Coming too late last night for the industry affected to get it onto those all-important front pages was the news that the Royal Charter put together by the press as an alternative to that agreed by all three major parties in Parliament had been rejected by a sub-committee of the Privy Council. There were the usual denials, but the BBC Newsnight team are sticking with their story.
So how is the Fourth Estate taking the news? Well, for the most part, they aren’t going to tell you: although you can read the report on the Beeb’s website, the only papers whose websites are carrying the story are, to no surprise, the deeply subversive Guardian, and the Independent. The Mail and Telegraph don’t (yet) want to talk about it. Maybe the Express will have the story tomorrow.
And while the Indy suggests that MPs will try and amend the cross-party Royal Charter, and the Guardian tells that Young Dave is trying to put off the decision, the fact remains that what remains on the table has already been subject to amendment to accommodate the concerns of the press, and, as Dr Gerry McCann has put it, is the “minimum” acceptable to those who have suffered past press misbehaviour.
But, come the hour, come the clueless pundit prepared to whistle hopefully in the thought that it might all magically disappear, vanished for good on a technicality of his own invention: step forward the loathsome Toby Young (that’s the Hon Toby Daniel Moorsom Young, folks), taking to the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs to tell his adoring readers (Damian and James Delingbonkers) that all is not lost.
“Rejection of press's Royal Charter by subcommittee of Privy Council looks like a stitch-up” declared Tobes. “There was something a bit fishy about last night’s revelation” he added, suggesting he might have been watching Channel 4 by mistake. A subcommittee had made the decision, “But was this subcommittee constitutionally empowered to make such a momentous decision?”
To which the answer is, don’t be such a complete twat Tobes, of course it is, it’s a subcommittee of the sodding Privy Council. Like the Government and its legal team will make a howler so basic that even the Hon Toby Amateur Intercoursing Loophole Young can call it out and derail the process. But he wants everyone to know that he’s a master of this subject because he argued about it once.
Meanwhile, in the real world, those who have engaged brain before mouth will be focusing on the cross-party Royal Charter and any last-minute attempts at backsliding from the Tories, given the signal from Cameron that he may be trying to find a way out of the promise he gave to implement whatever Lord Justice Leveson recommended. Because it is not over just yet.
That is why the rhetoric from the press side is so desperate. No change there, then.