Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Leveson report day

by ceebs Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 07:46:10 AM EST

yesterday at midday the first copies of the Leveson Inquiry report were delivered to David Cameron. Over the next period, at 8:30 this morning the political oposition leaders recieved their copies, and at 11:00 am today core participants were allowed locked in access to the report.

At 1:30 Uk time the judge will present the report with a short statement, he's not then taking questions orholding a press conference. and at that point the report will be available from the Inquiry website.

At 3:00 David Cameron will be getting up and making a statement, then approximately an hour Later Nick Clegg his coalition partner is also getting up and making a statement,  which is an interesting  event.

Rumours are that the full thing is roughly 2000 pages long,although there is a shorter summary copy.

More will be here once the report is available

Will the Leveson Report Be David Cameron's Downfall? - The Daily Beast
It's been a long-running nightmare for Prime Minister David Cameron. When the phone-hacking scandal broke in the summer of 2011, Cameron is reported to have told his closest aides, "don't let me launch a public inquiry." But with public outrage mounting at the number of victims and an alleged cover-up, and then the intense combined pressure from his Liberal Democrat partner, Nick Clegg, and the leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband, Cameron was forced to announce a wide-ranging, judge-led examination of the relationship between the press, the public, police, and politicians. Suddenly the ties between Britain's political class and its powerful media moguls came under a searching spotlight.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 08:02:53 AM EST
Leveson report calls for new press law | Media | guardian.co.uk

Lord Justice Leveson has recommended the introduction of the first press law in Britain since the 17th century - proposing that a statutory body such as Ofcom should take responsibility for monitoring an overhauled Press Complaints Commission.

The proposal - made despite the fierce opposition of Fleet Street to the introduction of statute - is designed to reassure the public that newspapers are subject to an effective and independent regulator to prevent a repetition of phone hacking or other scandals.

Leveson said that his proposed new law would enshrine "for the first time" a "legal duty on the government to protect the freedom of the press". It would also allow the new body to set up a low-cost libel and privacy tribunal to handle complaints instead of the courts - and provide "benefits in law" to those who signed up. Those who do not sign up would be denied the ability to reclaim the often substantial costs of litigation - even if they win - from complainants bringing libel, privacy or other media related actions.

In the 56-page summary to his 2,000-page report, Leveson said that the purpose of legislation was "not to establish a body to regulate the press". But he warned that if newspapers were not prepared to join a revamped PCC it would be necessary to force Ofcom to act as a "backstop regulator".

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 09:29:52 AM EST
"sign up" - are they talking about media outlets saying they are submitting to the will of that specific body, with the benefit that they'll pay less if they win?
by Number 6 on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 10:07:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The proposal is to create a low-cost arbitration court for libel and privacy cases, so the publishers cannot hide from complaints behind onerous legal costs.

And those who do not sign up to this "voluntary" low-cost arbitration court are told that they cannot bill the plaintiff for their lawyer-hours if they win a libel or privacy suit.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 10:26:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Victims saying they feel betrayed have letters from Cameron he will back report unless it's Bonkers

It plainly isn't

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 11:46:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your friendly neighbourhood sourpuss, inspired by Claudd Cockburn, suggests that we should imagine the worst possible set of proposals to be implemented as "reasonable compromises".

A conservative no-regulation govt is hardly gonna jump at the chance of upsetting their paymasters. Far too many of them like penning epistles from time to time waffling away on their favourite hobby-horse for a grand a pop (or more - tax free) for them to risk doing anything that fleet street imagines it might dislike.

Public be stuffed - this will be a typical Establishment stitch up

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 11:51:38 AM EST
Was it a quarter of a million a year Boris got for what he described as half an hour's work each Sunday?
It's not what you know ...
by Number 6 on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 11:58:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, Cameron wants the press to regulate itself (as it has in the past) -- that'll work.

Labour says 100% Levenson.
Clegg glances nervously at his boss and says, well maybe just a teeny weeny law?

Leveson report published - live coverage | Media | guardian.co.uk

Labour are hugging Clegg close on this issue, reckons James Forsyth of the Spectator:

James Forsyth @JGForsyth

Ed Miliband nodding at Clegg comments. Balls not heckling. Harman hugging Clegg close in her response. Moment of Lab Clegg reconciliation

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 11:57:43 AM EST
Leveson report published - live coverage | Media | guardian.co.uk
Stephen Fry

It would seem David Cameron's address is no longer Number 10 Downing Street: it's now Flat 2, Rupert Murdoch's arse. #leveson

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 12:02:20 PM EST
We've been betrayed by David Cameron | Steve Coogan | Comment is free | The Guardian
The report is good enough. Lord Justice Leveson has produced a fair and non-Draconian set of recommendations that simply cannot be knocked back into the middle. The acknowledgement of politicians' cosy relationship with certain sections of the press, and of the press's cosy relations with the Metropolitan police, is welcome. So, too, is his assertion that certain members of the public have been understood as "fair game, public property, with little if any entitlement to any sort of private life ...". But the key is the fair and intelligent recommendation that future self-regulation must be underpinned by law.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 05:16:58 PM EST
We must have statutory regulation - and liberation - of the press | Head of Legal

If you're interested in legally minded reports about how the press should be regulated, then there's something you should read before tomorrow. Sir David Calcutt QC's 1993 Review of Press Self-Regulation is worth another look, nearly twenty years on.

In 1990, Sir David chaired a committee on privacy and related matters, which recommended a toughening of the press's self-regulatory regime, and the creation of a "Press Complaints Commission". It also said that, if the press failed to demonstrate that non-statutory self-regulation could be made to work effectively, a statutory tribunal should be established. The press, in other words, should be given one last chance to regulate itself properly - a recommendation that led the then Heritage Secretary David Mellor to say, famously, that the press was

drinking in the last chance saloon.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 09:56:25 AM EST
The Last Chance Saloon seems to be like The Resturant at the End of the Universe. It never closes.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 01:30:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As Private Eye's Hislop sensibly says here, what is needed is the application of existing law.

To make that work, the CPS needs a) human resources to rapidly assess potential legal infringements, b) an independent body to report those suspected infringements to the CPS, c) journalist whistleblowers must be protected.

The independent body of observers should include a wide range of skills, including editorial. The views of the public also have to be tracked. The independent body process should be as transparent as possible, but clearly there has to be security for whistleblowers.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:38:22 PM EST
I think Ian is playing a little fast and loose with reality.

the libel law is out of reach for most people and one of the biggest problems is that tabloid newspapers are just as, if not more, fond of traducing little people than they are the rich and powerful. Largely I suspect, because little people can't afford to get redress via the courts.

He cites the example of Christopher Jeffries, saying the attorney General could have stopped what happened. No, he couldn't, because Jeffries reputation was torn apart for public sport before he'd even been arrested.

He's right about the non-existent enforcement of laws, but nobody knew about phone hacking for a dozen years. During that time the newspapers were involved in a lot of nasty business where the PCC were wholly on the side of the papers in an unholy alliance against the victims of their behaviour.  

Ian may not like the Aunt sally solution he and the rest of the press complain about, but none of them are willing to take on board that the PCC solution is a busted flush. We can't return to that situation of self-regulation, they have demonstrated time and again ad nauseam that they cannot be trusted to regulate their own affairs.

so government must. Nobody likes it, but the papers hve only themelves to blame

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 01:39:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the Calcutt report 20 years ago after the last avoided attempt to regulate the press

We must have statutory regulation - and liberation - of the press | Head of Legal

The press having tried to regulate its Mellor problem itself, Sir David reported to Mellor's successor, Peter Brooke, that (summary, para. 5)

The Press Complaints Commission is not, in my view, an effective regulator of the press ... It is not the truly independent body which it should be. As constituted, it is, in essence, a body set up by the industry, financed by the industry, dominated by the industry, and operating to a code of practice devised by the industry and which is over-favourable to the industry.

and that, in the two years since the first report (summary paras. 8-9),

Nothing that I have learned about the press has led me to conclude that the press would now be willing to make, or that it would in fact make, the changes which would be needed.

Accordingly, I recommend ... that the Government should now introduce a statutory regime.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 05:32:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Leveson - "clear evidence of misreporting on European issues" « Business for New Europe Blog

For those interested in the European debate, Volume 2, pages 687 and 688 of the Leveson Report make for interesting reading. Lord Justice Leveson said, "there is certainly clear evidence of misreporting on European issues." On a story in the Daily Main reporting an apparent EU ban on plastic bags, he commented that it "was based on a deliberate or careless misinterpretation of EU proposals..." (9.54 below)

On misreporting of EU issues in the press he said, "the cumulative impact can have serious consequences. Mr Blair explained that the misinformation published about Europe by some parts of the press made it difficult for him to adopt particular policies or achieve certain political ends in Europe that he might otherwise have done." (9.55 below)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 01:08:39 PM EST
Now we know! It was the Press that tied Tony's hands.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 02:00:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Very Public Sociologist
While it is bad form to second guess the motives of politicians, it is funny that things have a habit of becoming a point of principle if it means seriously challenging the interests one is, or was, close to. Like many Tory frontbenchers and government outriders for the 'no statute' position in the days leading up to publication, Dave is refusing to back up regulation of the press by legislation. Apparently, it would be "too complex", it would be a lever by which future unscrupulous politicians could force censorship on the press and, of course, a regulatory body backed by statute would end 300 years of free speech and turn Britain overnight into a Stalinist hellhole, like the brutal dictatorships of Ireland and Denmark.

And so Dave will be immediately meeting with the other party leaders to look at ways of getting the press to sign up to his preferred "independent, self-regulating authority" (a non-sequitor if there ever was one). Sadly for Dave, his attempt to kick this embarrassing and uncomfortable episode into the long grass is unlikely to succeed. EdM's reply in the House (statement) makes it clear that Labour is for the full implementation of Leveson's recommendations. Interestingly, Cleggy has retrieved his spine from down the back of the Coalition sofa and backs an independent regulatory body underpinned by statute. With Labour and the LibDems, sundry Tories, and the small parties arrayed against Dave, if EdM forces a vote he could well be hit with a double whammy of a split party and Coalition, and a humiliating defeat at the hands of his increasingly prime ministerial-looking opponent.

As a whole, Leveson did not go far enough. While welcome, the disgusting behaviour of the press is not an outcome of poisonous newsrooms nor an amoral culture that afflicts journalism. They are symptoms of a deeper morbidity - the concentration of media ownership. As the press have become increasingly beholden to the profit-taking proclivities of their respective barons, business models have emphasised downsizing and churnalism. It's easier, and cheaper, to print made up scare stories about that week's folk devil, or regurgitate celebrity gossip pulled from the internet. The press, except on very rare occasions, will not invest time in long-term investigations of the rich and the powerful because, according to their model, easy cash can me made from littering your paper with that Friday's wardrobe malfunctions. It is also no coincidence that press standards have been on the slide since the effective breaking of union power in the newsroom.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 06:43:15 PM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]