The Tories’ manifesto is vague on everything except its most damaging aspects. One area in which it’s crystal clear is its commitment to measures that will delight many newspaper owners.
The Tories – if they succeed in fooling enough voters to get back into government – will:
After part one of the Leveson inquiry, the British public hoped briefly that the media would be held accountable for their actions. The second part of the Leveson inquiry into press ethics and culture was something that the certain sections of the press would very much wish to avoid.
The Tories have granted their wish.
Repeal Section 40
Section 40 refers to the obligation placed on newspapers, after Leveson part 1, to submit to an approved regulator. If they failed to do this, then they could be forced to pay the costs of complainants in lawsuits even if they won the case – such a strict measure was seen as necessary because parts of the ‘fourth estate’ were perceived as being out of control and requiring punitive measures to civilise them.
Again, getting rid of this obligation was very high on the Christmas list of some parts of the media. Christmas comes on the 9th of June if the Tories win the General Election.
Attack the independent media
As the SKWAWKBOX covered on Friday, the government plans, under cover of anti-terrorism measures and ‘protection’ of media freedom, to launch an assault on the independent media that the British public depends on for access to information and perspectives that cannot be found in the Establishment media.
This would, if enacted, give the Establishment and its media allies an effective monopoly on ‘news’ and freedom to control both the agenda for public debate and the viewing perspective of the majority of the public. Control, in other words, over the eyes and minds of most of the electorate.
The SKWAWKBOX spoke on Friday to a senior editor at a mainstream publication not implicated by Leveson, who said,
The Tories are at least presenting a cohesive worldview in the media section of their manifesto, but it’s very clear that what they’re really doing is giving the big newspapers exactly what they’ve been asking for.
In light of the Tory manifesto, it’s no wonder that much of the mainstream media have been so squarely behind a party that has demonstrated nothing but incompetence in government and in its General Election campaign so far.
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