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By Safe_Timber_Man
Membership Days Posts
Another one from The Mail - Possibly Dacre himself with this one.

The £3.8 million paymaster in question is former F1 tycoon Max Mosley — son of Sir Oswald, who led the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s.

You say that like you think it's a bad thing, Daily Mail?

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: After 300 years, the freedom of Britain's Press is in peril. YOU can save it ... ve-it.html

Ask people if they believe in the freedom of the Press and the public's right to know, and 99 out of 100 will answer an emphatic: 'Yes.'

But after more than 300 years of being able to take Press freedom for granted in this country, there's a danger of losing sight of why it is so fundamentally important to the wellbeing of any civilised society.
So today, with only 24 hours left for the public to protest against the greatest threat to their right to know in our modern history, the Mail makes no apology for highlighting an issue with the most profound implications for the whole nation and all its people.

To begin with an obvious truth, no country can call itself a true democracy without independent media, free from state interference, offering voters as wide a range of news and opinions as possible to weigh up before casting their ballots.

This is why dictators make it their first objective to seize control of broadcasting stations and newspapers, so that the public can know only what their rulers wish them to hear or read.

A Press free from censorship is also the citizen's surest defence against corrupt politicians and officials, unscrupulous employers, fraudsters and other wrongdoers.

Time and again, newspapers — not Parliament, the police or even the BBC, with its vast public funding — have exposed the worst injustices in our society.

Remember the Thalidomide scandal, the MPs' expenses racket, the Rotherham sex-grooming cover-up and the monumental police failures over the murder of Stephen Lawrence? All these iniquities, and countless more, were brought to light by the Press.

Yes, Britain's buccaneering newspapers are often scurrilous and provocative. They are sometimes hurtful and, like everyone else, they make mistakes.

But it is impossible to exaggerate the role played by Britain's 300-year tradition of Press freedom in keeping our country comparatively free from the rank corruption that plagues less fortunate peoples overseas.

It is thanks in huge measure to the vigilance of our unshackled newspapers that, in general, British officials and judges do not take bribes — and even our least honest politicians are mere petty criminals beside the grand larcenists in power elsewhere in the world.

Yet, at the dawn of 2017, the Press freedom that has served our country so well since the 17th century is under attack from all sides.

One powerful threat, which this paper laments but about which it makes no complaint, is purely commercial. It comes from the growth of the unregulated internet, that spawning-ground of 'fake news', whose competition for advertising revenue drives more local newspapers out of business every week.

This is cause for deep concern and regret, since it means court cases and the proceedings of local authorities go increasingly unreported, leaving the public in the dark about decisions taken in their name.

But the Press was born of one technological revolution, with the invention of movable type in the 15th century, and it is no use railing against the advent of another. The Mail is confident that ways will be found to enable responsible journalism to adapt and survive in the electronic age.

A more malicious threat comes from Left-wing campaigners who seek to blackmail firms into withdrawing advertising from newspapers with which they disagree.

Particular targets are those, like the Mail, which voice public concerns about mass unrestricted immigration and the wanton waste of taxpayers' money on overseas aid, while the elderly and vulnerable suffer at home.
But with fair-minded companies refusing to be bullied by groups such as Stop Funding Hate, this assault on free expression can also be overcome.

No — far more insidious and dangerous to Press freedom is the threat posed by Section 40 of the
Indeed, it awaits only the say-so of Culture Secretary Karen Bradley to activate it — and thereby put an end to three centuries in which the public's right to know has been unfettered by the state.

This is where readers come in. For to her great credit, Mrs Bradley has put Section 40 out to consultation, asking whether it should be triggered or scrapped. The public have until tomorrow to register their views.

To summarise, this hugely controversial piece of legislation was Parliament's response to the Leveson Inquiry, called amid the hysteria of the phone-hacking scandal (a criminal matter, in which the Mail, like the overwhelming majority of newspapers, had no involvement whatsoever).

Stitched up over pizzas in Ed Miliband's office at 2am — with the anti-Press group Hacked Off present, but no representatives of the newspaper industry — the idea was to set up a new Press regulator, state-approved by Royal Charter.

Now comes the vicious twist. In an attempt to force papers to sign up to a watchdog endorsed by the state — something no self-respecting believer in Press freedom or a free society could ever do — Section 40 threatens to impose huge financial penalties on any who refuse.

They will not only be liable for exemplary damages if they lose a case in the civil courts. Outrageously, under Section 40 they will also be made to pay the legal costs for the losing side — even if their reports are found to be entirely true and in the public interest.

Thus, a paper that justly exposes a firm for defrauding pensioners of their life savings may be landed with legal costs running into hundreds of thousands or even millions of pounds.

For many struggling local papers, this could mean closure — while even the most commercially successful publications would hesitate to expose any scandal that might provoke a legal action.

Indeed, Section 40 hands crooks, chancers and the corrupt a formidable weapon to silence criticism and continue their wrongdoing, while encouraging papers to print nothing about the rich and powerful except what their publicity agents dictate.

But there's a further twist, more sinister and surreal still, exposing the appalling folly of seeking to impose state regulation on the Press.

The extraordinary fact is that, so far, the only regulator approved by a Government-endorsed panel of the Great and Good is an outfit called Impress, which is financed almost entirely by a sleazy millionaire with a grudge against the Press.

The £3.8 million paymaster in question is former F1 tycoon Max Mosley — son of Sir Oswald, who led the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s.

Mr Mosley has pursued a campaign against the Press since he was exposed by the now-defunct News of the World for taking part in a sado-masochistic orgy involving five prostitutes.

Among Impress board members is one who has tweeted his wish to ban the Daily Mail, and others who have backed the campaign to drive centre-Right newspapers out of business by starving them of advertising.
Even if Impress had impeccably fair-minded credentials, this paper would refuse to join it, on the principle that it is wrong for the Press to submit to state regulation.

As it is, the very thought of surrender to such a creepy body is unthinkable. This is why no mainstream newspaper, of Right or Left, has signed up to Impress, which includes only a tiny number of the smallest local papers and online blogs on its books.

Most of the rest, including the Mail, have subscribed to the industry-financed Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), run by the former High Court Judge Sir Alan Moses.

Unlike Impress, IPSO's panel members don't want to ban newspapers. But they still run the tightest regulatory regime in the free world, with powers to impose fines of up to £1 million and insist on corrections of mistakes on the front page.
This paper has said many harsh things about Lord Justice Leveson — a distinguished lawyer, perhaps, though clearly out of his depth in the world of the internet and its implications for Press freedom.

But even he, in his worst nightmares, could not have imagined that the upshot of his inquiry would be handing control of the Press to the acolytes of a vindictive millionaire acting with the state's imprimatur.

So, at this 11th hour, while there's still time, we urge readers to tell the Culture Secretary how much you value the public's right to know. Turn to page 26 to find out how.

Only when it has been taken away will we realise how precious a liberty we have lost. You can help stop that happening. Make your voice heard.

Act NOW if you want to help defend the right to read a website like MailOnline ... ve-it.html

Imagine someone throws a brick through your window. The case goes to court and the brick-thrower is convicted. But you are told you must pay for your window - and his brick.

An unbelievable injustice? Yes - but that's just what Britain's newspapers and news websites face.

In the New Year, the Culture Secretary must decide whether or not to implement a piece of legislation so pernicious, so illiberal, it is hard to believe Parliament ever passed it. But it did.

Under Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act, rushed into law after the Leveson Inquiry, any relevant newspapers or news websites - from MailOnline to The Guardian, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed - which refuse to join a regulator approved under the Government's Royal Charter for the Press, and are sued for libel, will be forced to pay the other side's legal costs — even if they win.

EVEN IF YOU WIN, YOU LOSE: If this law is implemented, it won't matter if an article is true, lawfully published, serves the public interest, and the complaint is thrown out by the court — any relevant newspapers or news websites not signed up to an approved regulator will face paying all the costs, every single penny.

FREE TICKET FOR CROOKS, BANKRUPTCY FOR NEWSPAPERS: Costs in High Court legal actions routinely run into hundreds of thousands of pounds — sometimes millions. This legislation gives anyone who wants to silence journalists a free ticket. News organisations that fight will face being bankrupted.

WHO WILL EXPOSE INJUSTICE? Most of our greatest injustices are exposed not by MPs or the police, but by the Press. The MPs' expenses scandal; the Rotherham sex grooming cover-up; the monumental failures over the murder of Stephen Lawrence — just a few of the investigations that would never have been possible if Section 40 was in force.

WHY NOT JOIN THE STATE-APPROVED REGULATOR? Called Impress, it claims to be independent, but is bankrolled by former F1 boss Max Mosley, on a mission to 'reform' the Press ever since a newspaper revealed his sado-masochistic orgy with five prostitutes. It has just a handful of micro-publisher members, some barely more than online blogs. No mainstream news organisation has joined.

SO WHO REGULATES THE DAILY MAIL AND MAILONLINE? MailOnline and 2,600 other news websites, newspapers, and magazines do not believe the Press can be truly free under rules imposed by politicians. We belong to a regulator which is entirely independent of the Government. Chaired by former Appeal Court Judge Sir Alan Moses, the Independent Press Standards Organisation regularly orders front page corrections and — if necessary — can impose fines of up to £1 million.

... AND THEN THERE'S LEVESON TWO: The original Leveson Inquiry and associated criminal trials have already cost the taxpayer nearly £50 million. Despite a raft of reforms to the Press, police and politics, the Culture Secretary is under pressure to go over it all again with Leveson Part Two.

WHAT CAN BE DONE? Very sensibly, the Culture Secretary has launched a consultation. The zealots of Hacked Off, and their allies in Parliament, are lobbying hard for Section 40 to become law and Leveson Two to get under way.
But this time you get your say, too. If you want to defend the right to read a news website like MailOnline, a website which holds the rich and powerful to account, which fights injustice, and which refuses to kow-tow to rules set by politicians and a regulator in the pocket of Max Mosley, you can tell the Government this unjust legislation must be repealed — and no money wasted on another Leveson Inquiry.

Then they give a (far from quick and simple) step by step guide on how to oppose it.

The comments are a pleasant surprise:

Gus, London, 4 hours ago
I agree 100% in press freedom but freedom coupled with responsibility. The problem is the press want freedom to publish "news" that is NOT in the public interest but is rather salacious in nature or pick and chose the "news" to "steer" readers to their political Agenda.
+333 -18
blumen, luebeck, Germany, 4 hours ago
Freedom of the press does not mean fake news and propaganda.
+299 -9
Fasterfreddy2, St. Albans, United Kingdom, 3 hours ago
Weren't British newspapers offered the opportunity to 'self-regulate' after abusing their "freedom"? They didn't, because they wanted to create revenue with intrusive/abusive articles based on rumour and supposition. With Rupert Murdoch closely linked with so many international media outlets, we are not talking 'press freedom', we are discussing R.M. freedom. Yes, a "responsible" press should be "free", but do we have one?
+238 -13
Goldenbough, Sydney, Australia, 4 hours ago
It's too late, you haven't been "free" for decades and you're only squealing now because you too are starting to feel the heel on your necks. We have our own channels now where truth is discussed openly with no bias.
+198 -12
Carl_Shrops, Telford, 4 hours ago
Well, you wouldn't have become what you have become if you had been reporting on the truth instead of reporting on what you were told to report against. Now its biting you back. As much as its "deserved", we do need truth-tellers for the masses (especially those who real faff like this instead of investigating it for themselves) - so if you want saving - spill the beans, stop listening to your masters and become what you once were.
+171 -7
SuperDec, isle de murte, United Kingdom, 7 hours ago
What freedom to vilify an innocent person, oh but you do say sorry afterwards, and that does make all the difference, not, biased reporting, instead of correct and to the best of knowledge non judgemental reporting. Is that the freedom you are talking about ?
+70 -6
By Watchman
Membership Days Posts
Not sure if this should be here, or in "That looks Familiar"

Littlejohn 3rd Jan 2016
Imagine someone throws a brick through your window. The case goes to court and the brick-thrower is convicted. But you are told you must pay for your window - and his brick.
An unbelievable injustice? Yes - but that's just what Britain's newspapers and news websites face.
Mail Editorial 9th Jan
Imagine someone throws a brick through your window. The case goes to court and the brick-thrower is convicted. But you are told you must pay for your window - and his brick.

An unbelievable injustice? Yes - but that's just what Britain's newspapers and news websites face.
By Kreuzberger
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
Watchman wrote:Not sure if this should be here, or in "That looks Familiar"

Littlejohn 3rd Jan 2016
Imagine someone throws a brick through your window. The case goes to court and the brick-thrower is convicted. But you are told you must pay for your window - and his brick.
An unbelievable injustice? Yes - but that's just what Britain's newspapers and news websites face.
Mail Editorial 9th Jan
Imagine someone throws a brick through your window. The case goes to court and the brick-thrower is convicted. But you are told you must pay for your window - and his brick.

An unbelievable injustice? Yes - but that's just what Britain's newspapers and news websites face.
It is a familiar turn-of-phrase. Why, even David Blunkett has been known to use it.
By Andy McDandy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
See also the capitalisation of the phrase "free press", "chilling effect of Leveson" and many more. As Zelo Street pointed out the other day, a recent article by Tony Parsehole on this issue was almost word for word the same as a Rod Liddle one on the same subject.
By cycloon
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
This is really interesting. A lot of the comments above refer to other sources of information, and they're not always going to be as well resourced or as potentially capable as a newspaper like the Mail, but the Mail is used for hysterical fearmongering 99.5% of the time - i.e. it COULD be a bastion of truth, but it CHOOSES not to be. Is this a case that the idiocy and hysteria of the Mail, Sun et al combines with dismissiveness aimed at the Guardian, Times etc as 'MSM' papers to undermine the press as a concept? At a time when proper journalism is pretty important, the possibility of the 'truth' being uncovered by the press is washed away because it chose not go give a toss much of the time.

For every Stephen Lawrence investigation, there are dozens of flat out lies, with little visible accountability, change or remorse. Baby out with the bathwater might be partially down to Dacre himself, no?

A perfect example is that they call Hacked Off 'zealots'. Last time I read Private Eye, they quoted the Mail appealing to Hacked Off's authority because it served the political purpose at hand.
By Daley Mayle
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
It's almost as if there is some kind of coordination behind this and not behind closed doors like Red Ed and his Hacked Off zealots feasting on takeaway pizzas. I'm thinking more like rather agreeable dinners in London's best restaurants hosted by newspaper proprietors and their editors.
By Andy McDandy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
Time for some post-Leveson bingo?

Red Ed.
Late night stitch up over pizzas.
Free Press (note capitalisation).
Chilling effect.
Absurd farce of Leveson.
Max Mosley.
Five prostitute S&M orgy.
Embittered celebrities.
Brick through window.
Death by thousand cuts of regional papers.
Lawless wastelend of the internet.

Oh, and as for investigative journalism, how come the main broadcasters, while bound by rules far stricter than those on newspapers, still manage it?
By Bones McCoy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
Imagine someone throws a brick through your window.
The case goes to IPSO and the brick-thrower is convicted.
3 months later the brick-thrower prints an apology at the bottom of page 58 and the matter is closed.
By The Red Arrow
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
Please share.
Dear Friend,

Today victims of press abuse and Hacked Off supporters delivered 52,000 pages of Leveson evidence to the Government. We were there to protest the contemptuous way in which the Government has intervened to block press reforms, and is effectively trying to re-run the 15-month Leveson Inquiry itself but putting a Government minister in the judge’s chair, so that it can deliver the result the press want: more of the status quo.

The Government’s current 10-week consultation closes tomorrow at 5pm so if you haven’t replied already, please will you take 30 seconds to do so now?

Over the Christmas period and especially since the New Year, a large number of national and local newspapers that are signed up to IPSO and are hostile to Leveson, have been attacking section 40 with hyperbolic, distorted and false claims, and personal attacks.

In almost every case, these baseless attacks have failed to mention that this provision is a way of guaranteeing access to justice for victims who they might have illegally libelled or harassed or whose privacy they have breached, and who currently can’t afford to take them to court (or don't have the wherewithal to do so). And newspapers which sign up to a genuinely independent regulator, as Leveson recommended, will be protected from ever having to pay the costs of claims brought against them: that is a new free speech protection which publishers have never before enjoyed.

After spending many days attempting to frighten their readerships about the so-called dangers, most of these newspapers have been asking their readers to complete and return coupons in their papers opposing section 40 and Leveson Part 2. Polling shows that the vast majority of their readers don’t buy it and even the readerships of the most aggressive papers back Leveson by significant margins: but it would only take a fraction of readers to write in for the press to claim they have won this debate.

Please help us fight back against the corporate press megaphone – please take action now. ... a-73767065" onclick=";return false;

Best wishes,
Daisy and Evan
Joint Executive Directors, Hacked Off
By Samanfur
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
A full page advertorial in the Lancashire Telegraph from earlier this week:
As Press Officer for the local CLP, I know full well that this paper makes up quotes to suit it, fabricates interviews where necessary and is rather evasive when you try to confront them about it.
By Kreuzberger
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
youngian wrote:Its a good piece of leverage for a government; step out of line and we may as well let the dogs out.
At the moment, the reverse is true. Witness the way in which they have turned on the previously faultless Jeremy Hunt.
By Daley Mayle
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
The outcome of the consultation will one of those small but defining moments of British history.

Cameron's decision to hold the Inquiry and his promises that the recommendations would be implemented unless they were, in his words, bonkers has painted his successor's government into a corner. When faced with such difficult decisions politicians either kick into the long grass or fudge the issue. Having already hoofed it down the road and then added a further ten weeks that gave the press time to put together a massive and coordinated campaign then the first option is not available and I really can't see where they can fudge it, Leveson's recommendations were reasonable and flexible.

I think what will happen is a massive watering down of the Leveson's Inquiry's recommendations to homeopathic levels and warnings that the press are in the Really, Really Last Chance Saloon.
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