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Monday 1 February 2016

Cameron Longs For Leveson

Young Dave went back to his old ways before Christmas, fetching up at Rupert Murdoch’s party to be reunited with his former riding partner, the twinkle-toed yet domestically combative Rebekah Brooks. His Culture Secretary John Whittingdale made reassuring noises to the press establishment, suggesting the costs provisions of the Crime and Courts Act may not be enacted. And then it all came back to bite him.
Yesterday, Cameron found that even Prime Ministers occasionally need to avail themselves of the services provided by a press regulator, as he opened the morning papers to find himself and wife Samantha splashed all over the Mail On Sunday, along with the rest of his immediate family, because he is alleged to be considering sending son Elwen to a reassuringly expensive independent school.

Camerons enter son for top London private school: Eton-educated PM considers prestigious £18,000-a-year prep for nine-year-old Elwen despite sending his daughter to state school... and calling the fees ‘crazy’" told the headline, with readers reminded “Camerons are thought to be undecided, but are considering Colet Court … Prep part of the exclusive St Paul’s School in Barnes, South-West London … Pupils go onto public schools like Eton, where Mr Cameron was educated”.

At the very end of the article, we find that “No 10 refused to comment last night, saying the Cameron children’s education was a ‘private matter’”, but the Guardian has told us that this means “Downing Street has complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation [Ipso] about the article and any follow up pieces”.

Why so? “According to Ipso’s code of conduct, editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian as sole justification for publishing details of a child’s private life … Editors are also expected to justify intrusions into any individual’s private life without consent”. But here a problem enters: the Editor’s Code is one thing, getting IPSO to desist from wiping the MoS’ arse and letting them off is another.

Indeed, the accompanying Mail On Sunday Comment told ominouslyHe cannot pretend that it is a private matter. He made his own children’s schooling a political issue when he said six years ago: ‘I would like my children to go through the state sector’”. So the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker clearly expect to have their arses duly wiped and Cameron told to run along. If only Dave had backed the Leveson proposals properly.

Had he not equivocated at the time, delaying the time when a properly independent press regulator could be established, and had his Culture Secretary not dragged his feet just to curry favour with the Fourth Estate, he might have more confidence that his complaint would be heard sympathetically. As he’s not running for PM again, and IPSO is nothing more than a fig-leaf for a bunch of shysters, he’s got no chance.

Cosying up to the press establishment gets you nowhere. Not even if you’re the Prime Minister.


Unknown said...

IPSO is 3 people in an office with a rubber stamp that says "APPROVED".

rob said...

"Cosying up to the press establishment gets you nowhere. Not even if you’re the Prime Minister."

But it helps to get you there in the first place - as long as you agree your policies accord with the media barons wishes. Hence the importance of Magna Carta, whoops sorry, the Royal Charter as proposed by Leveson.

Anonymous said...

It gets funnier each issue watching the Heil on Sunday try to have it every which way at once.

Private education (read: join the spivs club early) is just one of them.

When the Bullingdon pig’s head boy mentioned the possibility of a state education for his offspring the Heil could imply, “Look! We really are all in this together!”

Now he’s apparently reverted to pig’s head type the Heil can imply, “Look! He’s One Of Us after all!” Which will impress only those arseholes who actually like boasting about how much they’re ripped off for fees by tenth rate spivs clubs.

All in all, nothing but the usual neocon propaganda badger game. Same old tories, same old hypocrites.

Arnold said...

"According to Ipso’s code of conduct, editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian as sole justification for publishing details of a child’s private life"
The operative word is "sole", so I don't see that Cameron has a leg to stand on. His daughter's (state) school is public knowledge, and Cameron and his party are perceived to have a problem with women.

Andy McDonald said...

It occurs to me that this is not a case of snapping the kids at the school gate, but commenting on a decision the parents have made. And as for using kids for political motives, how about "You can't call me X, I have a dead son!"?

Arnold said...

And if he wants to keep them out of the news, all he needs to do is count them when leaving the pub.

Anonymous said...

They didn't have to print the name of the School.

Looks like the paranoia is running rampant at Sun HQ. Either that or it could be a staged bluff.

If it isn't staged then it could be just what Cam needs to turn his back on the evil empire once and for all.