Friday, 30 November 2012

Freedoms compromised? Leveson report

Disagreement between Nick and Dave
It could be argued that we've reached one of those great turning points in British political history, one that will be debated by politicos and Historians for decades. We had one a few years ago when the virtually unknown Nick Clegg implored the Labour Government to suspend the Summer recess so that a full investigation into the expenses scandal could be carried out. Real change and legislation could have been brought in.

But it wasn't.

As Nick Clegg said in his statement yesterday, there is a balance between the freedom of speech and of an independent press and that of the individual. It cannot be argued with that the Press have behaved atrociously including hacking voice mails, bribing Police officers, rummaging through celebrity's bins and behaviour comparable to stalking. This has to stop.

I (predictably) agree with Nick that we need to side with the victims on this and need to act.

Parliament failed to do this with expenses, they cannot fail to act again.

I'm not talking about a hasty knee jerk action that would see state control of the media on the Cuban or Stalinist model, rather along the lines that Lord Leveson has suggested. I understand concerns of an attack on the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press but self regulation has not worked and the press complaints committee has no teeth.

Under Leveson's suggestions there would need to be legislation to create the independent body and to maintain it's independence. Hardly state control.

There will also be a able to breach the code IF they can prove it is in the Public interest i.e. the Telegraph rumbling the Expenses fraud in Parliament.

We mustn't now prevaricate. I, like many people, am impatient for reform. We owe it to the victims of these scandals, who have already waited too long for us to do the right thing says Nick

No more last chance saloons says Ed Miliband.

The Prime minister needs to get a grip and realise what is going on and listen to what the people want. Change is needed and careful steps that follow the Leveson blue print would really make a difference. I don't understand his prevarication on this subject - the course is clear. Yes to freedom of the press and speech but yes, always yes to the freedom of the individual and these suggestions are the best way to reach the happy medium and it is up to parliamentary debate to make sure that any legislation is well thought out and reaches this medium for the real term benefit of us all.

To not act, as Parliament did when the nation was rocked by expenses, is to fail, to break the promises that were repeatedly made at the dispatch box and to perpetuate this broken system. People are losing faith in our Politics and Governing systems, this Coalition was meant to restore faith and only the Libdems appear to be listening to the people - time for the Conservatives to wake up and smell the coffee on this too.

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