Editor M. Literous makes a calm, collected, unbiased and (hopefully) non-libelous look at the imminent press regulation “laws”
I get to decide what goes onto the Tab. I use great responsibility when wielding this great power and I am not some dictator banning everything and anything I disagree with. If it’s not illegal to write then I’ll consider it, if I think someone will want to read it then I’ll publish it. If it’s a comment, then anything not spam or potentially putting me in a court on libel charges will be published; it comes with the territory of loving free speech and participating in a free press.
This oddly may mean I’m about to break the law.
There are 3 tests to see if a news source must sign up to the new press regulations; it must report on current affairs (we do), it must have multiple contributing authors (we have a fair few) and it must be subject to editorial control (oh shit, that’s me). So for us, yes, yes and yes.
We could well be forced to sign up to a press regulatory body who the coalition has assured us isn’t underpinned by law. It’s just underpinned by a royal charter and there will be new laws to underpin royal charters with law (to be honest, I think this may be a trick. Not even a particularly clever one either).
My biggest concern with all this faff is not even that small outlets like ourselves could be caught in the crossfire, it’s not that it’s putting a vicious boot into a public-serving industry going through its darkest financial days, nor is it even that it made me take the side of Cameron in an argument (although that did hurt). My biggest issue is that we are striking a damning blow to free speech and free press for literally no benefit whatsoever.
If Hugh Grant feels aggrieved at his phone being hacked then I don’t blame him. If he wants laws that prevent this sort of thing happening again, then I heartily agree with the sentiment. However, someone should probably point out these laws already exist. As do laws for lewd conduct in a public place with $1,180 prostitutes.
Sorry Hugh, that was a low blow but I thought I’d take one final moment to enjoy free speech before you play a leading role in taking our free press and roughly taking it from behind. Just like Ms. Divine Brown.