One thing that surprises Guido is that his comrades in the liberal, progressive blogosphere have seemingly not noticed that the proposed Royal Charter aims to control and regulate them as well as the tabloids.
Schedule 4, Point 1 of both the government and the opposition’s versions of the Royal Charter will bring blogs under the regulator’s control:
“relevant publisher” means a person (other than a broadcaster) who publishes in the United Kingdom: a. a newspaper or magazine containing news-related material, or b. a website containing news-related material (whether or not related to a newspaper or magazine)”
Now the “What about Guido?” question has been answered by Maria Miller to Harriet Harman’s satisfaction, Guido’s rival bloggers should pause before rejoicing. You will all be regulated as well. British bloggers will, if politicians get their way, no longer have unregulated free speech on the internet.
So to all those in the progressive blogosphere who support regulating the freedom of the press, Guido poses this simple question: will you defy the new regulator or submit to that system of state control you support? If it goes through the fun will start when fractious bloggers start complaining about their rival’s falsehoods and demanding they print due prominence corrections. The chaos of every petty flame war on the internet spilling over into the new statutory-backed regulator’s complaint procedure system will paralyse it. Have Maria Miller and Harriet Harman thought this through?
To all those bloggers who support this press control Charter because they hate Murdoch and Dacre, Guido offers this cautionary counsel, remember that the new regulator will cover you as well. You will have all the expense and bureaucracy of compliance as Murdoch and Dacre face, without the means. Unless like Guido and the Spectator you plan to become media outlaws too…