World’s End Shouldn’t Cost Freedom of the Press

Guido has read the News of the World since he was a paperboy in West London over 30 years ago. Those who don’t read it think “The Screws” is all titillation, randy vicars and soap stars. It is that and also great popular campaigning journalism at its best, reflecting the concerns of people other than Islington Indy readers.

Politicians, the corrupt and evil feared it, today is a good day for them. Unfortunately when the drive to get the story crossed over into illegally hacking the phones of victims of tragedies, the good guys became bad guys. It has always been the case that the best stories often have a dubious legal provenance involving deception, subterfuge or law breaking, that is done to get at the truth that wrongdoers are hiding. Investigative journalists everywhere, including this blog, do it because it is the only way to get the truth. Using the dark arts to sell more newspapers with ghoulish tales is, as many have said, disgusting and unacceptable.

Momentum is building for press regulation, politicians of all parties are keen to tame the feral press. Public opinion is shifting towards them. This would be a mistake. The rich and the powerful in this country would like nothing better than to have a craven and beholden press. In many countries this is exactly what they have and ordinary people are worse off for it. Privacy laws are a trojan horse for censorship.

Privacy from intrusion by the state or journalists who break the law by stealing photographs, hacking, climbing over the wall into your back garden, that should be protected. Privacy laws should not be a means to hide embarrassment for those who can afford to hire Schillings. That way lies an untouchable ruling elite.

In the end Murdoch closed the News of the World because he feared an advertiser and consumer boycott (plus to try take the heat off the Sky takeover). If you disapprove of a newspaper don’t buy and read it. That is simply the most powerful restraint you have on newspaper proprietors in a free democracy. Even Rupert Murdoch fears his customers.

Restrictive press laws will be circumvented in the borderless internet age, however Guido would rather not have to try to expensively fight the good fight from permanently offshore. Meantime Guido wishes both his friends and enemies at The Screws the best of luck for the future. Oh, and thanks for paying the kids’ school fees.



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

GuidoFawkes Quote of the Day

David Cameron tells MPs after voting:

“Wouldn’t miss this for the world. Secret ballots very important. Remember the Chartists.”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

ANTI-FRACKING PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE WANTED TO WORK FOR FRACKERS ANTI-FRACKING PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE WANTED TO WORK FOR FRACKERS
Crick Gets Paxo’d Crick Gets Paxo’d
Cameron’s Secret A-List Cameron’s Secret A-List
Corrections and Clarifications: Brooks Newmark Corrections and Clarifications: Brooks Newmark
What is Wrong With the Lobby? What is Wrong With the Lobby?
Arrogant Bercow: “I’m Not Going Anywhere” Arrogant Bercow: “I’m Not Going Anywhere”

GOVERNMENT SHELLS OUT FOR PHOTO OF DEAD ZEBRA GOVERNMENT SHELLS OUT FOR PHOTO OF DEAD ZEBRA
DWP Press Office Wins the Internet DWP Press Office Wins the Internet
Two-Faced Chuka Ruins Labour Attack Ad Two-Faced Chuka Ruins Labour Attack Ad
Cameron Mauls Miliband at PMQs Cameron Mauls Miliband at PMQs
Actual Pub Landlord Likes Farage Actual Pub Landlord Likes Farage
Dave’s SNP Poodle Zinger Dave’s SNP Poodle Zinger
GREEDY SOLAR INDUSTRY WANTS MORE PUBLIC CASH GREEDY SOLAR INDUSTRY WANTS MORE PUBLIC CASH
This is the worst thing the LibDems  have ever done This is the worst thing the LibDems have ever done
CLIMATE CHANGE FUELLED MOSQUITOES ARE NOT COMING TO GET YOU CLIMATE CHANGE FUELLED MOSQUITOES ARE NOT COMING TO GET YOU
ORDNANCE SURVEY OPENS UP DATA MAPPING TREASURE CHEST ORDNANCE SURVEY OPENS UP DATA MAPPING TREASURE CHEST
“I’d S**k Off David Cameron” “I’d S**k Off David Cameron”
WATCH: Cameron Heckled By Pensioners WATCH: Cameron Heckled By Pensioners
WATCH: Gove v Campbell WATCH: Gove v Campbell
Politician dumps his wife over sexy selfies Politician dumps his wife over sexy selfies
UKIP PROTESTERS ORGANISED BY GREEN LOBBYIST UKIP PROTESTERS ORGANISED BY GREEN LOBBYIST
You’ve Been Cricked! You’ve Been Cricked!
He’s Not Dancing Anymore He’s Not Dancing Anymore
Miliband’s Hedge Funder Hypocrisy Miliband’s Hedge Funder Hypocrisy
NATIONAL TRUST CLAIMS CLIMATE CHANGE IS “BIGGEST THREAT” NATIONAL TRUST CLAIMS CLIMATE CHANGE IS “BIGGEST THREAT”
GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE IN SICK NAZI CANCER SLUR GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE IN SICK NAZI CANCER SLUR
TRANSPORT MINISTER BELIEVES ROADS WILL SELF HEAL TRANSPORT MINISTER BELIEVES ROADS WILL SELF HEAL
Who’s Telling Porkies? Who’s Telling Porkies?
Fascists in Fancy Dress Fascists in Fancy Dress
VIVIENNE WESTWOOD DUMPED BY GREENS VIVIENNE WESTWOOD DUMPED BY GREENS