We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

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Samizdata quote of the day

If we had state regulation of the press, the BBC would be free to carry on recycling its establishment clichés. But newspapers would find themselves having to answer to the same sort of grandees that preside over the BBC. Is that really what we want to see?

Douglas Carswell

20 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Lee Moore

    That’s the whole point of the push for press regulation. That the unthinkable becomes unsayable.

  • CaptDMO

    Excuse me but, “If we had state regulation of the press,” it’s merely the natural sequence to disarming
    the little people.


  • RRS


    Anyone??? Any Two (or more)???

  • RRS, but we have no Milton but rather a jackanapes like Hugh Bloody Grant.

  • Paul Marks

    No it is not what we want to see – but it is plainly what Mr David Cameron wants to see.

    And he has not even got the courage to have the matter openly debated and voted on in Parliament – he (indeed all the party leaders in Parliament) are dragging in the Queen (to sign their “Riyal Charter” of control of the press) as cover for their squalid scheme of censorship.

    To abuse the Queen in this way is vile.

    They (the leading politicians) have a vile objective (control of the press) and they are seeking to carry it out in a vile way.

    If only the disgusting Max Moseley had not won his libel case (a case he would have won nowhere else on Earth) – then he would not have had the money to fund “Hacked Off” in the first place.

    “I see no Nazi connection here” said the judge – when speaking of prostitutes dressed up in pretend early 1940s German costumes (and on and on as they played with dear sweet innocent Max Moseley).

    Of course not – no connection with Hitler at all.

    Perish the thought.

  • Mr Ed

    Paul, Mr Moseley dd not bring a libel case, but a claim for an implied duty of confidence.

    The ‘Riyal’ Charter, obviously a typo for the ‘Riyadh Charter’ :-).

    And the Queen could make her displeasure known, but she will not, she is only obeying Convention. She is the last shield against tyranny, but she never seems to be raised.

  • RogerC

    My thoughts exactly, Mr Ed. For the Queen to be used in this way is indeed vile, but for her to let herself be used in this manner is every bit as bad.

  • Devine Brown (of Los Angeles)

    There comes a point where I just hope, however naively, that The Queen, when asked to get out her pen and sign this piece of crap, would turn to whoever and say, “Damn them, I am not signing this”.

    It is not going to happen, but if there is any kind of point to monarchy beyond decoration and symbolism, this is surely something that needs to happen. Why not just get rid of the concept of Royal Assent, since there is no chance that the monarch is going to not sign? It is a farce.

  • Lee Moore

    The Royal doesn’t get to give the Royal Assent these days, it’s done by a committee. And constitutionally she’s supposed to do what the Prime Minister says, unless it’s …..er, a seriously big deal and unconstitutional and so on. So she’s only going to let off her atom bomb if it really is a seriously big deal. And whatever you think of the current proposals for press regulation, there are a hundred bigger deals. (We’ve had your actual retrospective legislation from both major parties in the last ten years, which is at least in the top ten of no-nos in a “free society”.)

    Basically she gets to sack the Prime Minister if he refuses to resign, or call for a dissolution, after losing a vote of confidence. And that’s about it.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed.

    I apologise for saying that Max Moseley brought a “libel” case.

    However, I make no apology for believing that his case had no merit.

    The Nazi scumbag may sue me (or get the Marxist “Hacked Off” scumbags he funded, to sue me) for my opinions of he wishes.

  • Paul Marks

    I wonder if Mr Cameron understands that he (in his squalid censorship scheme) is working on behalf of the modern version of the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939.

  • Mr Ed


    There is a distinction in Mr Mosley’s case. A libel suit would require the publisher to show that the statement was not defmatory, defences being in the main, truth/justification, fair comment or vulgar abuse.

    Here the law of confidence was found to cover Mr Mosley’s legitimate expectation of privacy for his activities even outside of his contractual relationship. Wikipedia sums up the issues. Mr Mosley then sought to claim against the UK government for not implementing a mandatory pre-publication warning.

    His claim against the UK failed.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed.

    If Max Moseley had sued the prostitutes for violating their implied contractual relationship with him – he might have had a point.

    But he sued the NEWSPAPER – which has no contractual relationship with him what-so-ever.

    His case should have been thrown out on the grounds that he suit was against the wrong party.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way I think his case even against the prostitutes would have been weak.

    There are plenty of “kiss and tell” books by prostitutes.

    If you do not get people to sign nondisclosure agreements up front – this is what you should expect.

    But perhaps he had a case against the prostitutes – if one pushes the law to an extreme position.

    He had no case what-so-ever against the newspaper.

  • Mr Ed

    Paul: The Common Law position might well have been:

    It is an implied term in a paid for S & M session that the session is private (there being no written terms [which wouldn’t seem to be in at all likely]0, the law must invent the ‘officious bystander’ who, if he intervened at the point that the agreement was made to ask if there were to be any terms of privacy, would, hypothetically meet the reply from both sides, ‘of course’, lest at least one party make their excuses and leave. I would venture that to suggest otherwise is beyond reasonable argument.

    Therefore customer (and indeed provider) might well expect that their business dealings here would be private. I see no need to sign a non-disclosure agreement as the law is perfectly capable of ‘filling-in’ the terms where none are mentioned. It might be different if the particular provider operated in a greenhouse in a Soho garden, as it would be evident.

    The Common Law case against the newspaper might have been: (i) inducing a breach of contract (a tort) by encouraging those subject to the implied term of non-disclosure to breach that, and then acting for profit on that. If I paid a Cola company’s employee a fee for the recipe to their drink, I would face the same principle.


    There is also the question of the equitable duty involved, (Equity, the bastard parent of socialism) which can impose a duty of confidence, and following Eady J in Mosley, there is now, following the Convention on Human Rights, protection where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, even if there is no pre-existing relationship giving rise to an obligation of confidence. So if I spot a leading politician up to no good, the politician may seek an injunction in England and Wales preventing me from telling anyone, and may win if he has a reasonable expectation of privacy and if the other tests are met. This was a High Court case, so it is not binding on other courts, but the same judge tends to get these cases.

    The NotW did not appeal the Judgment as far as I know, perhaps for fear of a binding precedent.

    Mr Mosley sought, as FIA president, to represent motorists worldwide, but I don’t ever recall asking him to represent me or anyone else I know. I believe that the FIA asserted that right through the membership of motorists associations. The FIA does not pretend to represent pedestrians.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed – as I said there may be a case against the prostitutes.

    But there is no case against the newspaper – none.

    The law, the judge, said there was a case against the newspaper – he found against the newspaper.

    Therefore the law is an ass.

  • Paul Marks

    Some above argue that the Queen should refuse to sign this evil Police State measure – this de facto return to the licensing of the press that has not existed in England and Wales since the 1690s.

    I agree with you.

    But they I favour the sort of “checks and balances” type of monarchy that existed (that swine Walter Bagehot, third editor of the Economist magazine, helped destroy it – with his book “The English Constitution”) – it is a vital part of a “balanced constitution” that there must be some check on the elected politicians (and “there is a election every few years” is NOT such a check) just as there must be a check on the monarchy also.

    However, the sort of limited (as opposed to British style non-existent monarchy) that I favour exists only in places such as Liechtenstein.

  • Mr Ed

    Paul, the Common law would recognise that if you worked for an engine manufacturer and you divulged secret information relating to your employer’s business to a third party for payment from that third party, both you and the third party could face action from the manufacturer who employs you, you for breach, the third party for inducing breach.

    Here the law has been extended to impose a duty of confidence on a third party who receives information from you if the person exposed has a legitimate expectation of privact as a Convention right. This is a wholly-new extension of the law applying Human Rights laws to participation in orgies.

    The Battle of the Atlantic was fought so that men would be free, 72,200 men died in that defence of freedom, and now look at what we have.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed – there is no case against the newspaper.

    Mr Moseley may indeed have a “right to participate in orgies”.

    But I also have a right to say that he is a nasty, little Nazi shit. And to produce evidence proving my case to the public.

    I have a right (at my expense) to set up a newspaper outlining every bit of (true)gossip given to me about Mr Moseley.

    It would appear that those seventy two thousand and two hundred men died – so that Mr Moseley (and his tool Mr Cameron) can censor the press.

  • RogerC

    @ Lee Moore

    “The Royal doesn’t get to give the Royal Assent these days, it’s done by a committee.”

    Interesting! I didn’t know that. One of the reasons I keep coming to this site is that you tend to learn these little snippets of important detail that you don’t often see mentioned or discussed elsewhere.

    I suppose the logical follow up question is, who appoints the committee?