March 18th, 2013

POLL: Is This Statutory Underpinning?

All sides are claiming victory this morning, with the exception of the press. Given that the concessions were reportedly made by Letwin in Ed’s office, in the wee hours, just hours before the prospect of a Commons defeat, the Tories are starting the spin battle from the bottom of the hill. Maria Miller insists Dave has won and that there is no statutory underpinning:

“There is no statutory underpinning for the approach that we are taking. There will be no statutory underpinning. What we’re talking about here is simply reiterating the fact that there can be no change to the charter as we move forward. I mean, this is already incorporated into the charter and has been from the beginning … This is not statutory underpinning, it is simply making sure that there’s no change – it’s a no-change clause. What has been accepted by all the parties is that the prime minister’s royal charter should go ahead, and that importantly we’ve stopped Labour’s extreme version of the press law, which now, as part of any deal, the Labour party would actually vote against.”

Harriet Harman says there is:

“There is a an amendment going forward into the enterprise and regulatory reform bill which says that where a charter says in that charter it can’t be dissolved or amended without a two thirds majority in both Houses, then that should have the force of law. There is a little bit of statute. Hacked Off will be very pleased by the outcome.”

What do you think?


  1. 1
    Ed Ache says:

    I’ll drink to that.

  2. 2
    sadbutmadlad says:

    Any state control, even if it’s only that the charter can’t be changed without state control, is total state control. Slippery slope ensures that this will be true at some point in the future.

  3. 3
    John Wellington Wells says:

    So when is a law not a law – or perhaps, when is a non-law a law? Pretty crowded on the head of this particular pin.

  4. 4
    damned impertinent questions says:

    Dave has sold out

  5. 5
    Pollytwaddle says:

    We need a First Amendment.

  6. 6
    Tories....You can't trust Dave says:

  7. 7
    Peter Grimes says:

    Why are ZaNuLieBor shadows the people announcing this first in the media?

    If they are happy about it it mst be bad for us punters!

  8. 8
    Dave has sold out to the Luvvies says:

  9. 9
    SleeplessInKirkaldy says:

    It looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

  10. 10
    fire's too good for them says:

    Is it me or is Harriet Harman borderline evil? I just don’t think she’s quite smart enough to be really evil, but there’s a touch of the sheer weirdness of Chris Huhne’s about her or is it just my imagination?

  11. 11
    Dave has NO Principles says:

  12. 12
    The British Public says:

    Who the fuck cares ???

  13. 13
    Harriet Harmans password and username says:

    How the fuck is Harman all over the media making all these announcements as if shes still in Government.

  14. 14
    Steve Miliband says:

    Stupid fuckers giving in to even stupider fuckers.

    Stand up to them. If you lose the vote, so be it, at least you wouldn’t be the idiots that allowed Grant, Moseley, Rowling etc dictate how Parliament votes.

    I thought ‘liberals’ would be against this sort of thing. Let them to fuck off to Hugh Grant and his Labour Party. Call an election, let them get on with it. Fucking idiots all of them.

  15. 15
    Guido Fawkes RIP says:

    I think this is the beginning of the end for blogs like Guido’s. Whilst Guido and his public school media pals will be very, very cross about it Joe Public will be extremely happy.

    It’s inevitable. Free press is a thing of the past.

  16. 16
    rebekah aka nellnewman says:

    Well I hope hattyharpic and militwit have consulted their dear leader hughgrant before agreeing to this otherwise they’re in big trouble.

  17. 17
    Chris Bryant is a happy bunny this morning says:

  18. 18
    Oh FFS ! says:

    Oh FFS now it all makes sense, that buffoon Oliver Letwin represented the Government in these discussions.

  19. 19
    Password 0000 says:

    The BBC love Hattie! We have a Common Purpose

  20. 20
    Anonymous says:

    Now we will see how the press cope with undemocratic wardens.

    Maybe they should have helped fight the undemocratic commissioners, ombudsman, and other regulators, of our freedom. If they had shown the corruption in these types of bodies they would never have had this stupidity thrust upon them.

    Then again, if the press had all stayed away from criminal activity they would never have had this problem.

    They might think they are suffering, but it is the people that are feeling it most.

  21. 21
    V1le, vicious Labour ruined my Country says:

    Because she is one of the vile political cockroaches that need the pest controller. Welcome to the UK cesspit.

  22. 22
    The Lefties are Happy...That is not good. says:

  23. 23
    Sandra in Accounts says:

    Welcome to East Germany.

    The il-liberal left & the cocaine adled whore& rent boy drenched luvvies have shut down the free press.

    And we have a weak & naive Cameron to thank for this.

    Vote UKIP – 300 years of the free press & British tradition will be restored.

  24. 24


  25. 25
    J A Jones says:

    How is Mad Hattie going to control the internet, particularly Guido Fawkes – She needs to say!!

  26. 26
    Ex-Tory says:

    Because we have LibLabCon One Government. Representatives of LibLabCon determine the future of the press in the leader of the oppositions office. Stp voting for these w@nkers!

  27. 27
    Casual Observer says:

    The Harman quote above sums up everything that is odious about this move, and Labour:

    ‘There is a little bit of statute.’

    There either is, or there isn’t, and here there very clearly is.

    If a government cannot even be honest about that, then when they are controlling the press…

  28. 28
    Anonymous says:

    Exactly matches my assessment of Harman.

  29. 29
    V1le, vicious Labour ruined my Country says:

    You’re right she is plain evil just like all the other socialists that murder their own people if they can get away with it.

  30. 30
    Cameron is not fit to be PM says:

  31. 31
    M102 says:

    If Concrete Pump was still here, he’d recommend underpinning for Bryant

  32. 32
    A Dab Hand says:

  33. 33

    How about a Press Commission led by Estella Marie Thompson aka Divine Brown?

  34. 34
    Peter Grimes says:

    I see that One-Eyed Gordo’s bestest mate ‘Lord’ Wilf Stevenson is proposing a bill which will further cast in stone the political oversight of this wretched matter.

    Press freedom is finished in the UK now!

  35. 35
    Parasite says:

    I am a free man on the land and I don’t consent to any statute imposed by the morally bankrupt bankster-controlled government of the UK plc banana republic.

  36. 36
    One Term Dave says:

    Victory! I always get my way in the end.

  37. 37
    Bless their pointy little heads says:

    Is it statutory underpinning Yes Or No?, well if somebody could spell it out in plain English for me instead of legalese perhaps I could form an opinion.

  38. 38
    Steve Miliband says:

    However bad for the Tories, Labour are now stuck with Hugh Grant as its leader

  39. 39
    Tay King-dePisse says:

    Sounds sorta like that old fabled Soviet World War II casualties category, the “slightly killed.”

  40. 40
    Hacked off are now running the Government says:

  41. 41
    Must get a pseudonym one day says:

    Tell us something new.

  42. 42
    We have a new government says:

  43. 43
    Joe Public says:

    Thieving MPs and famous whore chasers will be delighted. And we are delighted for them.

  44. 44
    Telegraph bike says:

    Dave is completely fucked. The Right think he’s a failure, the left (still) think he’s a twat. Game Over PR boy.

  45. 45
    EdButLookBalls says:

    Listening to R4 Toady this morning and any report on Leveson had the Al-Beeba reporter opening with Ed Milliband, Nick Clegg then the Downing St spokesman or Labour this , Liberal Democrats that and then Tory whatsoever. It’s plain obvious who Al-Beeba like to thik ad want to run (ruin) this country FFS!

  46. 46
    pissed off voter says:

    When politicians agree, there is inevitably a downside for Joe Public.

    O/T, I note the EU are experimenting with an alternative format of Quantitative Easing in Cyprus. How on earth can anyone support such an evil organisation?

  47. 47
    Telegraph bike says:

    I wonder what went through Cameron’s head over the last 48 hours. Was he not able to strike a much needed deal with the SNP / rebel backbenchers to see his plan through.

    The spin won’t matter now. He caved. It doesn’t matter how much.

  48. 48
    Margaret Beckett says:

    Who’d like to underpin MY statute?

  49. 49
    Jess The Dog says:

    If Hugh Grant is involved, should they not be called “Sucked Off”?

  50. 50
    EU Watch says:

    Useful info:

  51. 51
    Jack says:

    What do Letwin and Empty Ed have in common?

    The both report to their Masters in hedge fund offices in Hampstead

    It’s a tribal thing, you see…

  52. 52
    Polly's Love Child says:

    Is it? Aren’t the servers based in Ireland and hence outside the reach of this regulation?

    Unless of course they start removing access to sites like they do in China

  53. 53
    Col Nut says:

    He’s more of a Hugh Janus.

  54. 54
    MILF is put on the back shelf says:

  55. 55
    Lazy gits says:

    No-one must trust the press, the media nor politicians.
    Can I have that in legislation too please.

  56. 56
    Bless their pointy little heads says:

    Love Actually, better slogan than anything Red Ed has managed to come out with in that cringe inducing kind of way.

  57. 57
    Empty Ed Milliband, trying to find somfing to say says:

    We need an urgent public enquiry into all these dodgy deals being worked out in smoke filled back rooms of the House of Expenses Fiddlers

    I was on the phone to my handlers when everything was signed

    So I need to know

  58. 58
    fire's too good for them says:

    I’m sure he’ll give Nick a big telling off. Bang goes the chances of the cross party kiddie fiddler group being busted now, country is long ruined, a long time since we really were Great Brittan

  59. 59
    Twats and tossers says:

    Letwin a brain box? He strikes me more like a foppish fuckwit extra in one of Hugh Grant’s posh boy movies.

  60. 60
    Murdoch Mob getting its own back says:

    We will cut of the Murdoch shillings to your wife if you vote for this nonsense Gove

  61. 61
    Curly says:

    Yes, she definitely has her fingers in the P I E….

  62. 62
    Anonymous says:

    Hattie will be back in government soon 8)

    Labour governments will be more common in the future.

  63. 63
    Helpful suggestion? says:

    Dave needs to immediately appoint 75 new Conservative Lords to put an end to all this nonsense before it goes too far to be stopped.

  64. 64
    Bless their pointy little heads says:

    Oy, that’s my line you’ve pinched and it cost me another change of moniker (two days ago).

  65. 65
    FrankFisher says:

    A little bit pregnant

  66. 66
    Helpful suggestion? says:

    … and the ever so slightly pregnant?

  67. 67
    Helpful suggestion? says:

    S N A P !!!!

  68. 68
    Forgetful Elder says:

    Tell me is that right before they poison the water supply, ruin crops etc? Can’t remember how it all goes.

  69. 69
    Anonymous says:

    The press shouldn’t be ‘free’ to ruin innocent people’s lives. Is that really the kind of freedom you want. That’s not actually freedom at all, that’s having a bully unrestrained to do to others whatever they like.

  70. 70

    It is now clear that the three parties [con – lab – lib] have made an agreement that will not satisfy the victims, will not satisfy the press, does not comply with Leveson but does stop their members from rebelling…

  71. 71
    Col Nut says:

    Harperson was given a lot of air time on Sky this morning being respectfully addressed as Miss Harman and treated as the political expert on necessary Press regulation. Her smug self righteous appearance and references to the the Millie Dowler case and others was a truly horrible media event that should have been regulated.

  72. 72
    Anonymous says:

    This is awesome 8)

  73. 73
    Jimmy Madason says:

    Yes. The right to bare arms is based on the English Bill of Rights.

  74. 74
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    … underpinning – like Chris’s Y-fronts/nappy?

  75. 75
    Maq­boul says:

    Hark at this c­unt who thinks he speaks for the ordinary public. The dozy twat will be speaking for nobody if WhackedoffHugh gets his seedy way.

  76. 76

    I have just realised we have a coalition, so they are going to agree anyway


  77. 77
    Old Blue Eyes says:

    They couldn’t be any more common than they have been in the past.

  78. 78
    Divine Brown says:

    We could save a lot of money by scrapping Parliament and elections and just let Hugh Grant and the Dowlers decide everything. They’re so clever and wise.

  79. 79
    Anonymous says:

    Oops, voted the wrong way. Take one off the no vote.

  80. 80
    damned impertinent questions says:


    This is the underpinning of a fascist state. Last time I vote conservative. Better to fail fighting for democracy than suffer a slow death appeasing fascists and socialists

  81. 81
    Reality speaks says:

    What else do you expect from the bbc, they have spewed out an anti Conservative line 24/7 ever since Labour were removed from office. It’s what they do, including paying Alibi Brown as a commentator to pronouce live “I hate the Tories.”

  82. 82
    Frank's son says:

    So spineless Dave the yellow belly concedes defeat. All because he faced losing the vote in the HOC. I also believe there is something else Dave was scared of. If he lost the vote tonight perhaps there would have been a call for a vote of no confidence.

    Spineless Dave confirms he only wants to be in power for power’s sake. Utterly gutless. U-turn after U-turn, spin upon spin.

    But of course with the new legislation the press and bloggers won’t be able to print that.

  83. 83
    Jimmy's Rightie Quote Of The Day says:

    “It’s not statutory underpinning. What it is is simply a clause that says politicians can’t fiddle with this”


  84. 84
  85. 85
    Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler says:

    Liblabcon. 0ne nation. One party. Three branches.

    Vote UKIP

  86. 86
    Bomber Command Ghost says:

    55,572 of my mates and I care you twat

  87. 87
    robbie says:

    but its impact on the freedom of the press can yet be minimal.

  88. 88
    robbie says:

    its a compromise that still leaves the Dowlers having to resort to the existing law that initially failed them- politics is like that.That’s why politicians in a civilised society would be shot.

  89. 89
    Mr pontius pilate says:

    Isn’t it the case that one government cannot bind a future government to any legislation

    AND I suggest that the media deny creeps like Hugh Grant ANY future publicity should they have something to sell or promote (& that includes politicians). Lets see how they like being ignored by the media en mass

  90. 90
    ian says:

    yeah but compared to maria miller

  91. 91
    damned impertinent questions says:

    I assume she just couldn’t cope or perhaps it was just past her bedtime

  92. 92
    damned impertinent questions says:

    That’s for pepper spray not tear gas

  93. 93
    Captain Foulenough says:

    An utterly fatuous point, managing at once to argue from extremes and to create a mediocre and self-serving false dichotomy. Firstly, the press is not currently ‘free to ruin people’s lives’ – we have libel laws, which, though they are deeply flawed, are not ameliorated by this foolish nonsense.

    Secondly, the suggestion that because a situation exists that you deem morally reprehensible, any government action to curtail it is necessarily worthwhile is so intellectually neotenous as to beggar belief. This statutory underpinning will not end the world, it will not make us North Korea over night. It will just make newspapers less willing to publish stories which are at worse merely morally repugnant and at best actively worthwhile.

  94. 94
    Bob R says:

    Exactly correct. The 2/3 majority means jack shit; because the requirement for the 2/3 majority can be voted out on a simple majority.

  95. 95
    Anonymous says:

    Very scientific poll. Yawn.

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