Our free and fearless press, in the person of the Tories, has seen off two votes in Parliament. Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry had finally been consigned to history: there was to be no threat of all that phone hacking, email hacking, computer hacking, blagging of medical, legal, court and Police records, entrapment, bin rifling, burglary, blackmail, bribery, and other improper behaviour, seeing the light of day.
This was framed as a victory for “press freedom”, that being the freedom to carry on shitting all over the little people and daring them to go to law, and bet the house doing so, if they thought they were hard enough. The press could now carry on lying, bullying, threatening, ruining lives and livelihoods, and generally trampling all over anyone who stood in their way, or otherwise incurred their displeasure.
Campaigning group Hacked Off, the only players willing to stand up for the victims of press misconduct, has declared that “the fight is not over”, going on to tell “we are taking the Government to court! The decision to cancel this inquiry into press criminality & corruption isn’t just disgraceful, we think it is illegal. We have a powerful case but court is expensive - please donate to our crowdfund so we can challenge this betrayal”.
As the Guardian has conceded - note that most of that free and fearless press have declined to report on the news - “Press regulation campaigners have been given the go-ahead to take the government to court over its decision to cancel the second part of the Leveson inquiry into the activities of the media”. There was more.
“Campaigners working with the Hacked Off group, including the former Bristol schoolteacher Christopher Jeffries and the parents of the missing child Madeleine McCann, have successfully convinced the high court that the decision should be subject to a judicial review … The court will consider in October whether Hancock’s decision to cancel the second part of the inquiry, which would have focussed on governance issues at media groups and the relationship between newspapers and the police, was correct”.
So Matt Hancock, for whom the epithet “crawler” is woefully insufficient, will have to report back to his true masters - no, not Theresa May and his cabinet colleagues, but the Murdoch, Barclay Brothers and Rothermere press - that those ghastly people from Hacked Off have refused to toddle off and allow the Fourth Estate to keep getting away with it.
The challenge is surely the right thing to do: if the Government is prepared to rat on its promise to victims of press malpractice, then someone has to stand up for them. And for those still clinging on to the myth that the press has somehow reformed itself since Part 1 of Leveson, they need look no further than the disgraceful attempt by the Mail on Sunday to damage the business of beautician Danielle Hindley.
That was covered previously by Zelo Street. It will be again. In the meantime, anyone out there who wants to see Leveson 2 completed, so we know for certain “who did what to whom”, can donate to the Hacked Off crowdfunder HERE.
When we have a Government so corrupt that they march in lockstep with the press barons, we have a problem. That cannot be solved by inaction. That is all.