The 15 rebels who said no to press regulation.
The 15 rebels who said no to press regulation.
Police are requesting “on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service” that magazine vendors refrain from selling today’s edition of Private Eye. This afternoon two plain clothes policemen asked this vendor working outside Farringdon Station to take down this week’s Eye. When the vendor, who does not wish to be named, asked them why, they said it was at the request of the CPS, specifically because of the cover featuring Rebekah Brooks. They showed identification. The vendor told the cops he would keep selling them unless they produced a court order. Chilling…
Down the road at the nearby Old Bailey potential jurors were asked if they were readers of Private Eye or Guido Fawkes during the selection process. If they answered affirmatively they were excused from jury service. Anyone else a little hacked off by all this?
UPDATE: Index on Censorship - the free speech campaign with offices near Farringdon Station – went to check for themselves:
The judge doesn’t find Private Eye amusing:
Judge tells jurors to ignore edition of Private Eye out today making 'bad taste' joke about Rebekah Brooks—
(@CourtNewsUK) October 29, 2013
Private Eye front cover has been brought to our attention, but AG has decided proceedings for a potential contempt of court aren't required—
Attorney General (@AGO_UK) October 29, 2013
Fancy a job spinning to the very journalists your lobbyist bosses want the state to regulate? Hacked Off are looking for a new comms manager to lead their media strategy. Advertised in the Guardian naturally. Crisis management and “handling strong personalities” are required attributes for the successful candidate, who will also need to be able to put up with subbing Brian Cathcart’s blogs. Even better if you’ve got a parliamentary pass…
Scoop from the FT this morning: Miliband talked about his plan to declare war on Fleet Street at a private dinner for Labour donors. Guido has the recording, made by a Labour member:
“Look, this fight is going to be such a big fight that we’ve got to be willing to call these people out. We’ve got to be willing to call these people out. The days when the newspapers and the news media could attack us without response are over. Because actually they are less powerful than people ever thought and they are less powerful now than they were. And it is incredibly important that we fight back against them.”
Hard to imagine a party leader talking about any other industry in terms of how it is struggling, then in the next sentence describing how he wants to “fight” them. Sure Ed will be delighted by the Eric Honecker comparison in the introduction as well…
From the Attorney General’s Office:
Media Advisory Note: strictly not for publication
17 October 2013
Current LIBOR trials
Former Citigroup and UBS Trader Tom Hayes has been charged with eight counts of conspiracy to defraud. These charges arise from the on-going LIBOR investigation. A Plea and Case Management Hearing is listed for the 21st October at Southwark Crown Court. Two other defendants charged with LIBOR related offences, Terry Farr and James Gilmour, will also be appearing on that date.
Editors and publishers are reminded of their responsibilities under the Contempt of Court Act 1981.The Attorney General is conscious that this case will be of particular interest to City and financial journalists who may be less familiar with the law of contempt then colleagues who more regularly report on the criminal courts. The Attorney General asks that editors and publishers take steps to ensure all online and hard copy editions of their publications avoid any commentary or reporting which may pose a risk of breaching the Contempt of Court Act.
In particular, the Attorney General draws attention to the risks in publishing material that asserts or assumes, expressly or implicitly, the guilt of an accused person or that otherwise interferes with the administration of justice in this case – such as by pre-empting the decision of the trial Judge or Judges as to the evidence to be called before the jury.
Editors and publishers should take legal advice to ensure they are in a position to fully comply with the obligations they are subject to under the Contempt of Court Act 1981.
Ironically you can read the names that the Wall Street Journal were forced to pull from their website by a Court Order in the bastion of freedom that is China. They are in the print edition of the WSJ Asia Edition..
You can read the judge’s order here. Extraordinary that we can’t report the names of alleged LIBOR fraudsters, this is against the principles of open justice and freedom of the press. Even more extraordinary is that it was the Serious Farce Office that invited the defendants to apply for reporting restrictions. The prosecuting authority encouraged the defendants to seek anonymity. Bonkers…
Maria Miller will publish her plans for state regulation of the press on Friday after rejecting the press’ proposal to keep politicians out of the process. To be passed by October 30th. If editors say no she is threatening to go back to the original Leveson charter. Roll on Friday…
If Miliband’s Mail-bashing was really about sticking up for his dad, he would not have used jarring political lines about the “cost of living crisis” in his letter to Lord Rothermere yesterday. His interview with LabourList this morning betrays the real motivation for why Miliband and Alastair Campbell, who is at the centre of this, have gone after the Mail:
“What we’ve seen over the past five days is a symptom of that and it’s time he took a long hard look at the way his papers are run because I don’t believe that reflects the values of the British people.
“I want to know how these practices are allowed to happen. Not on the basis of being “one rogue reporter” or “one rogue editor”, but what is it about the culture and practice of the organisation that makes these kind of things acceptable?
If we’re going to have those massive debates about the cost of living, we need to have proper standards of decency in our press.”
This is about Leveson, the Royal Charter and state regulation of the press. Miliband believes it is for politicians to decide whether papers “reflect the values of the British people”. Read that as whether they reflect his values. He wants to know how papers are “allowed” to print opinion that he disagrees with, that he finds offensive. That last line, “we need to have proper standards of decency in our press”, is chilling. It shows an incredible mindset from Miliband that he feels it is a politician’s place to decide what constitutes “decency” in the media. As Fraser Nelson notes, next week the Privy Council meets to discuss newspapers’ attempt to prevent state regulation of the press. Hugh Grant and Hacked Off have already tried to hijack the story. Miliband’s timing is no coincidence…
Aside from it being a breakthrough day for UKIP and a terrible one for the other three parties, today is also United Nations World Press Freedom Day. “Celebrating the fundamental principles of press freedom” and “defending the media from attacks on their independence”, the UN warn that “in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained”.
Guido is sure the likes of Evan Harris, Hugh Grant, Max Mosley, Brian Cathcart, Steve Coogan, Tom Watson, David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, Oliver Letwin, Maria Miller, Stuart Hall and Rolf Harris will be celebrating…
UPDATE : Perfect timing:
BREAKING: The Govt has withdrawn its Royal Charter on press regulation from the May 15 privy council meeting – for more talks with editors.—
Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) May 03, 2013
Maggie and Mandela | Charles Moore
Mandela was Christ-Like | Peter Oborne
Maggie Personally Donated £20,000 to Mandela Foundation | Bono
Why Environmentalists Should Favour Fracking | CPS
Balls Gag Falls Flat | Asa Bennett
Mandela the Thatcherite | John Pilger
Balls’ Heckling Hypocrisy | Isabel Hardman
Gordon Dinner Raises Just $350 | Trending Central
Labour Need Darling to Replace Balls | Peter Oborne
Osborne Will Have to Push Harder Than This | Fraser Nelson
No, Cameron Did Not Make Hang Mandela Posters | Buzzfeed
Nelson Mandela on Margaret Thatcher, July 1990…
“She is an enemy of apartheid… We have much to thank her for.”