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Press freedom lives another day

Earlier today the Press Gazette reported,

Guardian distances itself from ‘anti-press’ Data Protection Bill amendments which would exclude title from paying punitive legal costs

Peers’ Section 40 amendments to the bill, which would see publishers pay both sides’ legal costs in data protection disputes, win or lose, have been slammed by many publishers as “anti-press”.

Guardian News and Media has said it has written to all MPs making clear that it disagrees with “attempts to impose a selective sanction on the media” ahead of a Commons vote later today.

MPs will vote on an amendment, tabled by deputy Labour leader Tom Watson, this afternoon.

As it stands, news organisations signed up to a state-sponsored regulator – currently only Impress – would avoid the cost penalties.

You did read that right. Tom Watson’s amendment to Section 40 would have meant that newspapers refusing to join Max Moseley’s pet* regulator Impress would have been liable for costs when sued for libel even if they won the case. In recent years the Guardian has not often lived up to its name. But I am glad to note that even they balked at such blatant perversion of the justice system.

In the event Watson declined to put his amendment to a vote, and Ed Miliband’s less shameless but still repressive amendment regarding a second Leveson enquiry into press regulation was defeated.

Perhaps that’s the end of it, perhaps not. This monster has been apparently killed before but did not stay dead. I do not know what stage of the horror movie we are at.

*Impress is funded by Mosley. As is Watson.

9 comments to Press freedom lives another day

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    I felt it worthwhile to put in a comment to my own post saying that malign though Mosley’s influence now is, he became such an enemy of press freedom because he was treated appallingly by the News of the World. I am not against the press being brought to account for that, for phone hacking, and similar invasions of privacy. But that can be done by existing law.

  • Paul Marks

    I am pleasantly surprised that the Guardian newspaper has taken a relatively (relatively) pro Freedom of the Press position.

    As for the vile Max Mosely and his PAID stooge Tom Watson – no further comment on them is needed. But I will mention Ed Miliband – as I happened to see his wild, histrionic, speech in defence of DESTROYING what remains of Freedom of the Press.

    The totalitarian Jeremy Corbyn is no mystery – his path to the leadership of the Labour Party was set (intentionally or not) by the proto totalitarian Ed Miliband.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    The Guardian naturally wants to be able to express any opinion it likes, and the next government might not be so left-leaning as May’s!

  • Bruce

    They have “run it up the flagpole”: More rude noises than salutes, so, back to the “drawing board”, for a few tweaks before another “launch”. Same-old, same-old; and the punters STILL vote for these creeps. Again and again.

  • The Guardian naturally wants to be able to express any opinion it likes, and the next government might not be so left-leaning as May’s!

    If this had been a joke rather than a statement of fact, it would have been funny 😡

  • The Guardian naturally wants to be able to express any opinion it likes, and the next government might not be so left-leaning as May’s! (Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray, May 10, 2018 at 2:39 am)

    Although you may well have a point, Nick, be aware that it is also a point to us. The more often a lefty thinks, “Hang on a sec – that might one day be inconvenient to me!” – and thereby recapitulates the history of how free speech and toleration came to be the English-speaking norm – the better. Fear (that their own rules might be turned against them) may be the beginning of wisdom for many a lefty. Whenever a lefty realises that they spent…

    “8 years weaponizing the Federal Government only to hand it over to Trump”

    …then let them.

    Lord Turntippet, in Scott’s Heart of Midlothian, who has “Sworn a’ that had tae be sworn, and abjured a’ that had tae be abjured, and taen all manner o’ tests” is the Scottish version of the Vicar of Bray. Both comically record how the 1500s and 1600s in the UK saw government demand oaths and declarations, and then, at increasingly short intervals, demand the opposite oaths and the reverse declarations. This experience did much to spread the idea that freedom might simply be easier and make more sense.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Sorry you weren’t Impress-ed, Perry. So I should give up my second night-time career as a serious social commenter, and try to make jokes?

  • bobby b

    Next up: if you buy four tickets to the Judges’ Retirement Fund Benefit, you won’t be liable for traffic fines and code violation penalties.

    Buy eight tickets, and you get two free assaults, or one free negligent homicide.

  • Sorry you weren’t Impress-ed, Perry. So I should give up my second night-time career as a serious social commenter, and try to make jokes?

    It is a bit like The Onion… ostensibly humour but often one can read their articles after a few years have passed & it turns out to be prescience rather than comedy 😳

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