Phone hacking: A promise worth noting

Millions of words, it seems, have been uttered about the phone hacking scandal so far, many of them about the supposed failing of the Press Complaints Commission to somehow uncover the widespread alleged use of phone hacking.

This opinion, seemingly one of the few things politicians of all colour agree on at the moment, ignores the fact that the police also failed to get to the bottom of it, but when in crisis, a scapegoat is always handy for a politician.

Scapegoating the PCC has the potential to be quite dangerous, especially if politicans – many still smarting from their expenses being revealed last year – decide it’s time for revenge. And what better revenge that imposing state regulation on the Press?

Given how quickly things are moving, I thought it was worth noting, for the record, Ed Miliband’s support for self regulation of the Press, confirmed at a press conference today:

I do believe that we can move forward with reform of the system of self-regulation.

It is important at a time like this that we do not rush to statutory regulation of the press.

That is why I said on Friday that my instincts remain to continue with self-regulation.

But it must be on a different basis from the past in three particular respects:

Greater independence of the Board from current editors.

Clear investigatory powers to ensure effective scrutiny.

And the ability to enforc e corrections of suitable prominence.

It is in the interests of the vast majority of decent people in the newspaper industry that editors and proprietors take the initiative to lead this response.

Lets hope he sticks to that pledge on self regulation.


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