Why I voted No last night on the press

 

           I believe in press freedom. There are laws of libel and laws against phone hacking to protect against press excess.  All those of us who have suffered from false stories or have had our phones hacked  know what it is like to be on the wrong end of it. In my case I would still rather than live in a society where the press can take on people and institutions in power, even if they sometimes get it wrong, than in a society where those in power regulate the press.

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165 Comments

  1. Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    It is a pity there are not more MPs like you. Yesterday was not a good day for the British Parliament. It was a day too when the BBC showed off their new vast & very expensive news headquarters in London. This tax funded broadcaster boasted that its new headquarters was the biggest in Europe and employed 2000 journalists – more than Fleet Street newspapers put together. This juggernaught is crushing other news outlets to death and has been very feeble in defending press freedom. Do we want the over funded BBC to be the only news outlet for if it is allowed to go on growing at the present rate that is what we will end up with?

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Indeed do we want the over funded BBC to be the only news outlet and an outlet mainly just spraying the nation with quack green “science”, over tax, over borrow and waste, lefty, pro government, pro NHS and pro EU drivel.

      It seems Cameron certain does. After all he appointed Lord Patten to the trust and it matches the Cameron “heart and sole” agenda when judged on his actions so far.

      • Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        Do not forget the £100 million overspend that the taxpayer coughed up. The BBC is too big, too bias and bust of all morality following the Saville scandal. This needs sorting out more than News Corp- where are you Vince? The UK does not need a government state broadcaster.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      It’s funny that the press will be regulated when anyone who wishes can opt to not buy one paper in favour of another, but the BBC gets to sit in judgment on itself and you have to pay for it on threat of imprisonment even if you don’t watch it and favour another provider.

      The press are openly partial. The BBC pretend to be impartial. I have no problem with the BBC being partial, it’s the nature of the industry, but it’s dishonest to claim they are impartial. Why aren’t they subject to this totalitarian mechanism in its embryonic phase that will crush our press.

      • Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        Indeed the bias of BBC is one of the main problems of the UK. It set the wrong absurd agenda and mood to the whole nation. Cameron’s failure to stand up for a free press will be an even worse disaster, but very typical of the man alas.

      • Posted March 21, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Not likely with Cameron appointing Lord Patten of all people is it? He cannot even organise sensible contracts and pay offs with the new DGs. Lord Hall looks pretty dreadful too mainly used to working at the BBC and spending others money on “the Arts” it seems. Yet another Oxford PPE graduate. He does not even seem to think BBC employees should be selected after a proper advertisement and selection process I learn.

        Over payment at the BBC is often at least 3 times the market rates. Higher still with pensions considered especially in very cheap Salford. Perhaps 100,000 licence fees needed to employ just one daft, lefty, pro EU, quack green, arts graduate. As that seems to be all they actually even employ.

        • Posted March 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps Cameron will get a job there in 2015?

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      As a small step towards abolishing the Licence Fee the government could stop paying for TV Licences for people over the age of 75 and simply exempt them from the requirement to have one.

      This would save the taxpayer a small fortune.

      • Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        That’s a seriously good idea

      • Posted March 21, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        And everyone else too. But Cameron will want them on side to Campaign “heart and sole” to stay in the EU, so he will keep them sweet and on side.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      What News outlets is the BBC “crushing to death”? Sky News and other media networks aren’t showing any signs of bankruptcy and the BBC doesn’t compete with any newspapers.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      @Liz: “This tax funded broadcaster boasted that its new headquarters was the biggest in Europe

      No they did not, they said it was the most up to date, as it would be seeing that it is brand new – and as for size and people employed, just how many people work for BSkyB+News Corp, and have you seen the size of their BSkyB studio complex…

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      Well done JR, now change sides for a Tory party with different policies from the rest and join UKIP.

      The three main parties are exactly the same loony left socialists, ranging from left of centre Dave to loony left Ed. Cleggy swinging somewhere in the between the two depending which way the wind blows and where the EU wants him to be.

      • Posted March 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Certainly Cameron is well to the left of centre and quite clearly wrong on the heart and sole EU, quack greenery and tax borrow and waste. We might as well have Miliband, what is the difference? At least with Miliband he might be replaced with someone better (after Labour finish making a pigs ear of the country again).

  2. Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    good on ya

  3. Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    What cannot be denied is that libel is, like most litigation, a remedy for those rich enough to be able to write off their and their opponent’s costs if it goes wrong. There has to be a realistic remedy for the small man.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      So that’s the problem with Leverson.

      People aren’t suing because lawyers are a closed shop, drives up the price, to the benefit of the lawyers, not the rest of us.

      So Cameron asks a lawyer for a solution, and, wait for it, he suggests more lawyers.

      • Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

        Indeed the productive are being suffocated, by a huge parasitic government and over priced pointless lawyers creating jobs for themselves.

        • Posted March 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          You need to answer how landlord are ‘productive’ and how rent and property speculation adds to the economy before you start talking about parasites.

          • Posted March 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

            Landlord are productive as they provide a service of properties to rent just as a car hire company provided cars and an equipment hire company does for equipment.

            People seem to want to rent them no one is forcing them to. People need to live somewhere if they are to be productive. Their accommodation is as vital as the machines they need at work to do their jobs.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      It’s gotten worse since you can no longer get legal aid if you’re defamed. So newspapers can defame the poor with impunity because they’re unlikely to be sued.

  4. Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Thank you Mr. Redwood. It won’t make any difference but it is good that there are still a few MPs with some remaining integrity.

  5. Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Good, you were right.
    As far as I can see, most of the things that the media did, and which are being complained about, were already offences under current laws which simply weren’t enforced.
    My only thoughts are that the existing laws, particularly the law of libel, should somehow be made more accessible to the ordinary person rather than being the preserve of the rich.
    Otherwise. there’s nothing wrong with the status quo.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      I second this comment!

      • Posted March 19, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        I agree

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      You might ask yourself why the police were not enforcing the laws and why the politicians were not asking the police to enforce the laws.

      There may have been collusion between some people in some newspapers and some policemen, and there may have been agreement between some politicians and some people in some newspapers that acceptance of improper practices would be exchanged for favourable publicity.

      The one group that I think were definitely not being considered were the voters, the ordinary people of this country. This legislation will give them more of a voice.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      The way the libel laws work is actually far too tough on the press already. As we saw with Robert Maxwell and many other crooks.

  6. Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Well done, we need far more like you. But would people like you ever join the Tory party at all nowadays, with the Cameron type leadership, the EU suffocation of democracy and the candidate selection systems that pertain.

    Would you even go into politics at all today, or even stay living in the UK?

  7. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Well done, this arrangement looks a nonsense, especially the unconstitutional attempt to bind future parliaments. As with the Climate Change Act of 2008, this is likely to be seen as a foolish piece of legislation unduly influenced by self-appointed pressure groups (in that case ‘environmental’ groups, in this case Hacked Off). I assume all the ‘No’ votes were Conservatives?

  8. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I see Cameron’s weakness was highlighted once more as I predicted. Sending Letwin to negotiate is akin to hoisting the white flag but I suppose Cameron got to bed early. I am pleased to see that you stood by your own views along with 12 others.

  9. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Well done! I totally agree with you.

    Even though the Press get things wrong at times and sometimes attack the wrong people their freedom is part of our freedom, and our freedom has now been diminished.

    Yet more sound and fury from Cameron resulting in surrender. Our future has just got bleaker.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry, he’ll negotiate a really good deal for the UK with regards to the EU in time for the referendum…….only joking.

      zorro

      • Posted March 20, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        It’s always a good idea when you walk into a car showroom or when you’re buying a house, to make it clear to the seller that you’ve already made up your mind (your heart and soul) that the car or house in question is definitely the one for you.

        Once that has been established, you can commence the haggling process.

        Oh, and if you are selling a huge quantity of precious metals, be sure to telegraph your intentions to the market ahead of time so that the buyers can make sure they’re ready for you – it’s just common courtesy.

  10. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I applaud and support your position on this issue.

    This so-called charter is yet another sinister development in the suppression of dissent and opinion because it provides politicians with the tools for control of the media. That is the intent of its authors and sponsors. I am glad to see that The Spectator has taken a principled stand on the issue. I hope the rest of the newspaper and magazine industry joins them in opposition. I write as someone who also, many years ago, was libelled by a national newspaper and sought and achieved redress through the established laws of the land.

    • Posted March 20, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Overnight I have one further thought. The manner in which this proposal was pushed through has some remarkable similarities to the progression of climate change legislation. A single issue pressure group prevails on the Labour party to take a line, more or less writes the terms of the proposal, is in the room with the party leader when it is settled while the other side (Conservatives) sit outside the door, entering only at the last minute, thereupon it is presented as a near unanimous agreement. The only difference is that this time 12 MPs voted against, compared with the 3 who voted against the Climate Change Act.

      The consequences can be only bad. Let us hope that the press makes its stand and refuses to play ball.

  11. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I am surprised.
    This presents a massive opportunity.
    First of all we can complain (for free) about the BBC which has a website which is permanently biased towards the left. I consider that “Thingummy Addresses the Nation” is quite enough to go on. A million pound fine ought to do the trick and a public apology on the 10 p.m. news on TV.
    Then we can abolish Labour List and Left Foot Forward. Both are quite political and write nasty things in the comments which I do not want my daughter to read. Another million pound fine and a public apology from Mr Miliband in PM Question Time ought to be exemplary enough.
    At the moment, I shall not be complaining about your blog which is, of course, run as a business in my own opinion, for what it is worth.
    And I shall be working in close collaboration with Dame Lucy.

    • Posted March 20, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      I fear Common Purpose are well ahead of you on this front.

      I hope all the press tell the politicians to get lost. I don’t see why various celebrities who are collectively peeved at being exposed as kerb crawlers or whatever should be allowed to end free speech.

  12. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Just a small point about terminology. No one has had their phone hacked. People who are too stupid to protect their voicemail with a 4-digit code have had their voicemail accessed by people who just inputted the default number. These people are the 1-2-3-4 dimwits.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, the phone hacking was a smokescreen for what the rich and powerful seek…

      zorro

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      If you’re going to talk about terminology then what the press calls hackers should really be called crackers, as they cracked people’s password. By contrast hackers are programmers who use their coding abilities to modify programs.

      • Posted March 20, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        Setting their passwords as 1234 or not even bothering to have one did them no favours so much for ‘cracking’.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Umm, it’s still illegal for someone to enter your house and have a good rummage even if you have left the door unlocked or a window open. Too many journalists were up to illegal activities and it will be proper and fitting that some of them will end up in prison, along with anyone else (e.g. policemen) who aided and abetted them. The problem was not lack of regulation, it was that so many people at the heart of power were corrupt and getting away with their illegal activities.

  13. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Thanks for supporting freedom and democracy. However, the State’s attempt to control the independent media, where representatives of the three socialist corporative parties and selected pressure groups decide to legislate on media freedom in the leader of the opposition’s office, once again, shows we have a LibLabCon One Government.

    • Posted March 20, 2013 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      @Winston Smith: But some who complain about this Royal Charter do not want an “independant media”, they want a right-wing media. Also it has to be pointed out that UKIP are were they are today because of the regulated media -equal time all all that, had it been left to the unregulated press UKIP would likely have succumbed to the same fate as Veritas etc, so actually UKIP have a lot to thank media regulation for…

      • Posted March 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        A free press Jerry, holds the Government to account whether it is right or left wing.
        So your comment that those who are anti “Levinson” just want a right wing controlled press isn’t correct in my opinion
        PS
        UKIP (like the Liberals) get a very reduced coverage in comparison to the main two parties if you look at the number of votes they get.

        • Posted March 21, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

          Edward2: “A free press Jerry, holds the Government to account whether it is right or left wing.

          But they don’t, hence why a major multi-platform media company have light bulbs with a party leader face superimposed on to it with a very biased comment about turning out the lights on the front page of their national tabloid newspaper for example. Oh and as for your comment about the UKIP and the LDs, they get (regulated) media coverage in accordance to their share of the vote, not in spite of it, but my point was that they might never have got any media coverage had it not been for a regulated media. I seem to recall that ever the Natural Law Party once had a Party Political Broadcast once, ‘nought said…

          A “Free Press” isn’t necessarily unbiased, a regulated press isn’t necessarily ‘Free’ but the latter is more likely -in a democracy- to be unbiased. Please don’t mix up a Unbiased Press with a Free Press.

          • Posted March 21, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

            Yes I would agree with much you say Jerry.
            Im not so certain that one or two anti Labour papers really changed the course of an election, and it wasn’t long ago that the Tories got very bad press before an election.
            I would just add that we have a wide range of newspapers magazines TV, radio channels and web, so it is possible to choose one that suits your own political bias.
            The BBC and other TV channels do have a charter etc, but I don’t think they are controlled as much as the press may become if this new regulatory scheme becomes empowered.

  14. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    The problem is not the press taking on people and institutions in power, when there is something like equality of arms.

    One problem is the press disparaging and harrassing ordinary people who lack the means to effectively defend themselves against the might of a newspaper.

    Another problem is the press deliberately setting out to influence public opinion on the basis of claims which are untrue and not allowing any adequate responses to correct the falsehoods.

    My prediction is that if we ever get an “in-out” referendum on the EU then supporters of an “out” vote will be shocked and dismayed by the false propaganda for “in” that will appear in more or less all of the national newspapers day after day during the campaign, and it will be no consolation at all if corrections and retractions appear some time after polling day because there will be no way that an “in” result will be overturned on the basis that some newspaper readers may have been misled.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Dennis, you credit the media with too much intelligence. The media is now, more than ever, a tool for influencing opinion and voters. This is why so many left-wingers are pushing for an ‘independent’ State regulator; they know they can ensure their placemen or ‘common purpose’ comrades will be appointed, just as they are on every board of quango and State funded organisation. Journalists are easily bought and influenced.

      The issue of harassing ordinary people is a smokescreen. When this has happened, the press have just been used by State organisations, especially the Police, who leak information to hacks. It is all about who controls the message.

      At the moment, the elite cannot control blogs on the web. This is the biggest threat to their network of control. This is why the most popular blog, which exposes the hypocrisy, conyism and corruption of the elite has to be based abroad.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Actually, judging by what I have seen, most of the false information spread about the EU is from newspapers who want the UK to leave the EU.

      I expect that to continue if there ever is a vote on leaving the EU.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      And what makes you think that the EUarchs will pay the slightest bit of attention to our referendum? They will dismiss it as “Populism” in the same way that the Argentinians dismissed the Falklands referendum.

  15. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    That freedom is carefully controlled here though given the amount of comment you refuse to publish here for daring to be critical of your opinion.

    Reply I do not stop anyone expressing an opinion different from mine – I delete unchecked external site references and all possible libels on individuals.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      You comment is awaiting deletion.

      ” I delete unchecked external site references and all possible libels on individuals.”

      Why did you delete my comment about the difference between men and women? It had no hyperlinks and mentioned no individuals.

      Has Mr Cameron asked you to toe the PC line?

      Reply: because I wish to avoid the row that could ensue over misleading generalisations about the sexes.

      • Posted March 20, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        test.
        My bird falls off her bike because she turns the front wheel to the left when she starts leaning to the right. She will not accept my explanations about centrifugal force.

  16. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    So why no amendments?

    Here’s the text of one, with lots of precedents

    Parliament shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  17. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Agreed.
    However, when the press do get it wrong. If they do so using a full front page splash. They should be compelled to apologise with a full front page splash. Not the two or three lines tucked away on page 26.

  18. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I think you were right to vote against press regulation by the government.
    The Labour still hasn’t forgiven Murdock and the LibDems want to prove they can work with Labour but there is no reason for a Conservative to vote against press freedom.
    That said I often find the behaviour of both the, unregulated, press and the, regulated, broadcast media to be outrageous. So the onus is on them to behave.

  19. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Well done John for taking a stand.

    zorro

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more!

  20. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    I thank you for defending the freedom of the press. This is a shameful day I never thought I would live to see in England. The lamp of Liberty has been dimmed.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      I trust you also objected when broadcasters were similarly regulated.

  21. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Glad to hear it. I’m tired of every government regulating new things constantly instead of just making the legal system cheap and accessible to all. It’s fixing the wrong problem.

    More importantly, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see the new body hassling certain papers on every little thing whilst giving others an easy ride. Further when a given paper causes discomfort for those in power I can imagine them putting pressure on to go over past cases and find grounds for big fines or the like in the way past editors have been hassled by the police of late.

  22. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I don’t see how any MP should have been asked to vote on this Royal Charter, the ink wasn’t dry on the document nor did either of the three front benches really understand the legal fine print so how could anyone else. If this Royal Charter ever comes up for review I assume that those against it will also be arguing for Ofcoms role in broadcast regulation to be revoked?

    That said, it really is a pity that this issue is still hogging the limelight this morning, I mean, how can it be right that relatively low earning families, those in receipt of tax-credits [1], will be loosing their child care vouchers but at the same time families that are earning £149k pa plus (149k X 2 wage earners) will be given up to a £1,200 cash back tax refund. Once again the real “striver’s”, those who are actually trying to make good, the squeezed middle, are being penalised by this government for trying top do the right thing! People earning £150k+ pa do not need help paying for child care, if money is tight then perhaps they should go without their new 40″ 3D Flat screen TV, the 7.1 audio system and their Sky HD gold-card subscriptions…

    [1] once again this might actually tip some people over the benefits cliff

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      So I take it that you think the rich should pay for all your wants, but get nothing in return?

      • Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        I thought you claimed that benefit should be a safety net, not an entitlement.

      • Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        @Nick: Thanks for proving my point, that the rich do not like the boot being on the other foot! Why should the state pay for the rich and their 40″ Flat Screen TV’s etc. – what I’m arguing for is a level playing field, not one inclined one way or the other…

  23. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you John. It is sad, indeed shameful, that so few MPs share your concern for liberty.

  24. Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Spot on John.

  25. Posted March 19, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    If you believe in Press Freedom, Mr Redwood, why did you moderate OUT my comment re poverty?

    I mentioned, relative poverty in particular and our MPs should address the poverty within the UK before worrying about poverty elsewhere!

    You are not practicing what you preach about freedom of speech and you are beginning to resemble the poorer standard of politician we are subjected to these days. Snap out of it and put your Country and its citizens before any other considerations. I wonder how long this comment will remain open.

    • Posted March 20, 2013 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      His blog, his rules. You can’t do everything you want in someone else’s house.

      You can always write your own blog.

      • Posted March 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        I think you have missed the point. You should eat more Shredded Wheat, it is better for you.

        Rules? If an MP blogger is going contradict his own principles then there really is no hope for the country is there?

        There is no point in having my own blog because I am a mere pleb, a nobody who lives in the back streets and therefore do not count. Except, at every General Election.

        BTW, my post has been re-established but “moderated” because I wrote the truth and what I felt personally. And it was “clean” with no BBC Anglo-Saxon in it.

  26. Posted March 19, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Thank you and congratulations.

  27. Posted March 19, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Cameron promises:

    Cameron promised a ‘bonfire of the quangos’. Another failed promise. He created another one today to control what the press and internet can say. So politicians can rewrite the facts to suit their truth. Ministry of Truth as Peter Lilly called it. Why was Hacked Off allowed to negotiate? Could Taxpayers Alliance help Osborne to sort out the budget?

    How about the NHS scandal where 1200 people were killed, no inquiry despite highly paid quangos and inspectorates. More important than phone hacking, this was about revenge from MPs about their sordid behaviour and their sordid political parties. Not good enough.

    Cameron promised a Lisbon Treaty referendum. Instead we got EU emission targets to force the UK to have windmills and higher electricity bills and devastate industry further.

    Cameron said he would control immigration, his last stance was open the borders to all Indian students.

    Tax reductions for married families but instead gay marriage rammed through on a mandate from the EU.

    Cameron said he would cut taxes and spending on a 80%/20%. 299 tax increases and no substantial spending cuts. No change to IHT that Cameron promised in his manifesto.

    Unfunded tax cuts cannot be allowed. In stark contrast unfunded spending to the tune of £158 billion a year is alright. And still there is no need to substantially cut welfare, overseas aid or the EU budget.

    EU steals from the savings of UK Citizens, at Germany’s behest, and Osborne uses taxpayers’ money to compensate- so we are paying twice for the EU theft.

    JR, Cameron is a lost cause. The Tories need to wake up to the fact because the public already has.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      It’s common for the Government to consult with various groups on proposed bills. In this case Hacked Off was consulted because they represented the victims of phone hacking.

      Speaking of the NHS scandal it seems that Sir Nicholson lied to parliament when he claimed that he didn’t know Gary Walker was a whistleblower.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9787829/Sir-David-Nicholson-admits-misinforming-Parliament-over-whistleblower.html

      Cameron is planning to cut taxes for the wealthy; such as reducing the 50% tax rate to 45%.

      Finally Cyprus’ plan to tax saving accounts was rejected by the Cypriot Parliament, so the UK won’t have to pay for it.

      • Posted March 20, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Uni,
        Hacked off were not just consulted, they were uniquely in the room when the decision makers were debating their final deliberations whereas representatives of the major publishers were not.
        This should not have been allowed, in my opinion, as their views were already well known.

  28. Posted March 19, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    JR wrote: There are laws of libel and laws against phone hacking to protect against press excess.

    But they do not protect the victims.

    Even a rich man (may-ed) not recover his legal costs despite winning his case (in the UK courts). How many of us could even afford to commence a libel action?

    Furthermore, in (one rich man’s case-ed) case an award of damages is hardly compensation for the breach of privacy he suffered because a Google search will still reveal the nature of the acts he (any anyone) reasonably expected not to be in the public domain.

  29. Posted March 19, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Bravo. I regret there are so few like you in parliament.

  30. Posted March 19, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Good to see you stick to your principles.
    Still no good answer to the old question – Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    Maximum openness and transparency seem the best approach.

  31. Posted March 19, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Well said Dr Redwood. Your voice is one of moderation.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      @Max Dunbar
      “Your voice is one of moderation.”

      You’re not kidding!

  32. Posted March 19, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Indeed, there be laws in place to which the press are subject.
    But, how to frame a law whereby wrong stories are put right to the same extent ? – front page bold headlines if applicable.

  33. Posted March 19, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Well done JR !

    I watched the closing stages of the debate and was impressed by Jacob Rees- Mogg’s contribution.
    To see speakers referring to a document with’ DRAFT’ printed on every page and then to hear that there was a majority of 517 makes me want to give up on all those [including my MP] who voted in favour.

    As J R-M pointed out there had been no proper consideration of the paper -everything was being rushed through to get it off the agenda.

    The cross party congratulations were particularly odious and oleaginous.

    Sadly the PM in summing up was trying to jump on the bandwagon and claim credit for the action being taken.

    Act in haste repent at leisure

  34. Posted March 19, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    As explained in a novel based on 29 years ago

    Press laws – Good
    Press freedom – Ungood (Definite contender for Room 101)

    Welcome to the Ministry of TrueLuv

    What foresight!

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      Oddly most people on this blog have the following views:

      Broadcaster laws – Good
      Press laws – Ungood

      Yet can’t explain why why it’s fine to regulate one but not the other.

      • Posted March 20, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        It’s quite straightforward. The largest broadcaster is funded by a tax. It thereforet needs to be regulated in an (unsuccessful) attempt to make it impartial. Other broadcasters do not need and should not be regulated (except in the technical sense of available wavebands), but are because having the BBC regulated and others not would displease the BBC and a state which under all governments likes to accumulate more and more power.

        Newspapers are different. You don’t yet have to pay for a newspaper you don’t like, although I am sure the Guardian is working on it.

      • Posted March 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Because Uni, there will now be very different and very much more powerful legal constraints and controls on news publishers in comparison to say the BBC and other TV stations who have some simple guidelines on decency and impartiality
        The law of unintented consequences will develop gradually and legally over the years into a much more controlled press and internet.

  35. Posted March 19, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    According to the DM, the final negotiation on the terms of the Royal Charter were ‘negotiated’ on behalf of the PM, late Sunday night by the PM’s ‘mainframe computer’, Oliver Letwin in Ed Miliband’s Office where “Labour politicians in attendance included Mr Miliband, deputy leader and media spokesman Harriet Harman, her special adviser Ayesha Hazarika, former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer and Labour chief whip Rosie Winterton. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg was also present for most of the discussion.” Evan Harris and “other Hacked Off members at the talks were co-founder Professor Cathcart, who lectures in journalism at Kingston University and is former deputy editor of the Independent on Sunday; Martin Moore, who founded the group and its predecessor, the Media Standards Trust; and chairman Hugh Tomlinson, QC, a barrister specialising in media law who has represented phone hacking victims.” Representatives of the MSM and the blogosphere were not present (JR not invited).

    ‘Sources’ claimed that Mr Letwin only made ‘tiny’ concessions. “I will only include that amendment if you give me another KitKat”.

    “In my case I would still rather than live in a society where the press can take on people and institutions in power, even if they sometimes get it wrong, than in a society where those in power regulate the press.” Once again JR is a very small minority of MPs who oppose the creeping erosion of our liberties on the onward march toward the creation of a European wide police state.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      What a pseudo-marxist stitch-up with a token wet Tory! How can ayone still think so-called Conservatives are making decisions? Labour are still dictating the agenda.

      • Posted March 19, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Frankfurt School rules OK…….I guess.

        zorro

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Forthurst–TVM for your advice which I shall try and put in to effect with a neighbour guru soonest. But puzzled why the changes, at which I repeat I most certainly did not connive because wouldn’t know how to begin, happened synchronously with John’s changeover. Apart from the spellchecker, and as I have said, I and others can no longer see our own submitted comments prior to moderation. Not to go on, but if the latter is down to something at my end, how come I clearly remember John saying that, so far from unmoderated comments being effectively deleted, it would become possible not only to continue seeing them (as I used to be able to do) but also for us to refine our own comments before John found time to get to them. And why not? The initial efforts would just become drafts to everyone’s benefit including John because people might calm down after reflection so he would have less reason to have to get out his red pen

      • Posted March 20, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        Leslie, the behaviour of this blog has changed with regard to the visibility of unmoderated comments; to allow for editing of such would require significant additional logic with security implications. I don’t know the reasons why the the cookies including that for the privacy settings do not have extended currency beyond the time of access. This would appear to be preventing the visibility of old unmoderated comments, but I can’t be certain. That is all under the control of the blogmaster.

  36. Posted March 19, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    John,

    You’re a good man. Pity there’s only 11 of you. It’s still a terrible event but it could have been worse.

    Is this a genuine authoitarian/tyrannical/totalitarian [delete as appropriate] movement from those on the green benches who are fed up of having their sticky fingers looked at, or has the whole Hacked Off malarky been a smoke screen so that the UK complies with the EU’s regulation of the press?

    I genuinely don’t know.

  37. Posted March 19, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    We can now see how political correctness will be imposed on the press by self-censorship. The critical element, conceded by Mr Letwin at a late stage, is that third parties will be able to complain officially about a story they are not involved in, provided the complaint is not “frivolous or vexatious”.

    For instance, writers and editors will know any story that identifies anyone’s nationality, race, religion, political affiliation or minority sexual activity is liable to result in a complaint. If it is a major front page splash, any decent editor would probably take that risk. But writers and editors will not take that risk for lesser stories in their paper. They might well win but it is just too much hassle, diverting people from their job over something that they might not think important enough to justify the time and trouble involved.

    As a result, they will just leave out any element or any lesser story that is liable to result in a complaint from some lobby, charity, trade body or challenge and rebuttal office.

    Plenty of work, after all, for all those media studies graduates. Any group that does not have, or cannot afford an instant challenge and rebuttal system will be the loser. It will be open season on them (within the existing law). So be warned.

    And who will decide what is “frivolous or vexatious”? Members of a committee who, via a tortuous chain, ultimately come from the public appointments system , for whom political correctness is a box that must be ticked.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      “The critical element, conceded by Mr Letwin at a late stage, is that third parties will be able to complain officially about a story they are not involved in, provided the complaint is not “frivolous or vexatious”.”

      That is only a ‘tiny’ concession according to ‘sources’. All the adverse news stories will be about normal English males (etc ed), ie much like now only more so. Cameron and Letwin need to be removed without delay.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      “The critical element, conceded by Mr Letwin at a late stage, is that third parties will be able to complain officially about a story they are not involved in, provided the complaint is not “frivolous or vexatious”. ”

      Thank you for pointing this out. This has all the fingerprints of the cultural-marxists. Falconer and Harman, what a surprise! They now haev most of their plan in place. The Police, the Equality Act and now the Media.

      • Posted March 19, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps an apology taken as much space as the original accusation might concentrate their minds…..

        zorro

      • Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        You do realise that in defamation lawsuits it has always been possible to sue the publisher of an article that defamed you even if you weren’t mentioned. An example would be misreporting that a married man was having an affair. Even if his wife wasn’t mentioned in this article she has still be defamed by it (implying that her marriage has failed is libel) and can sue for damages.

        Sadly those ignorant of the law seem to see conspiracies everywhere.

        • Posted March 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          The point you are missing Uni, is that anyone who feels someone else is defamed can make a claim of hurt under these new proposals.
          At the moment you have to be connected just as you say in your example.
          A subtle but huge difference which will eventually lead to thousands of vexacious claims against the press when someones feelings are hurt.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      Disallowing “frivolous or vexatious” claims is standard practise in defamation lawsuits and judicial reviews. There’s also a large volume of judgements and guidelines to explain what constitutes “frivolous or vexatious” claims by third parties, so it will be easy to determine whether these claims should be disallowed.

      I’m guessing that you don’t understand what this means outsider as it’s designed to protect the press from lawsuits that have no chance of success and was most likely added at the request of the press.

      • Posted March 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Uni
        There was supposed to be a similar scheme for weeding out frivolous industrial tribunal cases but that hasnt stopped the number of hearings growing from a low level a few decades ago to the huge industry it is today.
        We can only hope these new press regs don’t end up the same.

  38. Posted March 19, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Thank you John.

    As a blogger I note that, almost as an afterthought, blogging has been included in this charter. I would not now suggest that anybody starting to blog does so under their own name or is hosted by a UK provider and that is a dreadful thing to have to say about your own country.

    Meanwhile the BBC, whio are state owned, continue, as 28 gate proves, to lie and censor in a way which is, factually, a total vitiation of their own Charter but which the “independent” Trust appointees, all drawn from the ruling class, and the legasl authorities are wholly unconcerned about. We must expect thei new Charter to be run with precisely the same level of honesty.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      But now you’re in the fold, you will have to follow Pravda/BBC

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Neil, this solution you mention:

      “I would not now suggest that anybody starting to blog does so under their own name or is hosted by a UK provider and that is a dreadful thing to have to say about your own country.”

      It will not protect you. Under English Law, anything accessible in the UK is deemed to have been published in the UK, regardless of where the printing presses or the servers are. So for example an Australian blogger, with American servers, could find that he is the subject of a disciplinary procedure in the UK. And as he is unregistered, he becomes immediately liable for all the expenses incurred by the plaintif, regardless of the merit or the outcome of the case.

      This is iniquitous and unworkable.

  39. Posted March 19, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    The press is one thing, what about all the other myriad of organisations that can tap telephones and intercept a person’s communications quite legitimately? At the last count, it stood at 700 and something.

    I see that councils are still going ahead with their excessive snooping, and dossier-keeping, despite the government’s promise that such things would be curtailed. And I have it on good authority that the police themselves routinely intercept telephone calls without just cause or legal authority. This place is a snooper’s paradise, a cesspit by any other measure, to equal the worst former communist eastern European satellite state!

    What does it say of a state machine that is so paranoid, it needs to keep an eye on their people’s every move?

    We need the press to be unfettered in order to report such abuses.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Posted March 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      And the worst thing about it is that the State is manifestly incompetent. All of this snooping is so that the blind can lead the sighted.

    • Posted March 20, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      You need to provide some evidence of your paranoia. Telephone intercepts are regulated by strict laws. A fixed line telephone is this country is very safe.

  40. Posted March 19, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Section 4 of the Royal Charter:

    “1. For the purposes of this Charter:
    a) “Regulator” means an independent body formed by or on behalf of relevant
    publishers for the purpose of conducting regulatory activities in relation to their
    publications;
    b) “relevant publisher” means a person (other than a broadcaster) who publishes in
    the United Kingdom:
    i. a newspaper or magazine containing news-related material, or
    ii. a website containing news-related material (whether or not related to a
    newspaper or magazine);
    c) “broadcaster” means:
    i. the holder of a licence under the Broadcasting Act 1990 or 1996;
    ii. the British Broadcasting Corporation; or
    iii. Sianel Pedwar Cymru;
    d) a person “publishes in the United Kingdom” if the publication takes place in the
    United Kingdom or is targeted primarily at an audience in the United Kingdom;
    e) “news-related material” means:
    i. news or information about current affairs;
    ii. opinion about matters relating to the news or current affairs; or
    iii. gossip about celebrities, other public figures or other persons in the news.”

    When does ‘news’ or ‘current affairs’ become history and therefore outside the scope of this censorship? If history become part of a current controversy, does it become ‘current affairs’ when it doesn’t relate also to someone still extant? When is an ‘opinion’ liable to be the subject of a successful reference? Where in this Charter is any mention of ‘Good Faith’ as a reasonable defence against fines? Item iii) is simply saying that anything published about anybody comes within the terms of the legislation since publication would make anybody ‘in the news’.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      “… does it become ‘current affairs’ when it does or it doesn’t relate also to someone still extant?

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      That’s the get Guido Fawkes clause.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      If “current affairs” is not defined by charter or statute then if is for the courts to decide. I suspect the definition is anything the press is currently talking about, therefore journalists can’t claim something is historical to circumvent these regulations.

      Also listing which material is subject to regulations isn’t censorship.

      • Posted March 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Uni
        Lawyers are going to be really busy with all this exrta work very soon.
        More work than the employment tribunals and the human rights act combined.

    • Posted March 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      It appears that this blog will fall into the net. Royal Charter fees tend to be expensive and the running of this one looks like a ‘charter’ for lawyers fees.
      The lunatics in charge of this asylum must be gibbering with pleasure.

  41. Posted March 19, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you, John, for your principled vote against this excrescence which serves to undermine fundamentally one of the pillars of a free society.

    I wish people would stop going on about victims: there are criminal laws, have been for some time, which were not used, and nobody asks why.
    I wish people would instead ponder if under these new laws editors would dare to report another Mid Staffs, or MP expense scandals, or ponder if we’d actually have been allowed to inform ourselves on the non-science of cliamte change, and the infamous Climate CHange Act this led to.

    In view of the Cyprus debacle, I wonder when we see the re-introduction of D-Notices, so that future governments can more easily govern us like the uniformed hordes of peasants of the Middle Ages.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      Nothing in the regulations would prevent any of the things you mentioned being reported. You’re just scaremonger, rather than providing anything likely.

      • Posted March 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        There is no need for any regulation in this area. All it needed was for the police to enforce the existing criminal law.

  42. Posted March 19, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Well done John, more power to you. Wish many more of our “representatives” were more like you. Bravo.

    • Posted March 20, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Hear! Hear!

  43. Posted March 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I would very much like to see the press engage in a mass boycott of the new arrangements, although it would take only one or two papers to see individual advantage in “boycotting the boycott” for the whole thing to collapse. In any case, it is highly likely that the response of the establishment would be that the press was yet again showing contempt for the rule of law and a callous disregard for its victims and hence, having failed in the very last chance saloon, should be subject to compulsory statutory regulation. At that point, it is game over for the printed press and the motives of the establishment would be totally laid bare.

    “Disaffected” neatly sums up the achievements of Cameron. I would have been ready to have forgiven some of Cameron’s abject failures and seen him in a new light had he, having grandstanded on Thursday, stuck to his guns on this issue. Of course, true to character he yet again disappointed and confirmed himself to be a jellyfish. My wife’s friends have a brilliantly funny and apt description of such a man but, being somewhat anatomical in nature, I won’t repeat it here as you would doubtless refuse to print it.

  44. Posted March 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Well voted.

    What a state of affairs that an “organisation” liked Hacked Off can be treated with such gravity and not challenged.

    Do we want a media like France has (albeit it used to be much worse)?

  45. Posted March 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate your stance on free speech – as has been said there are laws in place to prosecute against phone hacking etc and regulation more often than not has the unintended effect of muddying the waters and making something relatively simple into a big beast.

    What concerns me is that given the fine detail with this I wonder how many MPs who voted actually understood what they were voting for?

  46. Posted March 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    These days parliament puts into law so much legislation that does not do that for which it was intended and/or is used by state organisations in an inappropriate manner. This Royal Charter is not going to be any different and is going to have unintended consequences. Already the freedom of expression and speech is under attack this latest legislation will finish the job. It will not be long before comments like this one will be banned.

  47. Posted March 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Well done Mr.Redwood. Its good to know there are few people left willing to stand up for liberty in Britain.

  48. Posted March 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Well done. Frightening legislation particularly with regards to bloggers and tweeters etc.
    Chris Bryant (MP Rhondda Lab.) pointed out at the beginning of the debate that MP’s had not been provided with details of the bill, and even ministers seem to be completely unsure how this bill will affect the internet. What a mess!
    The Gillard government in Australia is also trying to pass dreadful legislation to control the press, which will hopefully fail.
    The safeguards supposedly in this legislation could easily be overturned by the next Labour administration. The blogosphere must fight this.

  49. Posted March 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, John.

    What I would like to see for libel law is something more suitable for the small individual along the lines of a small claims court.

    Perhaps the claimant might be asked to put up 5% of the maximum amount he might want to be awarded (with some maximum amount to ensure he can put his claim through the small claims court) and then the defendant takes a view on whether he is prepared to dispute the claim or seek to settle.

    Legal involvement would be kept to an absolute minimum.

    Of course, there would be no support for this because neither lawyers nor newspapers see anything to be gained … but it would serve to redress the balance a little.

  50. Posted March 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Nice one.

    Personally, I think it’s shocking that we seem to have totally changed the way free speech works on the back of a 2am meeting, and a few “simple” clauses inserted at the last minute into a couple of other bills.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      I think you are overlooking the judicial enquiry and the several months of discussion that preceded the 2am meeting.

  51. Posted March 19, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    You’ll get no argument from me on this subject, and I also echo the previous comments on the BBC, it needs the wind taken from it’s sails.

  52. Posted March 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    If my fence was low enough I would sit on it , however good fences make good neighbours and i would not want any of my community speculating and intruding on my private life.This should be the same for the gutter press.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      It is apparent that John and team are happy to regulate but not be regulated. It is only a short time ago since JR commented that he would not publish difficult comments.
      Free press/ freedom of speech theoreticlly is a fine principle , if the priciples of respect, dignity , confidentiality also are taken into account. Potentially hiding something is not a reasonable justification for abusing rights.As far as I am concerned I could quote Tennyson ” And all my heart lies open to thee” but what would they do to purity and honesty?

      Reply I have no team – I do this blog myself. I do not have time to run risks with personal allegations about people- there are newspapers with researchers, investigative journalists and lawyers if you want to do that.

  53. Posted March 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Well put JR, but the result is still a travesty. The death of free speech is now almost complete.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      Yes it must be hard work looking at text and subtext by yourself. You obviously understand that ,what is said, meaning what is said , understanding what is meant by what is said, is open to misinterpretation. I however have no ulterior motive other than a philosophical interest in the way people express themselves in relation to certain problems they encounter in life.
      This type of communication as a business venture is set to replace paper.

  54. Posted March 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    All that is needed is an arbitration service for libel. Certainly not for arguable opinions or political correctness. The can of worms has now been spilt.

    During the debate, copies of the proposals were not even distributed to MPs. The details of the criminal aspects of the Bill were unknown. The extent of the codes are unknown and controlled by a body operating in secret.

    All brought about because of schoolboy standard intrusion by low end journalism.

    Reply I had copies of the “manuuscript amendments” and the draft Royal Charter

  55. Posted March 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Well done John, congratulations. Shame we don’t have a 1st amendment . . .

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      You’ve forgotten about the human rights act, which incorporates the ECHR into UK law. As a result free speech is guaranteed.

  56. Posted March 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Very well said.

  57. Posted March 19, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    John,

    As this will only affect press regulation in England and Wales, why is no-one kicking up a fuss about Scottish Labour and Scottish Lib Dum MPs and NI MPs voting on it? Their vote could make all the difference as to whether this goes through or not just as their vote made the difference when tuition fees were introduced in England which would never have got through without them.

    When is someone going to have the guts to speak out against this affront to our democracy and the undemocratic manner in which England is governed?

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Needless to say, I’m with JoolsB on this. We are as one. It is a bloody outrage.

      • Posted March 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        In principle I entirely agree. In practive though it seems that only eleven MPs voted against, so it’s mostly our own MPs who are the enemies of free speach. We should remember who they are at the next election and make sure we vote for none of them.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. They’ll be having their own vote north of the border – and we won’t be allowed a vote on that, will we?

      The Irish also have their own press laws. So why are they allowed to vote on English press regulation?

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      Given the huge majority this bill passed with even if these MPs hadn’t voted the result would have been the same.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Not forgetting the SNP MPs to rub salt in the wound.

  58. Posted March 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Well done Mr R for making a stand, but it’s a pity many more MPs didn’t make the stand with you. It appears your partners will do anything to keep their nose in the government slot including colluding with Labour. Together, just imagine the damage they will inflict upon this country, Labour did enough on their own with the Lib Des it will be mayhem. That is why I dispair at Mr Cameron’s refusal to hold a referendum before the next election, which would secure a Conservative government if it were over and done with. I don’t think many are fully aware of the danger we will be in with these two parties at the helm. The press question too, is again, a dangerous situation, if they are curtailed like it appears them may be, it will become more dangerous for us the public to know what’s going on. Of course that suits Socialist very well, secretive goings on. I think we are now at a precipice of danger coming from the left, with the support of the Lib Dems, perhaps it is time for the Conservative party to meet UKIP and play Labour and Lib Dems at their own game. Take the gloves off before it’s to late.

  59. Posted March 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Well done Mr. Redwood MP.

    You were outnumbered, but maybe that’s because you have nothing to hide ?

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      No, I think he was outnumbered because he is obviously wrong. It’s a least a possible explanation.

  60. Posted March 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m delighted you did with others, the ‘The Band of Brothers’. There is great danger ahead, sadly most people can’t see it or don’t think they will be affected by the change. But we cannot behave as if the Enemies of Freedom are reasonable people, they are not. The Hard Left and their useful idiots, the Rich and Powerful, prima donna Celebrities are together people haters, they want to be untouchable in the pursuit of their various selfish objectives.
    That is they hate us, the ordinary, the lowly, the downtrodden, because we are in the way, and at the moment we get to to know too much, but now they can believe ‘not any longer’. But we have brains just as good as theirs and we can still think for ourselves.

    One day we must act though, because they are not listening. The walls of Jericho fell, the Berlin Wall fell, others will too.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      … only after decades of murderous oppression, Pranglewizard.

  61. Posted March 19, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Thank you – and thanks to the others who voted with you – for voting No last night.

    I was shocked and shaken by the events of Sunday and Monday. Despite the many mistakes by political leaders during the past twenty years, i never dreamt of them descending to this here.

  62. Posted March 19, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Clearly it is the Left that want press censorship more than the Right do – hence the internal letter that came to light from Hacked Off, “We must get the Right to act with us no matter how much we might dislike them.” or to that effect.

    The BBC will not be subject to such censorship. Why not ? Because its output is Leftist.

    This is an attack on freedom of speech against people who disagree with the Left. Hacking was merely the pretext by which the final nail in the Left wing coup was hammered home.

    Without the Right wing press the traditionalists within the Tory party have no outlet and are finished completely.

    A press which holds politicians to account is of no use when politicians control its output.

    It’s over.

    You may as well give up now, John.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Having a right wing press that supports right wing parties and is written for right wing people is of little benefit when most of the population isn’t right wing.

      The BBC is already subject to these regulations because it’s a broadcaster and the new laws are designed to regulate the press in a similar way.

      The rest of your claims aren’t supported by any evidence.

      • Posted March 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5 – Firstly you are right. There aren’t many right wing people in this country.

        (So why do you insist on calling us – and our press – right wing ?)

        Secondly: The proof is in the amount of newspapers sold to those of ‘right wing’ persuasion. Numbering in their millions.

        Thirdly: If this press is truly right wing then where is the support for the BNP. Numbering only in tens of thousands ?

        You’ve won.

        There is no need for you to come here anymore. Or me for that matter.

    • Posted March 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      I forgot to thank you for your efforts.

      Thank you.

      • Posted March 20, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Addressed to Mr Redwood and not Uanime5 whom I quite like as a person but to whom I don’t wish to offer thanks at the moment.

  63. Posted March 19, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for taking the brave stand on this crucial issue.

  64. Posted March 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Well done Mr Redwood. We now await the consequences, particularly the unintended ones. I can hear the lawyers rubbing their hands at the prospect of all that extra work, to follow the Human Rights windfall. The genie is out of the lamp, we have lost a free press and handed everything to the mouthpiece of the Socialist parties: the BBC.

  65. Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Right on! The Huffington Post got it right: What is need is not more regulation but a police force that is ready, willing and able to enforce the criminal law.

  66. Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, a while back I wrote on your blog that Germany had precipitated every single Eurozone crisis since 2008 and invited you to go back and check the dates of publications and German utterances.

    Now we have a perfect example of Germany precipitating a crisis in Cyprus and I would very much hope that you look into this. Germany cannot be allowed to continue to terrorise member states for German economic gain.

    Thank you for your principled stance in yesterday’s shoddy proceedings.

  67. Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t read all the above comments so I am not sure if the following has already been suggested. Instead of the new semi legislative muddle (by the way – well done for voting against) all that is needed is a special public fund available for anyone who has been defamed and wishes to sue the press but lacks the funds to do so. The laws are already in place and the judges can decide as they do now for the rich who sue.

  68. Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m certain you have been on the back end of bad and cheap press aimed at you many a time. Your stance may even foster more with the emotive stance of some others who have also suffered. I admire the stance you take as I expect many others chose the easier option. Well done!

  69. Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Regarding complaints about the press – do they include the sports pages?

    The reports about say an Arsenal vs Newcastle football match often very different in the Newcastle edition as opposed to say the London edition. Will exiled Geordies and Gunners be able to complain about the reporting of their team’s efforts?

    Will shareholders in a company be able to complain if a newspapers runs negative stories about that company but not its competitors?

    Similarly if a newspaper runs stories about tube delays but ignores traffic jams on the M4 near Heathrow will parties affected have a right to complain? A motorist could argue that if jams on the M4 are never reported (oddly enough because the press tend to be anti rail and pro road) then the M4 will never be widened!

    Has this legislation really been thought through?

  70. Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for standing up for what you believe

  71. Posted March 19, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks Mr Redwood for standing up for the freedom of the press. I am proud to have you as my elected representative. What a pity there are so few other politicians with your courage and integrity.

  72. Posted March 20, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Appreciate the position you took and those who voted with you.

  73. Posted March 20, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Spot on John, as long as we can have a remedy that is fast and efficient and cost free when the media cock it up, I am very happy with press freedom. Lets see how things go.

  74. Posted March 20, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Interesting top hear what all these guardians of freedom have to say about file sharing and how that should or should not be regulated. Not to mention net neutrality,and ISP’s restricting web traffic and even banning certain sites. In the next few years this will all become very real and UK laws will not apply.

  75. Posted March 21, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Prior to Blair this crazy step would not have been contemplated, let alone possible. Where does this end, Mr. Redwood? Your utterly disgraceful mis-leader once again distinguished himself as (unhelpful-ed) to England. Now perhaps he can become head of the BBC & simply write it the way it most pleases.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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