Leveson - the outcome

(139 Posts)
bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Wed 28-Nov-12 22:14:28

previous thread & another one

So, the report will finally be made public tomorrow - wonder what the outcome will be? Will Cameron actually go with the recommendations or not?


bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Thu 29-Nov-12 00:11:40
Nancy66 Thu 29-Nov-12 09:33:30

PCC disbanded to be replaced with new independent ruling body would be my guess....i'd be happy with that

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Thu 29-Nov-12 09:35:06

With the 'statutory underpinnings' Hugh grant/hacked off have been pushing for? Or do you think there is no need to add 'teeth' to a new independent body?

Nancy66 Thu 29-Nov-12 09:43:36

No - i don't want state involvement.

An independent governing body should be sufficient - something similar to the Independent Police Complaints Commission

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Thu 29-Nov-12 09:47:50

I actually think if the police actually dealt with those who break the law, instead of being wined and dined by them, there really wouldn't be any need for additional laws etc. it'll be interesting to see how Cameron and clegg react seeing as clegg wants to make his own statement.

QuickLookBusy Thu 29-Nov-12 10:35:11

Yes, today is going to be very interesting. Lets hope something good comes out of it all.

I think the press have too much power and do ruin lives. it must stop hounding innocent people and using the excuse that gossip/innuendo is in the public interest, when on occasion it clearly isn't.

picketywick Thu 29-Nov-12 12:04:04

Levison matters But most people are not interested.

PetiteRaleuse Thu 29-Nov-12 12:10:29

I agree, an independent non political body would be good. Self regulation hasn't worked. New laws would set a frightening precedent. Press freedom should be maintained, but of course something has to change. An independent body would be a good compromise and the only viable solution.

HappyAsEyeAm Thu 29-Nov-12 12:10:45

Something akin to OFCOM, I hope. OFCOM is taken pretty seriously, much more seriously than the PCC. Or maybe extending OFCOM so that it cover all media.

Nancy66 Thu 29-Nov-12 12:23:35

info leaking out now - seems an independent body with statutory regulations is being recommended

PetiteRaleuse Thu 29-Nov-12 12:51:47

What time is the official release? You say it's being leaked...

grovel Thu 29-Nov-12 13:10:21


Cameron opens parliamentary debate at 3.00.

ParsingFancy Thu 29-Nov-12 13:21:23

Email on the BBC Live Text bar which encapsulates the conundrum:

"12:49... The Leveson Inquiry should conclude that it is in the best interest of the UK as a democratic society to keep the Press totally free. They are the ONLY check and balance on the political class and the financially powerful."

But parts of the Press ARE the political class and financially powerful.

That's the point.

PetiteRaleuse Thu 29-Nov-12 14:03:57

From what I can see it's pretty fair.

slug Thu 29-Nov-12 14:14:07

My favourite tweet so far was yesterday by Dr Phil Hammond

"Leveson in brief. Every prime minister for 40 years has slept in Murdoch's arse. Cameron was up there when the music stopped. Next to Hunt"

Viviennemary Thu 29-Nov-12 14:36:12

Well the government is in the pockets of the press. They dare not offend them or else. I was interested in Leveson at first but it has dragged on so long I've lost interest. And I think todays statement will be nothing but a load of waffle and won't change anything. I will be quite happy to be proved wrong!

Nancy66 Thu 29-Nov-12 14:40:04

initial thoughts are that it's pretty fair too

PetiteRaleuse Thu 29-Nov-12 15:48:27

Cameron is coming across as a little shifty in this afternoon's debate. I don't see what his issues are with the recommendations, apart from the limitations on the Data Protection aspect, possibly.

The recommendations do seem very sensible. Hardly the attack on press freedom that the press have obviously been worried about.

What would happen to the pcc? I have missed any mention of this so far.

MoreBeta Thu 29-Nov-12 16:00:37

I think the idea put forward by Leveson of an Arbitration body backed up by legislation is a good one.

The idea of a quick, low cost body staffed by knowledgable people but independent of the media to adjudicate on press complaints is similar to arbitration panels that sit regularly at short notice, sometimes in the middle of the night, to resolve shipping disputes where time is of the essence.

Clearly avoiding the need for long and expensive court cases to resolve what are relativley minor civil matters makes sense.

MoreBeta Thu 29-Nov-12 16:06:29

Good early analysis of the politics over at Guido Fawkes.

Tory HQ happy with conclusions but PM does not want to legislate. Worried about Ofcom being put in charge.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Thu 29-Nov-12 17:17:42

I'm delighted Piers Morgan has been highlighted by Leveson as being 'utterly unpersuasive' in his evidence. This was one interpretation of it - Morgan was aware phone hacking was taking place in press as a whole and was sufficiently unembarrassed by criminal behaviour to joke about it

I think I prefer the 'liar liar pants on fire' summary myself grin

PetiteRaleuse Thu 29-Nov-12 17:19:54

Didn't he explain in one of his books how they went about it? I'm sure I read the technique in one of his diary books.

Hummingbirds Thu 29-Nov-12 18:19:57

Has anyone posted this link yet? It makes startling background reading for anyone hoping to understand the Leveson Inquiry.


msrisotto Thu 29-Nov-12 19:50:41

Here's a picture of a surprising recommendation!

msrisotto Thu 29-Nov-12 20:03:35

Sorry don't know what happened there, here it is again

HazelnutinCaramel Thu 29-Nov-12 20:20:20

I'm pissed off about this. The press in this country needs reigning in and the PM is too scared of them (and too chummy with some of them) to do it.

Freedom of speech is bog all to do with it. It's about not allowing them to stalk people, listen in on private conversations and make things up.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Thu 29-Nov-12 20:30:38

Ill try and read that link later hummingbirds once DD in bed, but ill take a wild guess and say its likely to be about a 'grand conspiracy' against free speech and the freedom of the press. The mail have been utterly transparent in their agenda throughout the inquiry and in all honesty, have been one of the main protagonists in the almighty mess the press had created. They, like many others, posted stories about chris Jeffries, and the mccanns so IMO are architects of their own fate. But, ill have a read later once I've read done other responses in the press too.

PetiteRaleuse Thu 29-Nov-12 20:39:11

Your wild guess would be right OP. Dacre is also chair of the PCC....

MoreBeta Thu 29-Nov-12 20:44:48

There have of course been many calls to protect the freedom of the press to report on wrong doing by those in authority. Leveson said he supported that view.

Fact is though, many newspapers gave up either investigating or reporting news. It si too expensive an dpapers are losing money. Hacking a few phones of clelebs from your desk was quick, cheap and easy.

Bloggers and internet forums are much closer to many real news stories that deserve wider reporting but never make the papers.

claig Thu 29-Nov-12 21:20:02

Carl Bernstein who broke the Watergate story was on Channel 4 News and disagreed with ex-New Labour bigwig, Alistair Campbell, in that he was against any new legislation concerning the press. He said that this would be against free speech and a free press. Campbell, the socialist, said something like the press would face no restrictions for stories in the public interest. Bernstein wisely said that if it was down to public interest, then something like half teh stories in teh press would have to be removed, and that anyway, who should judge what is in the public interest - that was something for the public to decide.

Bernstein said that there are already laws to prevent press wrongdoing and that they need to be used and enforced.

It is surprising that the TV media don't seem to have asked Tom Watson for his reaction. I haven't seen him on TV tonight, but maybe I have missed him. The media seem to be spinning it as if it is about protecting the public from the press, rather than protecting the powerful people from the press.

PetiteRaleuse Thu 29-Nov-12 21:28:44

The what's in the public interest vs what is interesting to the public debate has been going on for decades. It's almost impossible to define, and the vagueness helps the press get away with a hell of a lot. Almost anything can be twisted to justify it being int the public interest.

noddyholder Thu 29-Nov-12 21:29:31

7 million pounds and no real change

claig Thu 29-Nov-12 21:36:50

I think it is in the public interest to find out what everyone in our institutions knew about Savile. Some people in institutions may not think so. I think a free press should be allowed to make decisions on public interest and be sued if they break any existing laws.

I don't think spin doctors in political parties should be able to influence what the public is told or should put pressure on editors not to run certain stories that may not be in a political party's interest, but may be in the public interest.

Some commentators are saying that Cameron has taken a libertarian stance over this, and some of the liberal, progressive parties seem to be less libertarian over this.

I think Lord Hunt said that some of the calls are regressive. I am not surprised that the progressives could be considered regressive.

claig Thu 29-Nov-12 21:49:22

There has been no similar public inquiry about the bankers wrecking the economy, and there is no public daily inquiry about Savile and how that could have occurred.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Thu 29-Nov-12 21:58:20

I don't think spin doctors in political parties should be able to influence what the public is told or should put pressure on editors not to run certain stories that may not be in a political party's interest, but may be in the public interest.

That's a really good point claig. It's the stories that aren't published that bother me most. Because the reasons for those stories being supressed are, to my mind, never the right ones. And they show the whole argument about having 'free speech' to be quite hollow when that free speech can be supressed so easily by money/power/influence rather than regulations suggested by Leveson.

claig Thu 29-Nov-12 22:03:48

I agree, bunch. It is like teh suppressed stories about Savile. The story was finally broken 1 year after his death. Why the wait? There is still lots that we are not told about many subjects. The press is not as free and not as in the public interest as it could or should be. But that is the real world. We can only encourage freedom and a free press and open up ownership and the means of communication as widely as possible and hope that different voices and different points of view will bring forth different stories.

Thankfully, there have been no calls to curb freedom on the internet, as some people have been calling for.

Freedom of the press and freedom on the internet is in the public interest.

edam Thu 29-Nov-12 22:19:54

That's a very good point Claig - where IS the independent inquiry into the banks? We've had investigations into MPs expenses, into the press, into the police over Hillsborough - but nothing about the industry that crashed the world economy and impoverished every family in Britain (and beyond).

Not surprised Leveson let the PM and Hunt off the hook - judges are always, in the end, deferential to the supreme authorities. I'm sure Leveson would be very rigorous if he was hearing a case involving a council, but a judge hold the PM to account? Never happened as far as I'm aware and never likely to happen. (Look at Hutton and Iraq - it's not a party political point, it's a government and judiciary point.) Let's not forget two judge-led inquiries into Hillsborough missed the glaring, obvious truth. It took the independent panel, led by a liberatarian Bishop and members of the public, to get to the truth. Even though it was there in plain sight.

I really don't understand the sophistry that must be involved in Leveson saying legislation to establish a press regulatory body somehow won't be statutory legislation... doesn't make any sense at all.

I am merely an editor (of a mere magazine, not a national newspaper so very little axe to grind) who strives for plain English. How can something be introduced by statute, underpinned by statute, but not be statutory? And the idea of the ultimate power being Ofcom... that's the kiss of death for independence. Good grief. As if print isn't dying anyway, let's get the incompetent, power-hungry bureaucrats in to give it a massive send off! I know you need to sort the Express problem (Express titles refused to have anything to do with the Press Complaints Commission) but Ofcom, FFS?

And what's the point of legislating for the national and local press when online is entirely unregulated - until you get a stern letter from McAlpine's lawyers after the event?

lovesmellingthecoffee Thu 29-Nov-12 22:38:01

Basically if Murdoch et al are against the recommendations in the Leveson report and are presurising the PM and other MPs to reject some or all the proposals. Then Leveson must be on to something and his proposals should be put into practice. If Murdoch is against it then it must be good. look at the way he has allowed his editors to behave and he has stood by them. He has also used his huge influence to manipulate policy in a country in which is is not even a citizen. He is american as he had to change nationality to own media in that country. maybe Leveson should also make it a requirement that only citizens of this country can own the media.

pofacedalways Thu 29-Nov-12 22:43:34

I find it rather distasteful that Hugh Grant uses his celebrity status and influence to try to change the law on this issue when he clearly doesn't give a monkeys about the banks and how that affected ordinary people. And unlike people who have been compensated massively for breaches of privacy in the press, so many people who suffered at the hands of an unregulated banking system run on greed get nothing.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Thu 29-Nov-12 22:45:04

If Murdoch is against it then it must be good.

That's probably the most persuasive argument in favour of Leveson's report. grin

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Thu 29-Nov-12 22:53:27

I find it rather distasteful that Hugh Grant uses his celebrity status and influence to try to change the law on this issue

I think in fairness to him, he's taken on the role of the 'public face' of those who have been adversely affected by the excesses of the press i.e. those who Leveson describe as having havoc wreaked upon their lives by the press. He's certainly got an axe to grind, but IMO he's taken the role lesser known people couldn't have carried off, with the same impact, by virtue of their lack of public profile beyond their name being the focus in whatever story they featured in.

WrathdePan Thu 29-Nov-12 22:57:01

It's tricky, isn't it? No-one really trusts anyone involved, esp journalists. Some of them, and some media titles, should have been eviscerated.

But Leveson couldn't do that because journalists will always be with us. But the excuse-making by journos on some of these threads has been a bit embarrassing.

Overall, I think Cameron will show himself up as the poor judger of individual and circumstance as he always does.
We DO need a legislative safeguard as the press have repeatedly shown they have nooooo idea what a voluntary code actually means. Be it a moral one, or a legalistic one, journos are hyenas.

WrathdePan Thu 29-Nov-12 22:59:46

pofaced you are conflating issues re celebrity to a wrong-thinking level. The floppy-haired one had no role in the banking crisis.

Unless you know something else??/

WrathdePan Thu 29-Nov-12 23:11:23

just me with an opinion after 11pm...

claig Thu 29-Nov-12 23:15:33

Does anyone know when Hacked Off started and when the Guardian started looking into the phone hacking etc. (i.e. what year etc.)?

claig Thu 29-Nov-12 23:19:47

We saw yesterday an interview that Charlotte Church did with Piers Morgan in 2003, where Morgan mentioned the fact that it was possible to listen into messages on people's phones if they did not change their pascode etc.

Did the Guardian and Hacked Off look into hacking years after this or was it in 2003?

claig Thu 29-Nov-12 23:21:45

Does anyone know when the first report about phone hacking by the press hit the headlines? (what year, what month)

pofacedalways Thu 29-Nov-12 23:32:21

no he had no role in it just taking up edam's point about independent inquiries and there not being one for banking crisis. And I do find it grating seeing him in Channel 4 news using his status to change the law on this issue.

niceguy2 Thu 29-Nov-12 23:32:23

I actually think Hugh Grant has been great throughout all this in explaining to people how this has affected people like him and has also been incredibly articulate with his arguments.

Just because he's famous doesn't mean he shouldn't be able to expect any privacy. Sure there's a trade off but the tabloids went WAY over the line.

pofacedalways Thu 29-Nov-12 23:34:49

bunchamunchy the impression I got from channel 4 news is that he has rather rich and powerful people funding his campaigning that wish to remain anonymous, and I find that of great concern if these people wish to change the law.

claig Thu 29-Nov-12 23:49:06

The hacking scandal seems to go back to the royal hacking scandal of 2005-2006 or maybe even before that.

Hacked Off don't seem to have their own wikipedia page - they have something on the Media Standards Trust page which says

'In light of the June 2011 allegations of the News of the World journalists phone hacking into the mobilephone voice mail of murder victim Milly Dowler, on 5 July 2011 in partnership with Professor Brian Cathcart and other concerned individuals, MST formed the "Hacked Off" campaign. Registering the site hackinginquiry.org, the campaign aimed to campaign for a public inquiry into phone hacking.'


claig Fri 30-Nov-12 00:05:43

Was there a call for a public inquiry before the Labour Party Conference in 2009, when Murdoch backed New Labour?

Was there a call for a public inquiry when the royals wer hacked?

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Fri 30-Nov-12 00:08:37

po I understand that is your view of Hugh Grant, and the various interviews he's been giving over this issue. But, this isn't his campaign. He has been instrumental, granted, but this is much, much bigger than being about slebs flexing their financial muscle to get the press to leave them alone to get up to whatever they like.

This article explains a little where his interest comes from, and why he got more involved in this campaign. The article was printed before the Milly Dowler hacking story 'took off'.

This programme that Grant made, in the lead up to the Leveson report being published, contains an interview between grant and Paul McMullen, the journalist who originally spiked his interest in delving further into what the press were doing. It's interesting in the context of the original meeting he had/the article he wrote ^^ above.

I'm not Grant's cheer leader, honest, but I think you are being a little harsh on him and his role in all of this. He stands up and speaks publicly, and very articulately, on behalf of the likes of the Watsons, the McCanns, the Dowlers, and the Chris Jeffries of the world. He gets noticed and his/their views across very well IMO. His fame has meant their views gained a wider audience by virtue of being voiced by someone like him.

claig Fri 30-Nov-12 00:20:37

'In light of the June 2011 allegations of the News of the World journalists phone hacking into the mobilephone voice mail of murder victim Milly Dowler, on 5 July 2011 in partnership with Professor Brian Cathcart and other concerned individuals, MST formed the "Hacked Off" campaign. Registering the site hackinginquiry.org, the campaign aimed to campaign for a public inquiry into phone hacking. The campaign was directly supported by: Lord Fowler, Professor Onora O’Neill, Francis Wheen, Tom Watson MP, Dr Ben Goldacre, Baroness Helena Kennedy, Sir David Bell, DD Guttenplan, Professor Roy Greenslade, Professor Ian Hargreaves, John Lloyd, Isabel Hilton, Ian Jack, John Pilger, John Prescott, Richard Peppiatt, Andreas Whittam Smith and others. Soon after launch, the campaign gained the support of actor Hugh Grant, who became a public spokesperson, appearing on Question Time and Newsnight.'

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Fri 30-Nov-12 01:18:36

Was there a call for a public inquiry before the Labour Party Conference in 2009, when Murdoch backed New Labour?

Not as far as I'm aware. My understanding is, that in 2006? (need to verify the date) when the story was brought up again i.e. the hacking was not the 'one rogue reporter' but wide spread/endemic, that was when Yates reviewed the 'evidence' for 8 hours and decided there was no case to answer.

Was there a call for a public inquiry when the royals wer hacked?

No, but then there was the 'one rogue reporter' who was sacrificed, as well as Glenn Mulcaire, and they were both jailed for their part in this. It's the evidence that wasn't investigated further, that was uncovered during this part of the story, that became such an issue later on once the story did gain momentum AFAIK. The inquiry only came about once the Milly Dowler story broke, and the whistle blowers who came forward to debunk the 'one rogue reporter' theory when the Royals had been hacked earlier.

pofacedalways Fri 30-Nov-12 09:48:06

Bunchy I don't think it is particularly harsh to raise questions about a campaign led by HG concerning the anonymous and powerful donors behind it trying to change the law! That isn't harsh that is just, er, debate.

pofacedalways Fri 30-Nov-12 09:50:03

and I said funding his campaigning not funding his campaign wink

<not passive aggressive wink honest>

chipstick10 Fri 30-Nov-12 09:53:57

Hugh grant makes me vomit in my own mouth. I want to slap his annoying face very hard. He has had a massive anger and large French fries hanging off his shoulders since the press had a field day with mr grant getting caught with his trousers down on sunset boulevard with the divine misss brown. He is dressing this whole thing up into "the poor victims" when really he wants revenge on the press barons for the misery he thinks they have caused him.

pofacedalways Fri 30-Nov-12 09:58:02

Now that's harsh grin

edam Fri 30-Nov-12 10:02:19

Hugh Grant has a point. He isn't just complaining about celeb tittle tattle that he didn't like. It's about the treatment of the mother of his child, who is a private individual. And he's the public face of those who have been wronged - some of whom, presumably, want nothing more to do with the press (the family of the girl who was murdered where press coverage drove her brother to suicide, for instance).

But let's not forget it was other journalists who exposed the hacking scandal, in the teeth of considerable opposition from the police and government and Murdoch. There were extremely powerful people rubbishing the Guardian investigation and journalists - the most senior officers in the Met, the Prime Minister and senior politicians, and of course Murdoch and his lieutenants. The Guardian exposed extreme wrongdoing through dogged journalism. They were sneered at by Cameron, by the then Chair of the Press Complaints Commission and by the Met who kept saying 'move along here, nothing to see'. And by the CPS who bizarrely decided phone hacking wasn't a crime unless you could prove a journalist had listened to the message before the recipient. WTF.

The Met were amazingly intransigent, to the point of refusing to look at records, refusing to tell people whose phones had been hacked that they were victims, and refusing even to look around the News International Offices when they arrested the royal reporter. They didn't want to find out what had been going on. This was corruption on a grand scale, of police, politicians and one of the most powerful businesses in the country and the journalists who worked there.

Yet Murdoch has got off scott-free and now Leveson has failed to hold the police and government to account. He says the police were not great, but that's it.

Btw, the idea that it was mere reporters and editors at the Screws and the Sun who decided to hack phones off their own back is rubbish. It was Murdoch who established the culture where nothing mattered, just the story. Who insisted on that level of savage competition for stories. And his senior staff who were so desperate to please him they demanded journalists hack phones.

It was proprietors (such as the Express Group) who decided not to waste money on investigative journalism and just dial up celebrity voicemail or invent horrible stories about the McCann's.

This isn't just about individual journalists - some of whom did terrible things. It's about senior executives and proprietors, some of the most senior policemen in the country, the CPS and the Prime Minister. Most of whom have got away with it. A few are being prosecuted, but Richard Desmond is not being held to account for the poison he demanded was poured on the McCanns.

pofacedalways Fri 30-Nov-12 10:06:33

Yes agree Edam, refused on Channel 4 news to say who was funding the campaign. That is my only point, I find this of concern when trying to lobby to change the law through a popular sleb face.

But of course yes, the real instigators of this whole debacle, Murdoch and police and political figures , will not be held to account

pofacedalways Fri 30-Nov-12 10:12:09

there was a but missing there 'yes edam but'

edam Fri 30-Nov-12 10:16:29

Yes, it is important to know who is funding Hacked Off. You can't have a group exposing wrongdoing who are shady themselves about where their dosh comes from. I wonder why they won't say? Is it someone dodgy, or someone who fears exposure by the Murdoch press (which is surely more difficult for Murdoch's employees these days)?

PetiteRaleuse Fri 30-Nov-12 12:53:01

Ooh I didn't know there were questions about who funds Hacked Off. Interesting..

I can't stand HG in gneral but he has been an articulate spokesman for, in some cases, otherwise powerless victims. I also believe there hsould be some respect for slebs' private lives. Hounding them for stories just isn't fair.

The banks are a completely separate issue I don't see why they are being discussed here. Yes, there should be inquiries into banking practices. Eerone except bankers and politicians agree on that.

I think the recommendations Leveson made are good, as long as implemented with care as regards press freedom. I would agree however that Murdoch and Son have got off scot free, as have the politicians and their cosiness with the press. Cameron &friends must be pretty relieved. Te fact that LJL glosses over the Murdochs and the politicians does take away some of the credibility.

PetiteRaleuse Fri 30-Nov-12 12:55:16

Ooh forgot to mention how the police have also been glossed over.

I wouldn't query the independence of the inquiry, but I think LJL has been very, erm, kind, for want of a better word.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Fri 30-Nov-12 13:02:20

I'd guess Max Mosley is another who is funding Hacked Off. He's already said he'll fund anyone who wants to sue Murdoch/other press who have been involved in this. He tried to get more MPs to come forward re their treatment at the hands of the press, mainly to bolster his, and Hacked Off's, agenda.

edam Fri 30-Nov-12 13:06:48

Judges have a tendency to be respectful towards the PM (of the day, not just this one) - look at Hutton. And kind to the police - look at the judge-led inquiries into Hillsborough, both failed to uncover the truth.

I am sure they strive for independence but I do think being figures of authority themselves they tend to have a respect for authority and at heart a feeling of trust that those in authority don't tell huge lies when asked by a court of law. Hence Hutton covering up the weapons of mass destruction lies over Iraq and carefully not asking searching questions about the death of poor David Kelly. Mind you, Hutton's report was an obvious whitewash which bore no relation at all to the evidence. Leveson at least is a reasonable, if charitable towards the police and PM, interpretation of the evidence.

PetiteRaleuse Fri 30-Nov-12 13:11:45

Good point edam

Judges would have the assumption that everyone in positions of authority would respect the concept of perjury as they do themselves.

lovesmellingthecoffee Fri 30-Nov-12 15:02:57

What i don't understand is that many members of the press have been breaking laws which already exist and don't seem to be prosecuted for them.

Why have the police not been taken to task for a) not prosecuting criminals (which is what they are) and b) why isnt there a Jimmy Saville style investigation in to bribery and corruption in the police force around these issues,

Are the press barons so mighty that they and their workforce cannot be prosecuted?
Have the police been accepting bribes? or been coerced into non action.
Why have MPs from all parties let this happen?

Nancy66 Fri 30-Nov-12 15:11:01

dozens of journalists have been quizzed as part of the investigation. About 10 or so have been charged. Remember this particular enquiry only relates to a specific period of time.

There was also a separate enquiry into the conduct of the police which led to the resignation of John Yates

complexnumber Fri 30-Nov-12 16:16:54

I find it rather distasteful that Hugh Grant uses his celebrity status and influence to try to change the law on this issue when he clearly doesn't give a monkeys about the banks

How do you know? He has chosen to be very public about one particular cause, he may well have others. Why is this distasteful?

msrisotto Fri 30-Nov-12 17:27:36

He;s doing the cause a favour in helping it raise it's profile. There's nothing distasteful about it.

complexnumber Fri 30-Nov-12 17:54:06

msrisotto, I knew we would agree on something. Even if it wasn't fish!

complexnumber Fri 30-Nov-12 17:55:17

That should have been msrisotto , of course.

chipstick10 Fri 30-Nov-12 18:04:43

Ooh gawd Gerry McCann . That man makes my hackles rise.

complexnumber Fri 30-Nov-12 18:05:47

To Bunchamuncy

I went to school with HG back in the '70, he was a great bloke then and I very much doubt if he has changed that much. He really was an extremely intelligent lad and very popular with peers.

He went onto Oxford and I went onto Coventry Poly...

edam Fri 30-Nov-12 18:44:03

What's wrong with Gerry McCann? Unless you believe all the shite the Express poured on the poor man and his wife - shite that cost the Express £500k because it was clearly made-up rubbish. Cruel beyond belief. The poor man has lost his daughter, his character has been unfairly traduced, I really don't think anyone has the right to have a pop at him. (And I'm a journalist - thankfully not the sort who writes that appalling stuff.)

amicissimma Fri 30-Nov-12 19:00:31

Surely it's illegal to hack into people's phones?
I'm sure it's illegal to bribe the police.

If the perpetrators haven't been prosecuted for breaking laws that are already in place, I don't see the point of bringing in more laws.

I'm very nervous of the government having control of the Press. I'd like to continue to see things like MPs' expenses monitored by someone uncontrolled by parliament.

chipstick10 Fri 30-Nov-12 19:08:14

I don't like the man. He makes me very uncomfortable. This is still a free country where people are free to give their opinions. I don't like either of the mccanns. My sympathies lie with their poor daughter.

MamaMary Fri 30-Nov-12 19:21:42

I think edam makes good points on this thread.

The printed press is slowly dying. This could well be its kiss of death.

The internet is unregulated. It makes Leveson seem totally irrelevant.

Hugh Grant, rightly or wrongly, really irritates me on this whole thing. I can't bear to see his smug face in the news. I'm sorry, but I find it hard to indulge his and other celebrities' whinings on this. Celebrities depend on the press and publicity: it's their lifeblood. I'm sure Grant has always been perfectly happy to use the media to promote his latest film.

MamaMary Fri 30-Nov-12 19:23:20

Basically, I have very little sympathy for celebrities like Grant who earn millions, aided by the media.

I do have sympathy for the McCann family (though they used the media too), Chris Jeffries and the Dowlers.

But there are stringent defamation laws in this land which already hold the press accountable.

noddyholder Fri 30-Nov-12 19:38:29

The McCanns weren't hacked {they said they didn't have phones} so assuming their complaint is re the publication of Kate's diaries by The Sun why don't the sun tell them who gave them the diaries and then they can sue them?

zamantha Fri 30-Nov-12 19:44:56

Most people can't afford the lawyers fees to take on the press and that is why there needs to be statuory law which is cost -effective for ordinary folk to go to.
How can people say , there is no need for legislation with 70 years of enquiry and no restraint by press - they are driven by money and public interest is secondary.

Liked leveson's final comments: "We need to guard the Guadrians" A bit of a pun because the Guardian is largely respectable who I think brought us this scandal and there may be a few others but they all need to follow guidelines and they clearly feel they are above the law or they would not have bribed or phone-hacked.
I'm not sure what will police them but a law if someone is brave enough should be there - even just to support innocent public with a small claims court ability to criticise the press. We want freedom but not too much power - press have more power than anybody at mo.

edam Fri 30-Nov-12 20:37:38

amic, you'd think phone hacking was illegal, but it wasn't actually made illegal until sometime in the early 2000s. The CPS bizarrely decided, when challenged on this, that it was only illegal if you could prove the person for whom the voicemail was intended had not listened to the message first. Madness and clearly an attempt to shut down criticism.

edam Fri 30-Nov-12 20:40:24

zamantha, did Leveson say 'We need to guard the guardians' or 'Who will guard the guardians?' The second is the usual phrase, from the Latin Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?' and has often been used in discussions about the press - who holds to account those who hold others to account?

QuickLookBusy Fri 30-Nov-12 20:44:58

Noddy if I remember correctly, the McCaans think it was the Portugese police who copied her diary then sold it to The Sun.

msrisotto Fri 30-Nov-12 20:45:08

Haha complex! I hadn't realised it was you!

QuickLookBusy Fri 30-Nov-12 20:48:13

I have sympathy for people like HG. Yes he's made money from films, but that doesn't mean he has sold his soul to the press for ever more.

He is entitled to privacy, like any other human being.

zamantha Fri 30-Nov-12 20:57:55

I'm sure you are right and it relates to a latin phrase.

haven't read whole thread - but are we really talking about individuals as the press hone in on or are we talking about principles?

Who cares if so and so likes HG or the Mc's? The issue of improper behaviour by power brokers is the issue.

EdgarAllanPond Fri 30-Nov-12 21:34:48

with noddy on this.

i think this is an inquest that was always going to end one way

disapproving language

no action

because whoever regulates the press needs regulating

i found John Majors testimony interesting

i don't know what i'd do to stop that though.

TheOriginalPan Fri 30-Nov-12 21:39:04

Camrun finds himself in a tricky place, doesn't he? He has been told to have 'misgivings' about the recommendations, yet a chunk of his own party, his coalition buddies, the Labour Party, a large body of witnesses and from chat's in RL most (?) of the GBP would like to see a legislative back stop.

But we can always rely on Camrun's good sense and judgement in these things....

EdgarAllanPond Fri 30-Nov-12 21:47:04

Pan : Solution?

what legislation wouldn't impede freedom of speech?

TheOriginalPan Fri 30-Nov-12 21:51:43

I think it depends on what you mean by "freedom of speech". This has always been curtailed to avoid abuses/incitements/harrasment, by law, so there isn't any great Rubicon being crossed here, as 'anti-legislators would have it.

One knows that the 'last chance salon' has been well drunk in repeatedly re self regulation.

Of course I am making all this up as I go along, as we all are, but it convinces me.grin

EdgarAllanPond Fri 30-Nov-12 21:56:50

i note also that the labour party had 13 years to legislate on this subject and didn't.

TheOriginalPan Fri 30-Nov-12 21:59:30

There's a big long list of things the Labour Party should have legislated on but didn't.

edam Fri 30-Nov-12 22:40:29

All governments over the past few decades have been desperate to win Murdoch's approval. To be fair, it wasn't until 2006 that the royal reporter scandal broke and 2009/10 when the Guardian started to expose the full scale of wrongdoing.

Cameron was warned not to appoint the ex-editor of the Screws, who had resigned in disgrace over phone-hacking, as his press secretary. But insisted on doing it anyway - and refused to sack Coulson even as the scandal unraveled.

kweggie Fri 30-Nov-12 23:00:26

It's about balance, surely. I for one want a free press-free to uncover stories like the MPs' expenses scandal. The law should punish phone-hackers. But I am more than a little bit put out to see people who have used the Press to their advantage when it suited them then appearing at the enquiry wanting freedom of the press hampered because they don't like some of the stories that have been published.

chipstick10 Fri 30-Nov-12 23:13:56

I agree muchly with you kweggie. There are more than several names that spring to mind who have used the press massively and it so pisses me off that they are now trying to stifle the press because certain stories were not favourable. Obvs I feel for the dowlers et al but I can't find myslelf crying buckets for the the rest. I have much more in my life to worry about than Jk friggin Rowling, Steve coogan or the mccanns.

TheOriginalPan Fri 30-Nov-12 23:20:50

I don't think the celebs are complaining about the stories - they are complaining about the depth of intrusion into their private lives, which is understandable.
Just because the film marketing requires distribution/production companies to advertise the films doesn't mean nasties from rags have a 'right' to invade people's lives.

noddyholder Fri 30-Nov-12 23:20:52

It will be interesting to see if labour make this law if they win the next election. I very much doubt it.

noddyholder Fri 30-Nov-12 23:23:24

The mccanns 'think' it was the Portuguese police? Why doesn't the sun tell them so they re sure? Maybe it's because een though they printed extracts Kate McCann still signed a deal with them to serialise her book. Double standards

chipstick10 Sat 01-Dec-12 00:12:05

I know it's going off topic but seriously!!, Gerry McCann telling cam to do the right thing
. I know I can't express what I really want to say because I will get barred, but also hasn't cam slung 3million at them to re look at the Portuguese investigation into the mysterious disappearances of their daughter?

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sat 01-Dec-12 00:15:48

chipstick, if you want to debate the mccanns, maybe start another thread? This thread is to discuss Leveson, not the mccanns.

QuickLookBusy Sat 01-Dec-12 08:20:52

Noddy, Kate McCaan did not initially hand over her diaries for them to be printed.

Somone gave her private diaries to the press, without HER permission. That is a gross invasion of privacy and dispicable IMO.

That is the main point here and is relevant to Leveson.

zamantha Sat 01-Dec-12 08:36:57

The anti-Mcann posts disturb me - they lost their little girl - have the press been honing in on their privilege as they did when a doctor's baby died in America with an English nanny. How many of us would stand up to the test of so much scrutiny? What would you do to try and find your child?

The gutter press are just that - vile uber-capitalists who believe immorality is proper. HG interviewed one who was unashamed that a lady committed suicide after he exposed her in press - druggie from posh background, was not entirely his fault but he knew he added to her unravelling -"If people want to read it it's news worthy he said"
Jude Law said he felt he was becoming paranoid - he was followed and hacked for years and had no idea - that is lack of basic human rights.

Much of the press are outrageous and must be regulated. I feel many posters read DM and such stuff and believe what they read.

Proudnscaryvirginmary Sat 01-Dec-12 08:49:05

What's 'uber captitalist' mean?

What I think some people fail to understand is that it is all about supply and demand! When newspapers print such exposes they sell far more copies. Everyone who buys a newspaper on the back of such as story is as 'guilty' as the newspaper editors and proprietors.

I still think the British (^free^) press is something for us all to be proud of actually - yes it has got out of control and needs some serious reigning in because some people have acted despicably - but it is on the whole a force for good. We are one of the very few nations in this world where our media can expose wrongdoings and hypocrisy within government and other public organisations without fear of reprisals.

Proudnscaryvirginmary Sat 01-Dec-12 08:49:32

Oops capitalist <never previews posts>

LaVolcan Sat 01-Dec-12 09:01:58

There is something of a difference between the Tabloids and the Broadsheets though. The Sun, Mail etc. print absolute rubbish 90% of the time, whereas the the Guardian, Telegraph, although not without bias, do have some sensible articles.

I have two minds about the McCanns though. I remember that the Express went to town that summer with pictures of Madeleine; her photo on the front sold newspapers in the way that Princess Di on a cover did. That I felt was OTT but, correct me if I am wrong, the McCanns and their friends reached a very comfortable out of court settlement with the Express (cue carefully posed pictures of said friends outside Royal Courts of Justice, even though the case didn't get to court.) But then Kate did choose to sell the serialisation rights of her book to the Sun, so clearly she didn't mind publicity then.

I was baffled about why they appeared at Leveson, because most of the phone hacking came about before Madeleine disappeared, and they said that their phones weren't hacked.

mrsblossom Sat 01-Dec-12 11:05:30

If you agree with the Leveson report sign this petition:



pofacedalways Sat 01-Dec-12 11:41:00

complexnumber he has never commented publicly about the banking crisis or the need for an independent inquiry. There is no large number of high profile rich people [anonymous or not] utilizing their status to pressure for such an inquiry. I am allowed to have an opinion on whether I find that distasteful or not thanks.

zamantha Sat 01-Dec-12 11:41:27

"uber-capitalist" - not sure how to express it - those that think greed is good and stalking is justified and many tabloid journalists genuinely think this.

pofacedalways Sat 01-Dec-12 12:09:28

well our whole society is run on the basis that greed is good [basis of capitalism] but yes of course it isn't.

TheOriginalPan Sat 01-Dec-12 13:35:11
crabbyoldbat Sat 01-Dec-12 13:43:16

Why have the police not been taken to task for a) not prosecuting criminals (which is what they are) and b) why isnt there a Jimmy Saville style investigation in to bribery and corruption in the police force around these issues,

Leveson had to be very careful, in case what he said prejudiced ongoing criminal investigations. A list of those arrested in connection with hacking, bribery and corruption is here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_persons_arrested,_charged_and_convicted_in_conjunction_with_the_news_media_phone_hacking_scandal

- several police officers on the list

TheOriginalPan Sat 01-Dec-12 14:16:17

interesting that the press haven't made much mention of the GBP's preference for a legal framework.

QuickLookBusy Sat 01-Dec-12 15:10:06

TheOrigionalPlan- that's a very good piece. I particularly enjoyed his description of Paul Dacre, editor of The Daily Mail

He is the embodiment of Fleet Street bullying, using his newspaper to peddle his Little-England, curtain-twitching Alan Partridgesque view of the world, which manages to combine sanctimonious, pompous moralising and prurient, voyeuristic, judgmental obsession, like a Victorian father masturbating secretly in his bedroom. This is the side of the press Cameron has sided with.

I don't think he likes him.

TheOriginalPan Sat 01-Dec-12 15:48:21

<OriginalPan, cough>

QuickLookBusy Sat 01-Dec-12 15:53:07

I apologise Original, I'm dyslexic so often make mistakes. as you can see

TheOriginalPan Sat 01-Dec-12 15:57:58

S'okay QLB

NYT observations

Viviennemary Sat 01-Dec-12 17:13:31

I think the press are in the wrong at times when they print untrue stories about people. But on the other hand if there was legislation I bet the MP's expenses row would never have been printed. And I don't like it when people lap up publicity and court press attention but the minute the press print something they don't like they are up in arms.

crabbyoldbat Sat 01-Dec-12 17:29:07

The MPs expenses row would have been printed because it passes the 'public interest' test - that is, it's okay to act a bit underhandedly if you can show that it's in the public interest e.g. exposing corruption in high office.

Public interest is just not what the public is interested in, however, and gossip about celebs doesn't count.

edam Sat 01-Dec-12 17:46:23

The risk is that legislation can have unintended consequences. Once there's a law specifically to control what can be published and what can't, on top of a multiplicity of existing laws (confidentiality, defamation, contempt of court, Official Secrets, being a party to misconduct in a public office and many, many more) then it may well be used by those who fear being exposed or embarrassed to choke off perfectly legitimate investigations. If it's dangerous legally to pursue an investigation, hence extremely expensive, proprietors will want them to be dropped, and journalists won't be allowed to even look for them, let alone report them.

Investigative journalism is expensive and time-consuming. Publishers are wary about spending money on stuff that could get them into trouble.

There is also the argument that celeb tittle tattle subsidises investigative journalism. Gossip sells newspapers and magazines which can then put money into serious journalism. Take the gossip away and the newspaper or magazine folds.

I used to edit an investigative magazine. We had every page read by a libel lawyer before going to press - something that cost a huge amount of money and is a luxury most publications could not afford. We'd still get shysters sending us threatening letters and trying it on (and politicians using PR spin - paid for by the taxpayer to try to shout us down). I was in the fortunate position of having the time and the legal backing to be sure that we'd conducted our investigations properly and ethically and that we could justify what we'd written. There's not many publications that can do that and indeed, that magazine eventually closed down partly because the finances didn't stack up (the publisher decided to invest their money in the main title and close the smaller ones).

I like to think we did some good work, certainly exposed quite a lot of wrongdoing, but the number of publications that are able to do that securely, knowing they are able to defend their work, is shrinking all the time.

QuickLookBusy Sat 01-Dec-12 17:54:47

Edam-"Once there's a law specifically to control what can be published and what can't...."

Is that what Leveson is proposing?

edam Sat 01-Dec-12 18:00:27

No, not as clearly as that. But he is proposing legislation to establish a regulator, and once you have legislation in place it can be amended, often without further debate in Parliament. The rich and powerful can put pressure on a regulator - look at the way the Press Complaints Commission* backed Murdoch and attacked the journalists exposing phone hacking.

*Not actually a regulator but the same principle applies.

There are already a host of laws that control what the media can and cannot report - they just need to be applied. The attorney general has already made progress wrt contempt of court after the Joanna Yeates case where Christopher Jeffries was traduced by the tabs. He woke up and started pursuing actions, and brought the tabs back into line.

tb Sat 01-Dec-12 18:03:50

Perhaps the problem is that Cameron comes from a PR background, so is likely to have friends in all the 'wrong' places. He was only able to become leader of the Tory party as they were looking for a candidate to stand up against slippery slimy Tone.

Otherwise, the Tories would have probably had David Davies as leader, and as a result a lot of things would probably have been very different.

claig Sat 01-Dec-12 20:12:55

'The second was that of Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre. He is the embodiment of Fleet Street bullying, using his newspaper to peddle his Little-England, curtain-twitching Alan Partridgesque view of the world, which manages to combine sanctimonious, pompous moralising and prurient, voyeuristic, judgmental obsession, like a Victorian father masturbating secretly in his bedroom. This is the side of the press Cameron has sided with.'

Oh dear, oh dear. It sounds like unfunny Coogan is out of touch with the British public who buy the Daily Mail in their millions.

When no one any longer watches Coogan's comedies and movies and when no one any longer asks for his opinion, the public will still be buying the Daily Mail in their millions, and its online version will still probably be the most visited internet newspaper site in the world.

claig Sat 01-Dec-12 20:20:18

'which manages to combine sanctimonious, pompous moralising'

I don't remember many green, environmental articles on biodiversity, global warming and climate catastrophe. Has he got the Daily Mail mixed up with a certain left-leaning paper?

claig Sat 01-Dec-12 20:22:32

Thank God we have a free press in the UK, where millions can choose to read the paper that Coogan dislikes. Long live freedom, long live the Daily Mail!

claig Sat 01-Dec-12 20:32:00

'peddle his Little-England, curtain-twitching Alan Partridgesque view of the world'

What pomposity Coogan has, to compare in any way the editor of the Daily Mail, a paper read by millions, to his own minor comic character, Alan Partridge, who was funny for all of 5 minutes, and thankfiully no longer often appears on our TV screens.

claig Sat 01-Dec-12 20:46:05

I would like to hear more from Tom Watson MP who was a hero and made great points about abuse of power, illegality and inappropriate influence on representatives of the people.

But luvvies who dislike a "Little England" view of the world will only make the public support the press.

claig Sat 01-Dec-12 21:01:54

I hope the Guardian, which some say is a serious paper, interviewed Tom Watson about this.

Guardian interviews with sanctimonious sleb luvvies who dislike the people's paper that outsells the Guardian by a wide margin may please progressives, but will not play well the people.

TheOriginalPan Sat 01-Dec-12 21:02:05

But buying a newspaper by the million doesn't make it a 'good thing' or beyond criticism or not-guilty of peddling racists, middle-England scare-mongering rubbish. In fact it lots of ways it;s too easy a target.

claig Sat 01-Dec-12 21:13:41

'But buying a newspaper by the million doesn't make it a 'good thing' or beyond criticism'

Of course it is not beyond criticism; it could do lot more to expose the climate catastrophe con.

'not-guilty of peddling racists'
This was the paper awarded Newspaper of the Year 2012 by the distinguished Society of Editors, in part due to its outstanding coverage of the Stephen Lawrence case.

'middle-England scare-mongering rubbish'
that is a matter of opinion. The Daily Mail reported on the leaked swine flu memo - some politicianns, pharmacological corporations and plutocrats may think that was middle England scaremongering, but millions of Mail readers were interested to read a story that had not been publicised.

'In fact it lots of ways it's too easy a target.'

It ia a target by a luvvie in the Guardian which is the wrong target, which insults the people, and which undermines the case of serious illegality perpetrated by the press.

claig Sat 01-Dec-12 21:20:37

' The Daily Mail reported on the leaked swine flu memo'

Have you forgotten that historic Sunday when the Mail released that story? Have you forgotten how it had to be mentioned on the Andrew Marr Show that Sunday? They couldn't ignore it, it was in the people's paper, sold to millions, it was only in the Mail on Sunday.

Long live freedom, long live Middle England, long live a free press, long live the Daily Mail!

TheOriginalPan Sat 01-Dec-12 21:22:03

Point of info - wasn't it the DM that messed up the prosecution of the Stephen Lawrence 5 by publicising their details, photographs and some of the evidence against them, pretty much at the start?

having said this, I'll cease this line - the DM shouldn't necessarily be singularly on trial here.

claig Sat 01-Dec-12 21:57:49

Our press is not free enough. They didn't publish photos that were shown in other papers in the world. They suppress stories that are printed in other papers in the world. There is no such thing as a truly free press, but let's not make it any less free than it already is.

Why not change libel laws and make a no win no fees legal system so that clever lawyers can challenge the press on behalf of the public who don't have the money to take the press on. Why not move to a freer system like in the USA.

Let's be careful not to let powerful, rich, possibly political backers use press illegality to further curtail freedom of teh public to know certain things. Let's not let some prominent celebrity luvvies who dsilike curtain-twitching Middle England views to create an atmosphere which might lead to stifling of a free press.

claig Sat 01-Dec-12 22:00:37

sorry, "Liitle England, curtain-twitching", not Middle England.

annehathaway Sun 02-Dec-12 22:26:44

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