It’s very obvious why David Cameron doesn’t want to implement the Leveson recommendations. Whatever he says about wanting to protect the freedom of the press, his motives are anything but altruistic.
As I understand them, Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations appear to protect the press from government control and undue influence, while making them accountable for their behaviour to a body that will have some teeth, unlike the Press Complaints Commission. But Cameron is choosing to interpret that as a compromise of press freedom to operate without government interference in what it chooses to investigate and publish.
Why? Simple: Cameron knows that the majority of the press is owned by rich individuals and large corporations whose aims and interests are naturally going to largely to coincide with those Cameron and any government of his neoliberal ilk. He doesn’t want to restrict their freedom to act irresponsibly, because it’s usually going to be helpful to him when they do – as long as they aren’t found out.
What Cameron fears is that any constraint on the press is going to limit the extent to which it can be of assistance to a right-wing government and be accountable, however indirectly, to a left-wing one. A press that has to be more careful, more honest, more responsible instead of acting like a pack of predators and scavengers, is unlikely to be as useful in demonising the right’s opponents and victims and in propagating its lies.
Cameron and his ideology have far more to lose if the press is forced to act ethically than Ed Miliband or even Nick Clegg. That – and their close financial links – is the real reason he’s singing a very different song, however much he tries to disguise it.