It is not only the Murdoch mafiosi who are trying their best to strong-arm wavering MPs - mainly Tories - into backing the Government tomorrow and not supporting votes that would ensure the Leveson Inquiry is completed - as promised by David Cameron to victims of press abuse - and Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act is effectively commenced.
The obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre has nominated Stephen “Miserable Git” Glover as its next pundit to go through the motions, and he has obediently brought readers “Max Mosley’s chum Tom Watson and a chilling new threat to Britain’s free Press”. That’s the “free press” owned by a handful of tax-avoiding billionaires.
Glover deploys the usual array of questionable and often totally untrue claims: “State control of newspapers … new assault on Press freedom … enemies of a free Press … state-backed regulation … dodgy businessmen, corrupt officials and dishonest politicians … Tom Watson’s poisonous friend … sordid little amendment”. And there was more.
Ed Miliband is co-sponsoring another amendment, although Glover manages at first not to tell readers that Ken Clarke is the other name in the frame. “Ed Miliband is no friend to a free Press … dubious gathering … four members of the anti-Press lobby group Hacked Off [shouts of BINGO from the back] … old adversary of a Free Press”.
Then he talks well, but lies badly, about sham non-regulator IPSO. “a much tougher independent regulator”. Independent my arse. “Only last week got most national newspapers to sign up to a compulsory arbitration scheme”. Window dressing - they have a get-out clause. “What seems to be envisaged by Ed Miliband and his allies is a sprawling investigation which would cover some of the same ground as Leveson”. He wants to see Leveson completed - we know this as HE SAID SO IN A GUARDIAN ARTICLE.
Why Glover, and all the rest, should be in such a panic can be explained by the likes of Paul Waugh at the Huff Post: “No10 says May told Cabinet she opposes any more Leveson regulation and such moves would be ‘not a proportionate solution' to phone hacking scandal. Commons amendment wd undermine a 'free press’”. Theresa May wants to retain the backing of the press boot boys, so talks rubbish.
But, as Kevin Schofield at Politics Home has revealed, the Tories are as panicked as their pals in the press. “Government seriously worried about Tom Watson's amendment to Data Protection Bill on Section 40/press freedom later. Source: ‘Matt Hancock is doing one to ones with MPs and (chief whip) Julian Smith is ringing round in a state.’”
Those seeking to enrich themselves through the patronage of the press establishment merely confirm the panic, like Stephen Daisley telling “MPs are plotting an attack on freedom of the Press” and blustering “freedom does not want for foes in this illiberal age”. And the loathsome Toby Young, like Daisley dependent on press establishment favour, has pleaded “Very important thread. Please read and then write to your MP and ask them to vote for press freedom next Wednesday”. Because he can’t hold down a real job.
But, as Democracy Fail has told Tobes, “If you guys had *genuine* press freedom concerns, you’d be demanding ownership reform. But you care about you, not us”. It’s not about press freedom. It’s about freedom to carry on shitting on the little people.