The proposals for a statutory press regulator that have been accepted by all three main parties ensures that the biggest public scandal of recent years will never be allowed to happen again.
I talk of course of the parliamentary expenses scandal which was exposed when the Daily Telegraph purchased the information in circumstances which were 100% justified yet probably illegal (at least by the person selling it).
Some of the press abuses were scandalous- the harassment of Chris Jeffries and the hacking of Millie Dowler's phone were inexcusable- but this response is all about empowering every public nuisance to suppress stories which they find damaging.
The complainant to the new press regulator will have to pay none of the costs- but given the big fines the regulator will be able to impose the newspapers will have to pay for lawyers even if they are blameless. Great news if you're Trafigura, the Church of Scientology or Spanker Mosely but terrible news if you have any notion of the powerful being held to account.
I don't really blame David Cameron- because once the Lib Dems decided they would rather screw over the press than uphold free speech he simply didn't have enough MPs to resist the Labour proposals (which were pretty much drafted by Hacked Off).
Public outrage has successfully been harnessed to censor pretty much all forms of written speech.
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