|Wednesday 29 February 2012|
|Why we’re launching the Counter-Leveson Inquiry|
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 19 March 2013|
Don’t blame Hacked Off for this crisis of liberty
Screeching at Hugh Grant is a displacement activity for intellectuals who can’t explain or reverse the historic corrosion of press freedom.
|Thursday 14 March 2013|
Stitching up press freedom behind closed doors
Labour and Hacked Off are now prepared to hold the political system to ransom and rewrite the UK constitution in order to tame the press.
|Thursday 21 February 2013|
The Met: the armed wing of the Leveson Inquiry
The escalating police campaign against UK tabloid journalists is a PR stunt that threatens the future of investigative reporting.
|Wednesday 13 February 2013|
The ‘test’ for press freedom should not be set by lords or victims
The idea that the Tories’ proposals for press regulation are ‘too soft’ turns truth on its head.
|Thursday 7 February 2013|
An unfree press – by appointment to the Crown?
The Tories’ ‘alternative’ to statutory press regulation is to get the monarch and Privy Council policing freedom of expression once again.
|Thursday 13 December 2012|
Ditch Leveson - let’s get back to first principles
Amid the elites’ detailed discussion of competing forms of regulation, there's a danger of losing sight of the far bigger issue of press freedom.
|Monday 3 December 2012|
Leveson: a licence to police press freedom
The dangers inherent in Lord Justice Leveson’s report do not end with the controversy over statutory underpinning for a new press regulator.
|Thursday 29 November 2012|
For a free press, with no buts
In the war of words around the Leveson report, too many on all sides have accepted the myth that the UK press is too free and must be tamed.
|Monday 19 November 2012|
An elitist inquisition, not a liberal conspiracy
The row over the Daily Mail’s investigation into a key Leveson adviser masks some broader truths about this inquiry into press ethics.
|Tuesday 13 November 2012|
The vigilantism of the Little Bullingdons
The current ‘paedo hysteria’ is being fanned, not by low-rent tabloid papers, but by politicians, serious journalists and the Twitterati.
|Tuesday 13 November 2012|
Public inquiries in the dock
The last thing that Britain’s battered, publicly distrusted institutions need is another public inquiry.
|Thursday 8 November 2012|
Defending the press as an unruly mess
In the debate about statutory-backed regulation, many on all sides appear to have accepted the myth that the UK press is too free.
|Tuesday 23 October 2012|
In defence of ‘shameless anti-Leveson propaganda’
As many liberal journalists and ‘hackademics’ desert the cause, it is time to take a stand for the freedom of the press to be an unruly mess.
|Wednesday 10 October 2012|
No ‘victims’ veto’ on press freedom
Celebrity demands for David Cameron to back state regulation of the press have revealed the true mission of the Leveson inquisition.
|Thursday 6 September 2012|
Leveson: drawing up the battlelines
Mick Hume, author of a new book on press freedom, says questioning of the Leveson Inquiry is in danger of being too little, too late.
|Monday 9 July 2012|
The Guardian calls for the licensing of the press
If you want to know how far today’s climate of censoriousness has gone, look no further than this morning’s liberal Guardian newspaper.
|Tuesday 19 June 2012|
Now Leveson wants heretics ‘gagged’
So why has almost the only public figure to question the inquiry into the press been a leading Tory member of the government that launched it?
|Thursday 14 June 2012|
Leveson: a menace to democracy, too
So why do so many liberal-minded observers praise the Lord Justice and his QC sidekick as a two-man ‘British spring’?
|Tuesday 15 May 2012|
A respectable riot against tabloid readers
The interrogation of Rebekah Brooks over the NotW exposing paedophiles only exposed the prejudices behind the Leveson inquisition.
|Thursday 26 April 2012|
Is Murdoch really
a lizard in a suit?
The Murdoch-bashing of the smart set who believes he ‘controls Britain’ has crossed the line from rational inquiry into David Icke territory.