Where will Leveson go? What is his real purpose?
I am pretty much losing faith in the Leveson Enquiry. There have been a few niggles; but allowing Piers Morgan, surely absolutely central to an enquiry into newspaper phone hacking, to give evidence by video link is patently absurd.
I had thought that it was an enquiry into newspapers hacking private mobile phones. I’m wrong, of course, but I suspect the general opinion is just that. Really, Leveson has four aims:
- phone hacking
- press and police
- press and politicians
and, the missing bit
- Recommendations for a more effective policy and regulation that supports the integrity and freedom of the press while encouraging the highest ethical standards.
That’s the bit we’re all going to miss in the wonderfully enjoyable and sometimes tragic gossip and scandal about who did what, when and where to whom. It explains the otherwise strange questions that Leveson has sent to, and demanded replies from, Guido (a long time thorn and annoyance to the Establishment). These include:
- what material your website “Guido Fawkes” publishes, and Why;
- where are your servers located? Do you consider the UK courts to have jurisdiction over the Way in which your website is operated in the UK, and how far does this jurisdiction extend?
- how do you consider yourself to be regulated?
- the Inquiry would also welcome your views on the extent to which the content of Websites, and the manner in which you operate, can be regulated by a domestic system of regulation.
Clearly Leveson believes his scope to go way beyond phone hacking. I’m beginning to fear it is a cloak upon which the Establishment can hang wide-ranging restrictive regulations on the freedom of the press.