The current hysteria about freedom of the press is interesting to say the least

Obviously there are vested interests on both sides of the argument but laying aside for a moment the 'moral outrage' that has been whipped up, is muzzling the press at the behest of a few terribly wronged individuals, really in the best interests of either the country or the public at large?

Clearly in the past the press has made huge errors of judgement involving unwarranted (and illegal) intrusion into individuals privacy and for this they should be punished with the full weight of the law on a case by case basis

However, is seeking to impose a blanket censure on the press by statute an appropriate way forward, rather than simply a vendetta to get one own back under the guise of concern; tarring everyone with the same brush in order to curtail the activities of a few

Surely it would be far better to weed out those who abuse the system and ensure they face relevant sanctions such as a ban for a specified period (i.e. 1 month, year, lifetime) coupled with damages in favour of the injured party?

Additionally, press ownership needs to be addressed so that the media is not concentrated in the hands of a few media moguls, who have been proven to abuse their position and in doing so, interfered with the electoral process. They must understand their role of reporting the news and not trying to make the news.

Furthermore, the role of politicians in this whole sorry saga needs to be reviewed because they have behaved appallingly by 'kowtowing' to the press

Hugh Grant seems to be one of the major protagonists and is associated with Hacked Off a spin off from Media Standards Trust; in the past Hugh Grant has had his own run-ins with the press (i.e. Davine Brown). With all this in mind can Mr Grant ever be regarded as impartial in the matter of press freedom having been a 'victim' of press intrusion since beginning his acting career many years ago?

After all - nothing focuses the mind better than being in the spotlight oneself!

Nevertheless, it is disappointing that 'celebrities' seem to have hijacked this enquiry and as one bereaved parent put it - In the future this will be looked back on as the Hugh Grant Enquiry. What a damning indictment of the whole thing!

Perhaps more importantly - why do people such as Mr Grant think that they have an unelected mandate to speak for the rest of us? For goodness sake the man is an actor and whilst he has been given access to the Leveson Enquiry because someone hacked his telephone does he actually have any greater standing than that? So why is he being given a platform and all this air time?

Tags: | Categories: Press