The Sketch: In the court of public opinion, Nick and Ed believe they have the winning argument
The report was delivered with the air of a cross head imposing a whole school punishment
There they were, on the bank of the Rubicon, weighed down by the longest and most detailed report ever compiled on the state of British newspapers, wondering whether to cross or not to cross. David Cameron looked nervously at the angry legions on the other side commanded by the press barons. He thought that on the whole he would rather stay put.
But in that great unexplored territory called public opinion behind him, the disorganised forces of Hacked Off appeared to outnumber greatly the organised army of hacks, which made Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband want to risk a crossing. Most of Miliband’s troops are sufficiently sore from injuries inflicted by right-wing newspapers as to be more than willing to bring out the heavy weapon of Commons legislation. Clegg’s troops feel the same way, and he seized his chance to show he is a commander, albeit of a smallish army, not a staff officer.
Lord Justice Leveson has set out some sensible principles by which journalists ought to abide; most will try to, a few will not. David Cameron is wary of making it the Government’s task to deal with the few. Understandably, he does not want the national press lined up against him on an issue on which his own party is divided. Clegg and Miliband believe they speak for public opinion. So does Leveson, who had the air yesterday of a cross headmaster imposing a whole school punishment.
Yesterday’s Commons statement had its first moment of high comedy when John Bercow threw the discussion open to backbench MPs and after exhorting them to ask “short questions without preamble” turned first to the venerable Tory Sir Peter Tapsell. Sir Peter observes brevity like Boris Johnson does chastity, and delivered an exposition on how Leveson had failed to address the problem of “bad men and sometimes foreigners” who own national newspapers. It ran to 90 words. But to be fair, that is barely 0.007 per cent of the length of the Leveson Report.
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how the internet reacted
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Jennifer Lawrence leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by forum users
Gabrielle Union contacts FBI over nude 4Chan pictures leaked by 'vultures'
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£50 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are currently looking to ...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: 2nd line IT Support Techn...
£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to have a b...
£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 TeacherWould you like ...