There’s been a poll (yes another one) in which the public were asked about press regulation (how come no one ever asks me?) the answer was pretty unsurprising, well unsurprising to me and probably you.
Mail. (The Ukip smear press)
A clear majority of the public wants politicians kept out of a new system of Press regulation, a poll suggests.
It showed that only 16 per cent believe that MPs and peers should have the power to change the terms of a Royal Charter enshrining a new watchdog that will have the power to issue £1million fines and require prominent corrections.
Sixty-seven per cent – a huge margin – said the new system should be set up in a way that does not give politicians the final say, the basis of an industry proposal put forward to rival a cross-party plan.
The Royal Charter agreed by politicians in a late-night deal in Ed Miliband’s office would allow changes to be made in future only if two-thirds of both Houses of Parliament agree.
The public also believes that there should be a public consultation on proposals to establish a new system, something the Government has refused.
Only 12 per cent agree that the public should be denied a say, while 76 per cent believe ‘the Royal Charter should be subject to consultation’.
Voters also agreed by a large margin – 64 per cent to 36 per cent – that they were proud that the UK is currently regarded around the world as a model of Press freedom.
It’s not that the public don’t want to see some form of regulation, probably based on self regulation. It’s that once again the public are announcing to the world that they simply do not trust politicians to have any say in regulation, based mostly on the suspicion that sooner or later politicians would try to hide behind some form of press regulation by adding amendments to any regulatory body laws.
After all, MP’s have form on trying to use the law and legislation to hide their misdeeds, it’s doubtful we’d hear anything about their arrant gross thievery if they did have a say on whether or not the charter could or should be changed.
So, the people are saying that politicians are simply not to be trusted with regulating the press. Hard to argue really, it kind of fits my view too. Though unlike most people I wouldn’t want to see any press regulation. We actually have laws which could (and should) have been used in those cases which came up in certain pressure groups demands to regulate the press. Phone hacking is a crime, prosecutions could and should have been made without a lobbying circus demanding regulation for something which was a crime anyway.
Still, at least the majority agree with me about the need to keep politicians away from any levers of power…