This was my comment to an article in the Guardian on the 30 11 12
Hugh Grant one of many celebrities who spoke at the Leveson inquiry.
Once again another inquiry into the press, one of many over the years.
The Leveson inquiry looks to be a careful and thorough report and yet politicians on both sides
still appear adverse to having press regulation debating on about press freedom and the rights of the individual,
always good sentiments to bring out when attempting to get the public onside.
The truth is politicians have had a cosy relationship with press magnates for decades and i doubt politicians
know how to obtain power and influence without the press onside. Their political model it might be said requires
a cosy system such as this, one that has been in place to the detrement of the populace for many years.
This model means being in a close relationship and all participants sticking to the “i didn’t know” and “I wasn’t told” routine should an inquiry rear it’s ugly head (ugly for them), attempting to be on the side of legality.
It’s a world where everyone knows what should be done without actually being told, what a marvellously convenient practice. It has worked well for them.
It has taken decades to build up and it is a very comfortable, albeit with headaches here and there for both sides, liason.
One reality may be that without positive press spin a great many of our politicians would look very ordinary indeed and I doubt many would rise beyond local party level without serious help.
If combat is what politics is about at bottom level, a fight to decide who the best person is to lead, then the cosy press relationship that canny “ordinary politicians” use to gain power should end.
A more level playing field for the really more talented and social conscious politician to shine is what is strongly required for a braver and more governing for all type of politician to shine. Having the press help certain people into power is the political equivalent of “steroids for athletes”.
I agree with what this article has pointed out and i don’t know if the press quite realise this but the press do have only themselves to blame for the statutory controls that are being talked about, the public are seriously fed up with this and many other things.
Of course what happens in all of these types of things is that the person in the street who has been violated illegally tends to be forgotten in the rush by the powerful to regain control of their position, in their bid to regain their status quo.
Similarly in the Savile case we are told endlessly about how the effects on the institution, the BBC, will be enormous. Well yes and so it should be. In both cases you can here the scurrying, the correcting and balancing from the establishment going on behind the scenes, it’s that loud, the person in the street clearly hears it.
At the end of the day once the appearance of a suitable fuss has been made we can only hope as citizens that once again the old ways don’t slowly creep back into play.
We can only hope that a more level playing field which would allow more suitable and constructive political applicants to rise will one day be in place.
The real worry is that if our current politicians don’t fix the house and do it fairly then the public will through our voting system make serious changes and as has been seen in the past, set in play ideologies that don’t always lead to a better world.