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The Counter-Leveson Inquiry

Wednesday 29 February 2012
Why we’re launching the Counter-Leveson Inquiry
by spiked editor Brendan O’Neill

On Monday, in his opening remarks at the second part of the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics, Lord Justice Leveson said he found ‘publicly expressed concerns’ about the inquiry ‘troubling’. Well, m’lud, you had better prepare to be further troubled. For today, spiked launches the Counter-Leveson Inquiry, an intellectual two-fingered salute to the creeping conformism and censoriousness being unleashed by the Leveson process.

The most remarkable thing about Leveson’s admission to feeling troubled by public criticisms is that, sadly, there has been very little public criticism of his showtrial of the tabloids. You could count on one hand, or at a stretch two hands, the number of journalists and politicians who have dared to question the right of one judge to marshal celebrities and coppers to the cause of redefining the ethics of the press.

It is alarming that, in a country where the poet John Milton demanded freedom of the press more than 350 years ago, and where many other writers and activists subsequently fought tooth-and-catapult to expel state forces from the worlds of writing and publishing, so many should now acquiesce to an inquiry which gives a judge and his chums the power to tell the media what its morals should be. The conformism amongst the targets of the inquiry – that is, the press – is even more shocking than the cockiness of the organisers of it, those figures of authority who seem to have forgotten that the press is supposed to investigate them, not vice versa.

This is about to change. spiked has been raising concerns about the likely consequences of the crusade against ‘unethical’ tabloids since before Leveson was set up, and we have continually criticised the Leveson process for creating a censorious climate in the here and now, even before its recommendations have been made. And now we plan to gather together our arguments, and intensify them, in a Counter-Leveson Inquiry which will put the case against Leveson, against judges and police getting to tell the press what its ethics should be, and against any stricture whatsoever on the right of the press, whether highbrow or low-rent, to investigate and publish what it sees fit.

Why? Not because we hold a candle for tabloid newspapers, but because we carry a torch for press freedom, because we believe that Milton’s rallying cry is as fitting today as it was in 1644: ‘Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.’

We need your support in making a stand for press freedom. Join the Counter-Leveson Inquiry Facebook page – and help us build our war chest by donating generously here.

Friday 20 July 2018
Jon Holbrook
Cliff Richard’s win is our loss
Cliff's Law puts privacy first and society second.

Tuesday 15 May 2018
Emily Dinsmore
Why MPs must vote against Leveson II – again
It’s time to shoot down the myths of the pro-regulation lobby.

Monday 14 May 2018
A minute of your time to help defend the press
We must see off the Lords’ plan for Leveson II – contact your MP now.

Tuesday 8 May 2018
Tom Slater
Press freedom hangs by a thread
We have 24 hours to halt a historic betrayal of liberty.

Wednesday 25 April 2018
Mick Hume
How did Britain end up at No40 on the world press-freedom rankings?
The 2018 World Press Freedom Index shows we have a fight on our hands

Thursday 12 April 2018
Mick Hume
Now they want to lock up Rod Liddle and ban Quentin Letts
Joking about the Welsh or criticising black actors is the new limit to free speech.

Thursday 5 April 2018
Mick Hume
Whatever happened to investigative journalism?
The Observer’s ‘scoop’ let the message get ahead of the facts.

Friday 2 March 2018
Tom Slater
We did it – we won a victory for press freedom
How spiked and its readers helped to protect this hard-won liberty.

Thursday 1 March 2018
Mick Hume
Labour: the new Mosleyites?
Corbyn’s Labour shares Max Mosley’s loathing of a free press.

Thursday 1 March 2018
Brendan O’Neill
A message from Trotsky to Corbynistas
Anyone who tries to curb the right-wing press is a traitor to the working class.

Thursday 22 February 2018
Mick Hume
Corbyn didn’t spy for Stalinists, but he thinks like them
His response to this daft story has exposed his authoritarian instincts.

Monday 19 February 2018
Brendan O’Neill
Stop this corporate bullying of the press
Stop Funding Hate is marshalling capitalist power to punish newspapers.

Friday 26 January 2018
Patrick West
From fake news to fake truths
Lies aren’t the only problem. The facts can also be made to tell false stories.

Tuesday 23 January 2018
Mick Hume
How long must they lord it over democracy and press freedom?
Their latest assault on the press should sound the death knell for the Lords.

Wednesday 10 January 2018
Ella Whelan
Virgin’s elitist Mail‑bashing
Yes this is censorship – and it’s time to stand up to it.

Saturday 23 December 2017
Naomi Firsht
In 2017, it was all‑out war on press freedom
From Leveson to Stop Funding Hate, snobs want to stifle the press.

Thursday 23 November 2017
Paul Seaman
Paperchase’s corporate cowardice

Wednesday 22 November 2017
Brendan O’Neill at the Comedy Cellar
Our editor went to the legendary NY club to discuss Hollywood hysteria.

Friday 10 November 2017
Naomi Firsht
A sly assault on the freedom of the press
Some in the House of Lords want to muzzle reporters.

Tuesday 31 October 2017
Henry Williams
Exposing Weinstein would be impossible in Britain
UK libel laws stop journalists taking on the rich and powerful.

Next Page >>


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