Posted by: Stephen Connelly | November 25, 2012

Leveson and Press Freedom

David Cameron is about to get sight of the Leveson report. He and his advisers will get 24 hours to think about the coalitions response before the media get to see it on Thusday. No doubt whatever it says, the media will be on it like a long dog. Rather like Geoffrey Boycott, there is nothing they like talking about more than themselves. I can’t help thinking that this is yet another banana skin, lying on the icy pavement that this hapless administration is being forced to navigate.

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If Cameron chooses some kind of extension of the current system of press self regulation; basically a beefed up version of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) then he will be accused of pandering to pressure from the Chipping Norton set, but probably get a lot more opportunities to ride the Brooks’ horses. If he goes for a more robust legally based regime then he will be accused of gagging the press and undermining their freedom and he will have to cook his own kitchen suppers. What is certain is that the cosy relationship he enjoyed with the Murdoch press can never again be quite so cosy. My guess, for what that is worth is that he will try to delay any decision until ‘after the election’. This seems to be his preferred option. He has delayed important decisions on extending the UKs airport capacity and on the cutting of emissions from the power sector, so why make a decision on Leveson if he can possibly delay. What is sure is that there will be plenty of column inches expended on it after publication which will at least draw the attention of the electorate away from the coalition’s dreadful performance with the economy.

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