Gradually, over many years now, the ‘press’ by and large, have behaved disgracefully and there is no doubt that self-regulation has not and will not work. They have had their chance, and blown it!
But let’s not lose sight of the fact that phone hacking, fraud and bribery are all crimes; and as such should be handled by the police! After all, no one should be above the law.
It’s true, the press desperately needs regulating, but does it need legislation to guide it? In other words, will the appointed regulators need political guidance? Do we really want politicians to hold dominion over the regulators?
I think not, given the track record of our MPs; and I know we shouldn’t speak collectively; but you got to ask yourself, who among the 650 would you trust to appoint that authority?
As if we need any reminding, one only needs look back at the MP’s expenses saga, to realise that civic duty has in many cases been replaced by self-interest, and many of these so-called law makers have long standing issues with the ‘free press’ that may have exposed them; consequently some may seize the opportunity to settle old scores.
By the very nature of politics, no politician can be truely independent, so there is no way that we can place 100% of our trust in any politician. There’s also no way that we can trust any politician not to have an alternative agenda!
In my opinion, should regulation become underpinned by law; a law that has been made and therefore quite possibly changed and amended by future politicians, we will have lost yet another bastion of freedom; that of the precious freedom of the press!
One thing that history has taught us, is that once parliament has granted itself legislative powers; as night follows day, you can bet those powers will be expanded on, at some later date.
So, the shouting and lobbying begins! Where it will end, no one knows, but I suspect that we will end up with an unhealthy compromise which will consist of ever more intrusive and bureaucratic regulation with pledges and assurances that the law won't be misused. …Then, at the first hurdle, it will be.
Then, other than football reports, racings runners and riders and other sporting events and there really would be no point reading newspapers anymore, because there will be no single truth in a world ruled by political parties.
So, to conclude, we all agree that the press needs regulating to protect the innocent and the vulnerable, the question is, who do we trust with enough independence and integrity to appoint the regulators?
It’s a sad world we find ourselves living in!