LibDems on the Fence: Murdo-phobia v Press Freedom

It could not be a great matter of state without the LibDems sitting on the fence. Yesterday they briefed the FT:

“In spite of the party’s liberal heritage, Mr Clegg’s team say the vast majority of Lib Dem MPs would support Leveson if he says that independent regulation must be underpinned by law to make it fully effective.”

However this morning team Clegg is in full reverse ferret mode:

Overnight it emerged that the Burns/Blunkett letter had cross party support, also Ming and Hughes have been making plenty of noise on the issue. Interestingly the party’s leader in waiting, who is not a man adverse to regulating, has been rather quiet. The last time Vince Cable said anything interesting about press regulation was when he had been at the sharp end of a sting. After his complaint about the secret ‘war on Murdoch’ recording by Heidi Blake, then of the Telegraph, was upheld by the PCC, Vince said:

“I’m delighted with the findings which fully vindicates the complaints I and my colleagues made to the PCC. It’s very rare the commission comes down so clearly and we are very pleased with the outcome. It was important this was established by an independent, respected and reputable body.”

Will Cable and the rest of the LibDems be voting to keep regulation “independent” or will their Murdoch phobia overcome their liberal anti-statist, pro-freedom traditions?



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GuidoFawkes Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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