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Anorak | Freedom wins as MPs reject Leveson 2

Freedom wins as MPs reject Leveson 2

by | 10th, May 2018

Only two newspaper, The Times and The Sun (prop R. Murdoch), lead with the great news that Ministers have fought off an attempt to trigger a second stage of the Leveson inquiry into Press standards. Why more don’t is a mystery. But, then, a Commons vote on the Data Protection Bill was low on the news cycle. The Government won by just nine votes – 304 votes to 295. It was that close. Five Tories voted with Labour.

We should celebrate this victory for freedom, cheer a vote that thumbs its nose at the sneering drive to diminish the Press, to destroy all that frenetic, thrusting, contrarian, offensive, truth-seeking and enlivening news and opinion, and beat it dull with a legal cosh.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said it was a “great day” for a free press. Hacked Off, who want State-backed regulators to oversee what can and cannot be said, warned “the fight goes on in Parliament and the courts”. But yesterday the censors lost. And the public don’t back them. When asked if we supported Section 40 and Leveson 2, 79 per cent of us from a whopping 174,730 responses said ‘No’ and ‘No’.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband is upset that his bid to shackle free expression, reduce choice, stick it to the gutter press and the slum people who read it, and boot the ‘Press barons’ was defeated. Had it passed publishers not signing up to the state-approved regulator would need to pay their own and their opponents’ legal costs in relation to alleged data breaches and more – win or lose. It would have been another blow to our beleaguered free Press. Had Miliband, Tom Watson, the deputy Labour leader, and their side won the day, it would be heretical and financially ruinous to print something the Government disapproves of. If you can’t be trusted to censor yourself, the Government would enforce your compliance and prevent you from corrupting the slack-jawed masses with your words. Vote ‘yes’ to Ed’s policy and we all move a step closer to speaking with the assuredness of a man who has read one book and agreed with everything in it.

 

ed miliband leverson

“Do as I think”

 

Most newspapers have signed up to Ipso, the Independent Press Standards Organisation, which has no intention of applying for recognition under the royal charter. good, Some control is required. But the State should be kept well out of it.

We should let people decide what they want to read. Don’t smear readers as stupid and incapable of reason. Progress comes through dialogue and challenge. Censorship is for prudes, control freaks, bores, totalitarian regimes, and people who mistook The Young Ones for a documentary and knew Rick was always right. Yesterday’s vote was a victory for trust in humanity. It was that big.



Posted: 10th, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink