The Press Complaints Commission (PCC), famous for being absent and totally ineffective as Phonehackgate kicked off on its front lawn, has a new chairman to replace the mainly invisible Peta Buscombe. David Hunt, former Tory MP for Wirral West, and loyal servant of leaders from Margaret Thatcher to David Cameron, is the third peer from the party’s ranks to take the job.
And getting the inside track for an interview has been the Guardian’s Roy Greenslade, discovering that Hunt wants self-regulation to continue (and, moreover, succeed), that he is committed to press freedom, that he wants to present his thoughts on reform of the Commission before Leveson reports, and that “the greatest challenge is with the bloggers”.
Name in paper does not equal fame
Hunt, however, appears not to have a wide knowledge of the blogosphere, and names only one, the Guido Fawkes blog, domain of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer Henry Cole, the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere. The name check has rather gone to Staines’ and Cole’s heads, and they have posted suggesting that Hunt has been calling them.
Sadly, this is complete drivel. There is a world of difference between David Hunt seeking out The Great Guido, and Cole leaving a message, only for yet another gofer to call back later when they’ve finished dealing with the really important people. And Hunt’s message, that of keeping statutory regulation out of blogging, won’t be helped by the Fawkes’ blog’s remarks about Sunday Mirror editor Tina Weaver.
The assertion that Ms Weaver solicited phone hacking and blagging is, like so much on the Fawkes blog, unsubstantiated bluster and clueless tribalism in lockstep. The newspaper group at the top of the Operation Motorman blagging charts was Associated – who own the Daily Mail and Mail On Sunday. The Fawkes blog has a nice little earner with Associated and won’t be going there.
The cluelessness and tribalism continues with a post eagerly asserting that “Mulcaire hacked on behalf of the Mirror”. Sadly, the headline from the Press Gazette only manages “Mulcaire notes suggest Daily Mirror link”. If Mulcaire was working for the Murdoch press, they might have had something to say if he was also hacking for the opposition. This has not occurred to The Great (and clueless) Guido.
What has also not occurred to Staines and Cole is that, if they want to stick it to the rotten lefties, they have one weapon available to them: do some investigation of their own. But that is too much like hard work, so they will not. Meanwhile, I am more than happy to see Staines believe that he is some kind of minor sleb, knowing that pride comes before a fall.
And right now, Paul Staines is brim full of Pride. Or maybe it’s Guinness?