Harman is No Champion of Press Freedom

Guido can’t find Harriet Harman’s “first major speech on the future of the media” trailed in any other paper besides this morning’s Guardian. Apparently Ed Vaizey’s DCMS shadow is declaring that she is “going to be a champion of press freedom”:

Before her first major speech on the future of the media, Harman claimed there was a clear consensus around these principles, and last night challenged editors to put forward practical proposals. “I think it would really help Leveson if newspaper editors came forward with a solution. We have had a good scoping of the issues, but now it is time for the editors to lay their cards on the table. They need to propose the solution, rather than have one imposed upon them.”

All this has come as a bit of a surprise to a source with knowledge of the Shadow Culture brief. Guido hears whispers of a meeting last Monday (January 16) where Harman had to be talked out of  supporting the state regulating the press. Just nine days ago Harman was openly advocating imposing the very solution that she derides today. Add to that her track record of trying to censor the tabloids and Page 3 plus her past support for extreme political correctness suggests the idea of her being some sort of champion for free speech becomes risible… 




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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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