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Sunday, 2 December 2012

The drifting focus of Leveson.

In life we all seem to lean towards having a tendency to over complicate things.
We start off with a good idea and then begin to add a bit here or there to it in an attempt to mould it into what we consider to be something that is better.
Then we invite suggestions from others.
It's not that we want suggestions.
We just want someone to say 'that's a great idea' and bathe in the warm glow of their support.
That rarely happens though and the people that we ask to provide suggestions very often take us up on our request and do just that.
This then leads us to adding bits that maybe we aren't comfortable with, and possibly even taking away parts of the original idea that underpinned exactly what we were looking to achieve.
After a couple of hours after the original thought popped clearly into our heads we are left with an unwieldy construct that has little relation to the idea as it was.
Consider it akin to drawing up the plans for the Taj Mahal and submitting them for consideration to a group of architects who two days later claim that your design was fantastic, that they loved it, but a few adjustments were required.
What you then get back is plans that resemble the much touted third runway for Heathrow.

Now that's a bit like the Leveson report isn't it?

Keeping it simple we should ask ourselves if some of the behaviour of the press, the police and the politicians was acceptable?

The answer is of course no. Not at all.
Apart from being unacceptable it was illegal.

So the next question is what should we do about it, and this is where a very simple question becomes bogged down.

Today I see that Shami Chakrabarti has been stating that compulsory regulation would breach Human rights laws and we are holding the press to a higher standard than we would others.
Now I'm not claiming that she is wrong, but is her response is maybe directed at the outcomes of that over thinking process?
Is it more about the conclusions of the findings after everyone has thrown their tuppence worth in than it is about addressing the original issue?

We have seen that the press have failed dramatically to self regulate and I doubt many people have any faith in them being given another chance at it so what can we do?

Well the obvious answer is to create an independent body that maybe doesn't do so much as regulate the press, but instead ensures that they keep within the law as it is.
One that is funded from the public purse, but is not linked to government.
A body that will have the power to implement eye watering fines for articles that promote a falsehood, and one that could pursue through the courts illegal activities such as listening in on peoples mobile calls, reading their text messages, slander and such.
Does it have to be more complicated than that?

Would I like to see the press being muzzled in this country?
I would strongly say no, but if you asked me if they should be allowed to lie about individuals, promote rumours as facts, push political agendas in an effort to steer public opinion, bribe serving police officers and manipulate facts to their own ends then equally I would say no to, and I suspect that honourable hard working journalists would agree.

We are in danger of allowing the Leveson enquiry to be the focus of our attention rather than the practices that led to it being necessary to have an inquiry..

Keeping it simple would probably be the best course of action here.
After all isn't the whole issue about what behaviour is considered right and wrong?  


  1. Hmmm!!!

    Maybe if we simply prosecuted the fukkers for breaking the existing laws they're guilty of shitting all over, the problem would be solved

    The corruption and complicity of our police, legal system, civil servants, and politicians allowed this ... I really don't see that creating even more laws, or new "government bodies" will change that one whit

  2. I don't see the need for new laws, or a government body either, but we do apparently need someone to stick it to them (whoever 'them' may be) on our behalf.