A Free Press Does Not Mean Police Approving Only The Voices The State Likes To Hear
MICK Hume is right. He writes in the Times about press freedom, linking the police raids on tabloid journalists to the police spying on the Daily Mail’s phones:
The Labour MP Keith Vaz protests that the police phone hackers have “struck a serious blow against press freedom”. Noble words. He is no relation, presumably, to the chairman of the home affairs select committee who, in 2011, lambasted the Met for “not doing enough” to crack down on the excesses of tabloid journalism?
The Liberal Democrat conference has pledged to reform RIPA to “protect responsible journalism”, a policy proposed by the former MP Evan Harris, now a lobbyist for Hugh Grant’s Hacked Off. Nobody has been more “responsible” than Hacked Off for encouraging a contemptuous official view of tabloid hacks, whom the campaign’s executive director branded a “different breed” at the Leveson inquiry.
Nick Davies, of The Guardian, who led the crusade to expose hacking at the News of the World, says that the police have cheated by using RIPA to hunt down sources. Yet to judge by his new book, Hack Attack, Davies’s role in the hacking scandal was to act as the provisional wing of the Metropolitan Police, insisting that a stricter interpretation of RIPA would empower them to arrest more members of the tabloid press.
Read it all.