Thursday 7 March 2013

The Immediate Jewel of Their Souls

I have in my time been threatened with libel actions by not one, but two, of Fleet Street's finest, Oliver Kamm and Damian Thompson.

Each backed down, or more accurately shut up and went away, when, in an experience entirely new to both of them, someone, namely your humble blogger, pretty much said, "Bring it on, bitch." The links that Kamm demanded be removed from my blogroll are still there. Do please follow them.

Now, to serious business, which by definition can involve neither Oliver Kamm nor Damian Thompson. Libel reform is not lost. The Government just needs to accept the Puttnam Amendments. Why would it not?

The public prints could bellyache, but you can't have everything. If you want to be in politics, as the papers long ago decided that they did directly and in their own names, then you have to accept the need to compromise from time to time, and sometimes quite drastically.

Perhaps even better, like capping bankers' bonuses, press regulation, for which at least one working redtop columnist voted in the Lords, has never been put to a division of the House of Commons, with Division Lists published accordingly. Let them both be.


  1. Lord Lester, the architect of this much-needed Bill, has explained why Cameron is right to throw out Puttnam's disgraceful amendments.

    He, rightly, pinted out that "prior restraint" on what you can and can't pubish is used in only "a handful of former Soviet states".

    Lord Skidelsky (who clearly doesn't understand what free speech is) said the aribiter would ban ""things which may be true... but whose publication has no sufficient reason’.""

    So it has the power to ban the press from revealing that which is "true". And who decides what is "sufficient reason"?

    Who do these totalitarian thugs think they are?

    For once, I'm 100% behind David Cameron.

  2. It's this or lose libel reform. That's politics. The newsmen wanted to be politicians in their own right. Well, now they are. And this is how it works. It's a rough old game.

  3. Mr Lindsay, this is a much more serious issue than taking a partisan pop at media outlets that you don't like.

    It's an issue of liberty of speech-if our press can be banned from publishing true stories, because some "independent" (of who, exactly?) panel says they don't have "sufficient reason" to publish it, we're in totalitarian territory.

    This isn't a joke, or a Left-Right issue, or an anti-Murdoch issue. It's a free speech issue.

    You either support British liberty, or you don't.

  4. None of that has anything to do with my point. (It's hysterical nonsense, anyway. The wailing of spoilt children.) They wanted to be in politics, and now they are. The rules are different. They had better learn that pretty damned quickly, and it looks as if they are very shortly going to be taught it.

  5. It has everything to do with your point.

    And it isn't the media "wailing"-the author of this Bill Lord Lester, and the writers who support it, have all come out against these totalitarian amendments.

    Totalitarianism relies on idiots who think it's "hysterical"-conservatives know how to spot the unintended consequences that result from zealous world-reformers.

    You REALLY can't see what's wrong with requiring prior approval from a panel that can ban the publication even of that which is true?

    Don't tell me your that bitter and thick. I don't believe it.

  6. This is about what is going to happen politically, at least unless Cameron's horse-riding gets in the way. The hacks wanted to be in politics. And now they are. They have only themselves to blame. They should have stuck to what they knew.

  7. "They should have stuck to what they knew."

    What are you talking about? The New Statesman, the Independent, the Mirror and the Mail are all "in politics"? What are you on?

    I didn't mention hacks-I quoted Lord Lester and the authors who spoke out against Puttnam's Bill this week.

    What has your post got to do with a totalitarian 'prior restraint' law, that only exists in a cluster of the world's most corrupt ex-Soviet states?

    Do you have absolutely no respect for British liberty, the Bill of Rights, and everything we fought for?

  8. What are you talking about? The New Statesman, the Independent, the Mirror and the Mail are all "in politics"?

    Hell, yes!

  9. The law applies to all newspapers and to publishers and writers too.

    Skidelsky's new amendment would allow news stories that don't abide by "equalities law" (aka Political Correctness) to be censored.

    Totalitarian PC state here we come.

    And it's all proposed by the Lord who is a self-professed admirer of Oswald Mosley and close confidante of Max (he of the S&M orgies).

    You support this stuff? Get a grip, Dave.

    Thankfully, Cameron won't let any of this through.

  10. Then he'll lose libel reform. That's politics.

    And he really cannot appear once again to be too close to the Murdoch-Brooks stable.

    But don't be silly. None of these things would happen. Read them over.

    And even if they did, that wasn't my point.

  11. Well, all those who want libel reform, including the list of writers who wrote to the press this week, and the author of that reform Lord Lester, think Labour's amendments are disgusting.

    Labour have definitively proved they are happy for free speech to be curtailed by oligarchs.

    Otherwise, why else would they have deliberately sabotaged this much-needed, widely popular Bill?

    "That wasn't my point"

    I thought your point was that you backed regulation.

    Which would become a tool for PC censors, as we now s

  12. You just don't understand how politics works, do you?