Khanivor wrote:Or to strengthen the criminal law whilst simulatenously adressing the self-regulation problem as well as reinforcing and protecting press freedom and establishment from political tampering.
If the laws are not being enforced then the answer is to make some new ones.
Which is EXACTLY what Leveson's recommendations do. It is a complete strawman to suggest that statutory underpinning is in and of itself fundamentally damaging to press freedom.
As I have previously said, the judiciary operates with statutory underpinning and noone has ever seriously (or at least convincingly) provided an argument suggesting it is subject to political interference. Quite the opposite - if anything it's a common complaint of politicians that the judiciary actively hampers their intentions - recent example being the Abu Qatada extradition to Jordan that was blocked by the judiciary at great and deeply vocal criticism by government - precisely because the legislation underpinning the judiciary actively increases their independence from political interference.
Anther point which is getting a lot of airtime today - and is also rather important - is regarding the Irish model. The Irish model is undoubtedly far more restrictive, potentially open to abuse and illiberal than the Leveson Proposals (which actively INCREASE the freedom of the press as part of its balancing checks). Regardless, almost every single company, including the worst offenders in the UK such as the Daily Mail and the Murdoch empire about hysterically fighting against statute in the UK, actively agree with, have signed up to, and have never once expressed dissatisfaction with the inarguably less democratic and dictatorial than the proposed UK recommendations.
Which effectively proves that they know damn well their objections are empty bullshit with no realistic basis, and are just making scary noises because they are so used to getting their way over best part of a century despite repeatedly and spectacularly failing to demonstrate that they are capable in any capacity of practicing what they preach. Theyknow they're talking bullshit, the politicians are amazingly as close to unilaterally supportive of implementing the recommendations in full as I think is humanly possible in such an age-old and frequently revisited issue, Cameron himself has already u-turned on his clear refusal to implement statue less than two hours after the commencement of cross-party talks, and most importantly of all there is clear, overwhelming public support to implement the recommendations and principles Leveson sets out not just by the victims of press intrusion and institutional breakdown in journalistic ethics, but also the wider public who are so often cited by the press themselves ((rather patronisingly at that) as being the people who will suffer the most under statutory underpinning.
And finally, most importantly of all and absolutely essential to the whole crux of the debate and the merits of the recommendations is that this is the first time that the findings have been independent. The report is free from political interference, utterly comprehensive (I laugh at anyone who suggests the remit, length of the two thousand page report or even length and breadth of the module and the sheer volume of witnesses who gave evidence are evidence of a rushed or limited process to score political points), clearly considered at great length over a significant period of time, unrelenting in its pursuit of as much witness testimony on both sides of the debate as was potentially humanly possible and representative of all sides, and very carefully balanced in such a way that it actually ENHANCES press freedom, preserves the spirit of self regulation, whilst also providing the essential checks and balances to ensure it is both effective, independent, balanced, fair, proportionate and actually has the teeth to back up its verdicts.
It is incredibly lazy debate to suggest that the sheer existence of legislation to underpin regulation is inherently undemocratic. It is even lazier bordering on outright lies to immediately make comparisons to dictatorships like Zimbabwe, China or Iran. Those sorts of hyperbolic arguments were fundamentally invalid and irresponsible in the vote reform debate, and they are just as if not in all likelihood even more invalid here in the context of what is actually being proposed.
Epic response I know, and I do apologise, but some pretty important distinctions to make to the naysayers and/or non supporters.
TL, DR: It is perfectly legitimate to debate what constitutes press freedom, but after best part of a century, repeated inaction snd escalating and self-evident failures of self regulation to provide effective adherence to journalistic ethics, and what I think will genuinely becme required reading on the subject of press regulation whilst maintaining press freedom across the globe to a degree possibly of even more importance than the American 1st amendment, the findings and recommendations render moot the fundamental opposition to statutory underpinning that has repeatedly, and to the discredit of politics and politicians, failed to address the core concerns.
It has now been made absolutely clear that statutory underpinning is utterly essential to resolve the very problems that led to the inquiry in the first place and provoked this seemingly endless debate best part of a century ago. It is now time, after over 7 decades, that conservatives (small c) and the press alike finally accept this simple truth and just fucking get on with implementing it.
Now with 80% more Cthulhu!