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July 11, 2011

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Luis Enrique

Cameron is the “heir to Blair”

isn't almost everyone (left-wingers too) calling for more regulation?

Adam

I don't see the need for more laws either. There are enough laws to deal with this already. If the journalists broke the law, let the cops deal with it and let everyone else get on with their lives.

charlieman

@Luis: "isn't almost everyone (left-wingers too) calling for more regulation?"

Gut reaction is to call for something to be done, which typically means a new law. As the layers of criminal activity and cover-up are exposed, sentiment will change. Defenders of free press and free blogging, and libel law reformers, will eventually agree that we have about the right level of regulation. What is lacking is investigation of the press.

Keith

It remains to be seen if Camerons expostulations come to anything. It must be very doubtful if a state press commission or regulator would be created by parliament and it is obvious that the Court of Human Rights might vacate such a plan eventually. The remedy for law breaking is to sue or prosecute the persons liable. Those remedies exist already in the English Law. But reforming the press should be an issue for the left. The influence of big money men like Murdoch is problematic for electoral democracy. They have a clear private agenda and too much power to advance it.

Keith

I might add that it is all very well saying you like free markets if we were still in a world of lots of tiny firms or family businesses bargaining with lots of other families or tiny small firms. Hence perfect competition. But the actual economy in all developed states tends to be dominated by huge firms exerting monopoly power and market influence. This is bad for the average person not only in the area of the media. Ignoring this problem does not make it go away.

Grace

Press should be respectful of the law and of other people's lives but it should not be controlled in a censorial way.

Carl

I'm a leftwinger not calling for more regulation. Worse still (!), I agreed with Jon Gaunt on Question Time when he pointed out that the problem here was not lack of law, but a flouting of the law. There are existing regulations with which to stump dirty practices, and we mustn't pledge more red tape for the media when a few rag tag hacks play bad. I'm as miffed as anyone else I should be on the Right of David Cameron on this issue, but such as life.

RH

in a recent programme in which Kevin Mcdonald and Tom Watson appeared as guest to debate the point the BBC presenter suggested that there are laws about defamation and posed the question why we need more regulation. This glib if not bogus suggestion assumed that laws governing defamation would deter misconduct by journalists involving hacking and intrusion into private affairs.

Your statement that the financial services industry has been tightly regulated is misplaced. Self regulation has been touted for many years as the panacea and in fact there is insufficient regulation of the industry by the government. of course insiders will make you believe that it is tightly regulated.

There need not be a trade off between truth and privacy. In the name of discovering the truth journalists cannot be given the licence to break the law. They should respect the boundaries laid down by the law.

A trial, criminal or civil, has as its purpose the discovery of truth but according the laws of evidence and procedure. You will be left with the law of the jungle if you ignore the law.

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