the

        Now you’re defending the corruption of the Thatcher government by News International
        (as revealed by Harold Evans )
        by claiming that petty clerical level corruption is worse. Priceless. You should work for N.I.’s publicity department.
        I’m bolstered by my hatred of lying at an industrial level, which destroys lives. You couldn’t care tuppence as long as the billionaires get richer and back your toad in the Downing Street hole, and allow you to peddle your scapegoating racist rants for as long as you want.
        Leveson will allow you your rant, but remove the power of Rupert Murdoch and Conrad Black to blackmail people, pervert history, and hijack democracy for their own gain.
        The idea this is the end of liberty is pure hysteria. And only the brianchild of the last few weeks, as Alan Rusbridger points out in his account of the secret Delaunay meeting.

      • Fahrenheit211 permalink

        Here we go, more Murdoch obsession but at least you have ‘balanced’ things somewhat with a cursory mention of Conrad Black.

        Re the comment that unfortunately got truncated (busy as well as blogging here)
        “Yes. What do you do to ‘iffy’ sources? You never said. You never finished the”
        What I do is quote them but state if I have qualms about them and why, and quote them with ‘reservations’ if necessary. I use this where the source may be suspect but on one particular thing they are right. A ‘stopped clock is right twice a day’ if you see what I mean.

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