Showing that the solemn promise of a UK Prime Minister is not worth having, and under cover of the faux sideshow stirred up over what Max Mosley may or may not have done well over half a century ago, the Tories have showed the world that they have done the ultimate deal with the devil, as Culture Secretary and press puppet Matt Hancock reads from his pre-prepared instructions and abandons Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry.
Billed as either a re-run of Leveson Part 1, or going over more of the same, neither of which is true, Part 2 of Leveson would have lifted the lid on the corrupt relationships between press and Police, and indeed between press and politicians. It would have shed light on “Fake Sheikh” Mazher Mahmood, Hillsborough, Orgreave, the Daniel Morgan murder, and the criminal use of the “Dark Arts” by the press.
The deal which Hancock has announced, and his boss Theresa May has done with those who run our free and fearless press, sweeps all of that under the carpet. All the hacking, blagging, bin rifling, surveillance, harassment, doxxing, evidence tampering, evidence deletion, the threatening letters, the threatening phone calls, that is all swept away and the slate cleaned. Those criminal enterprises got away with it again.
In return for this, the Tories will do what the press establishment wants. I’ll go further: they must do what the press establishment wants. They are now handcuffed to the rotting corpse of print media, and as culpable for all the criminality.
The Tories’ capitulation to their new masters did not go down well with those who know the nature of this particular beast. Steven Nott, who discovered the secret of phone hacking and was smeared and abused by the tabloid press as a result, observed “What a disgrace. What an absolute disgrace. I'm ashamed of this country and it's attitude to victims of press abuse. The cover up continues”. Cover up is right. And there was more.
Steven Barnett of the University of Westminster put best foot forward to note “Government caves in to ferocious press lobbying and cancels second part of Leveson Inquiry. Who said that press power was diminishing?” Rosie Robertson told “Matt Hancock announces #Leveson2 is not to go ahead, does he?? So those cosy tête-à-tête meetings/dinners between May/Paul Dacre, the posts in crucial departments doled out to right-wing Murdoch ‘journalists’ and others have paid off, it seems. Very bad news for UK democracy!”
Alastair Morgan, still seeking answers to the unsolved murder of his brother, mused “Tories have now cancelled Leveson 2. The fellatio continues”. And Brian Cathcart pointed out “A week ago the Commons Home Affairs committee revealed that IPSO had upheld only one out of 8,100 complaints relating to discrimination and hate speech in the press. Matt Hancock regards this as 'satisfactory'. It's not. It is licensing hate speech”.
Dan Waddell summed it up: “The newspapers spent millions and millions of pounds on breaking the law on a daily basis - not just The News of the World, but The Sun, The Mail newspapers and The Mirror group … Those newspapers were criminal enterprises from top to bottom and many of the people who broke the law are now in senior positions … Meanwhile a series of editors and execs and journalists lied on oath to the first part of the Leveson Inquiry”. The Tories are prepared to excuse that for some favourable press. And some people still wonder why press and politicians are held in such low regard.