Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Remember the Savile scandal when they try to muzzle the Press

Let me get my retaliation in now, before Lord Justice Leveson hands down his report on wrongdoing by the Press.

I'm against it. Every single word. Why? Because any extraordinary, unusual or uncommon tampering undertaken by police, judiciary or government into the workings of the free Press is more than a step on the road to loss of freedom everywhere. It's actually the end of it.

Yes, we can all bluff ourselves that the Press has been extreme, too powerful, too invasive, and we've all heard the bleatings of celebrity prostitute-clients and drug abusers.

But we can't bluff ourselves that yet more laws protecting the powerful and wealthy from Press scrutiny is somehow to the benefit of all of us.

Hypocrisy isn't a crime. It isn't 'wrongdoing' as such. No one will go to jail as such for being a liar, a hypocrite, his or her nasty personal behaviour towards the opposite sex, their private extravagance contrasted with their public 'charitableness'.

But I reckon the public would be interested to know which political leaders, media personalities, sporting heroes, fall into categories such as those above. Wealth, power and the fear of those around you shouldn't protect you from exposure.

We've seen how a powerful celeb could use his wealth and reputation to feed his unsavoury tastes and keep them covered up for decades.

And don't think that all the caution that led to the decision by Newsnight this time last year not to broadcast a programme exposing Jimmy Savile wasn't connected to the ongoing witch hunt being levied by the legions of self-righteous luvvies with Leveson as their hangman.

Imagine trying to get that show on air at that time with celebrities queued round the block of No 10 calling for Press censorship like the true artists they are.

No. Bin Leveson. Do it now. You know it's the right thing to do. Then buy the Belfast Telegraph.

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