Posts Tagged ‘Fraser Nelson’

The rule of law is more important than unbridled press freedom

28/11/2012, 06:46:03 PM

by Mark Stockwell

Like cornered cobras, journalists and editors have been baring their fangs in recent weeks to put pressure on the government to reject the statutory regulation of the press most now expect the Leveson report to recommend.

This is only to be expected – their way of life is being called into question.  Even those newspapers usually so quick to dismiss ‘producer interest’ are suddenly spouting every self-serving rationalisation as to why their industry should be uniquely free from interference.

Let me be clear – I hold no brief for statutory regulation of the press. Instinctively, I favour self-regulation. And I accept that the press is different from other industries, that having an open discourse of ideas and opinions is part of the lifeblood of parliamentary democracy. I get it, I really do.

But it is wholly unacceptable for an editor to state, as Fraser Nelson of the Spectator did on Wednesday, that he will not abide by the law.

Before he has even seen what Leveson proposes; before the government has come forward with its response; before the democratically-elected parliament has had a chance to consider and debate the proposals, Nelson has taken it upon himself to declare his publication and, by extension, his profession, above the law.


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Normal people don’t notice party conferences

06/10/2011, 07:30:53 AM

by Peter Watt

I have had a funny old conference season, in that I have essentially “watched” them all via the media of morning and evening news broadcasts and twitter. In other words, my consumption has been filtered. Conference would have passed me by, if I hadn’t actively sought out coverage, something most normal people don’t do. All of that time, effort and money spent on the annual jamborees; and most people will have barely noticed.

My overriding impression is that those unlucky enough to have tuned in, will have hardly seen an advert for a vibrant democracy. To be honest, I no longer understand those who still believe that the status quo, in terms of political party organisation in this country, is sustainable. And before anyone thinks that this a rant aimed only at the Labour party, far from it. Just read Fraser Nelson over at The Spectator on the Tory conference:

“If conferences are increasingly attended by people who are there to meet each other, no wonder there are empty seats in the hall. Most of the passholders couldn’t care less about what’s being said in the hall. It reflects a deeper malaise across our politics more generally”. (more…)

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Jonathan Todd sorts the economics from the ideology

16/06/2010, 09:13:43 AM

The Daily Telegraph isn’t normally essential reading for Labourites. But yesterday it should have been, especially for Harriet Harman. Fraser Nelson set the backdrop to the politics of the deficit and the “emergency” Budget, to which she, as acting leader, will respond. This week’s report from the new Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) dramatically changes this political context. Nelson has been quick to realise this and, while our instincts differ markedly from his, we need to be equally fleet-footed.

The limited discussion on the deficit in the leadership election has denied our candidates the opportunity to demonstrate this quality. Though, of course, they could engineer such an opportunity for themselves. I’d be impressed if any of them do flesh out a more substantial economic platform, not least as The Economist is right to note that, “nothing will make or break the next leader of the opposition like his response to the government’s austerity programme”. (more…)

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