Mobile version
spiked plus
About spiked
What is spiked?
Support spiked
spiked shop
Contact us
Summer school
Top issues
Arab uprisings
British politics
Child abuse panic
For Europe, Against the EU
Free speech
Jimmy Savile scandal
Parents and kids
View all issues...
special feature
The Counter-Leveson Inquiry
other sections
 Review of Books
 Monthly archive
selected authors
Duleep Allirajah
Daniel Ben-Ami
Tim Black
Jennie Bristow
Sean Collins
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick
Frank Furedi
Helene Guldberg
Patrick Hayes
Mick Hume
Rob Lyons
Brendan O’Neill
Nathalie Rothschild
James Woudhuysen
more authors...
RSS feed
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.

Tuesday 14 February 2017
Naomi Firsht
Turning journalism into a crime
The proposed new Espionage Act would devastate press freedom.

Wednesday 8 February 2017
Mick Hume
The danger is not fake news, but fake democracy
We don’t need gatekeepers to tell us what to believe.

Wednesday 1 February 2017
Benedict Spence
Cameron’s Mail tampering is bad news for press freedom

Wednesday 18 January 2017
Tom Slater
Policing criticism of Islam: the new Star Chamber
Newspapers are being forced to recant their questioning of Islam.

Thursday 12 January 2017
Sabine Beppler-Spahl
Who decides what is fake news?
The German clampdown on ‘misinformation’ is a threat to free speech.

Tuesday 10 January 2017
Emily Dinsmore
Taking on the tabloid-bashers
Queen Mary student Emily Dinsmore on why she made a stand for press freedom.

Monday 9 January 2017
Tom Slater
24 hours to save the press
Leveson is driven by a fear and loathing of the public. You can fight it.

Friday 6 January 2017
James Walker
Students should stand up for press freedom
A London student on why he's fighting the anti-tabloid snobbery of both SUs and the state.

Thursday 5 January 2017
Mick Hume
Leveson II: revenge of the freedom-snatchers
A second showtrial of the press would be a disaster for journalism.

Wednesday 4 January 2017
Tim Black
In defence of dirt-digging journalism
How Section 40 will prevent journalists from speaking truth to power.

Friday 23 December 2016
Mick Hume
Reject Section 40, Leveson 2 and regulation by Royal Charter
Join spiked in the fight to free the British press in 2017.

Thursday 22 December 2016
spiked podcast
‘A free society must have a free press’
Podcast: Trevor Kavanagh, Ally Ross and Mick Hume discuss press freedom.

Friday 16 December 2016
Tom Slater
Say NO to the shackling of the press
Tell the UK government to repeal Section 40 and scrap Leveson Part 2.

Sunday 11 December 2016
Brendan O’Neill
AA Gill and the right to offend
Gill was a great ambassador for the messy, wonderful freedom of the press.

Wednesday 7 December 2016
Emily Dinsmore
Why I’m fighting my uni ban on tabloids
Banning the sale of tabloids is slippery censorship and should be opposed.

Monday 28 November 2016
Guy Birchall
Hands off the press, your Highness
Tabloids must be free to report on royal romances.

Monday 21 November 2016
Naomi Firsht
City students fight back
Journalism students reject their SU's petty newspaper ban.

Friday 18 November 2016
James Walker
My students’ union just banned tabloids
City University is meant to foster journalism, not censor it.

Thursday 17 November 2016
Naomi Firsht
The hatefulness of Stop Funding Hate
This anti-tabloid campaign loathes ordinary people.

Monday 24 October 2016
Mick Hume
A ‘fake sheikh’ can be a real reporter
The Leveson lobby want to find all dirt-digging journalism guilty.

<< Previous Page   | Next Page >>


16 February 2018
Stop playing politics with school shootings
14 February 2018
The EU is no friend of Irish independence

21 June 2013:
Man of Steel, leaden film

28 June 2013:
Dispatches’ dirty little secret