Friday 15 March 2013

Paper Tigers

What difference would either of these press regulation proposals make? I cannot see any that would be worth either someone's joy or someone's sorrow. But I suspect that both the amendment and then the unamended motion will be lost. We've all been there.

If anything goes through, then it will be the one supported by Labour, the Lib Dems and a minority of the Conservatives. If David Cameron were not happy with that, then he would not be doing this.

But this way, he can return to his Lord and Master having appeared to have stood firm against the Great Man's enemies, even if to no avail. "Please, please, please, Mr Murdoch, may I have another ride on the horse now?"


  1. Excellent Telegraph article today says that Hacked Off have become the mirror image of Rupert Murdoch.

    They now refuse to publicise the minutes of the meetings they attend with the parties, they secretly lobby Ministers and refuse to identify which Ministers, they now participate in drafting both Miliband's amendments and the Lords "amendments".

    Just like Murdoch, the question is raised; who elected Hacked Off? And why do they complain about Murdoch's lack of transparency when they are no more open about their own lobbying methods?

    It used to be "is Cameron in charge or is Murdoch"... now it's "is Miliband in charge or is Hacked Off"?

    He looked from man to pig, and from pig to man and from man to pig again... and already it was impossible to tell which was which.

  2. I take that point. But Miliband is not in charge. Cameron, nominally, is.

  3. Cameron isn't really in office though, as we all know.

    Miliband does have a majority for this both in the Commons and the Lords.

    And the influence (and intentions) of Hacked Off in this process look every bit as sinister as Murdoch.

  4. Even if that is true, no one is going to believe it. Dan Hodges, I suspect, has his eye on Murdoch's wallet.

  5. What he says about Hacked Off, and their takeover of Labour's position on this, remains correct.

    They were involved in drafting every Commons and Lords Amendment, won't name the Ministers they met, or publish minutes of those many meetings.Like they won't identify their (very wealthy) funders and backers.

    The question remains; what is their interest in this? Who elected them? Who funds them? And why?

    It's a sad day for Britain if we respond to the power of one interest group in British politics, by allowing another interest group to set the agenda.

    This was (originally) all because of NOTW phone-hacking, secret lobbying and police corruption.

    Who remembers that now? And why has the agenda shifted to control of the whole press, including those who were never involved in those crimes?

  6. But Hacked Off is the Sword of Righteousness. Murdoch is, pretty much, the Devil. That is the difference.

  7. If you believe Hacked Off's motivations and those of its wealthy backers, and Max Mosley and the rest, are benevolent and altruistic, then you are extremely naive.

    Remember this was all kicked off by a lie (that those Milly Dowler voicemails were deleted) and by phone-hacking and police bribery that was already illegal under existing law.

    What was the need for new laws, for restricting the freedom of newspapers (other than the NOTW) that were never involved in this fiasco, or for laws that allow politicians to censor the wider press?

    And why might a Parliament be devoting so much time to something of zero interest to the public, when that same Parliament ignores matters that the public really care about-such as mass immigration?

    A sensible sceptic would ask these questions.

  8. Today's leaked memo from a Hacked Off whistleblower confirms everything Dan Hodges wrote.

    They are the image of what they pretend to oppose.

    Secret connections to Peter Mandelson's old lobbying firm and a plot to exploit the Milly Dowler fiasco and play "divide-and-rule" among Tory MP's, while smearing opponents of regulation.

    They speak of forging alliances with Right-wing Tories we "dislike and distrust" for tactical advantage.

    These people are as sinister as it gets.

    Swords of Righteousness? You'll eat those words, one day.

  9. Better than Murdoch, anyway. He has no mirror image. As it were, he casts no reflection.

    Oh, I am heartily sceptical about all of this. See the very start of this post.

  10. Pretty meaningless statement since anything is better than Murdoch. It's like pointing at a corrupt British politician and saying "at least he's better than Berlusconi". It's a contentless statement, so to speak.

    My point is that we're not being told the truth about why these people want to censor the press (the "Dowler Test" and phone-hacking stuff is all a carefully-constructed PR smokescreen, as the Hacked Off memo clearly shows).

    Labour was close to doing a deal Monday-until Hacked Off and Hugh Grant intervened.

    Their intentions should be investigated.