English: DAVOS-KLOSTERS/SWITZERLAND, 29JAN09 - Tony Blair, UN Middle East Quartet Representative; Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum captured during the session 'The Values behind Market Capitalism' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 29, 2009. Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo by Remy Steinegger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Leveson Inquiry into Press Ethics, heard a gruelling six hours evidence from Blair, who seemed unperturbed by the actions of the surprising outburst.
Lord Leveson, angry by the interruption just before lunch, said there would be an Inquiry into how this man breached security and managed to stroll into the secure quarters of his Chambers at the High Court in London.
Tony Blair, yet again, was on form, and said that this was the right time for the country to be rebalanced by the power of the establishment, namely press and government.
BLAIR CALLS FOR COMPLETE INDEPENDENT REGULATION AT LEVESON INQUIRY
He told Lord Justice Leveson that he wanted a free press, but that journalism in the last few years had ceased to be journalism, and more like a hounding where they you are constantly dogged day and night.
“That is not journalism, in my opinion,” he said. .
His comments come as he hailed the press, “feral beasts” back in his final years as PM.
The former PM also said that he hoped that there would be a political consensus over reforming the media – which was set up by the Tory led coalition PM David Cameron.
He said he didn’t bother reforming the media when he was PM, because it would have had serious repercussions on his government – and was not the top priority of the day.
WHY IS THE LEVESON INQUIRY SO DIFFERENT TO OTHERS?
What is remarkable when watching the Leveson Inquiry so far, is how there has been so much level of scrutiny thus far, and no stone has been left unturned.
Why was there not this level of scrutiny in the several mini-inquiries into the Iraq War?
What is also quite hypocritical about this, is the fact that we have a several ex UK politicians pontificating about the way forward, but had the phone hacking saga not had reared its ugly head over the Amanda Dowler hacking story, would have continued with the same old ways of cosying up to the press, (particularly the Murdoch press).
The fear is that this Inquiry is turning into a grandstanding event for people to lap up an extreme level of publicity, and not genuinely help Lord Leveson Iron out what needs to be done to reform the press.
I’ve not heard anything useful so far from anyone on how the media can be reformed fairly.
What seems to me is this:
You have the PCC Code of Conduct. It needs to be a mandatory code instead of a optin code, that people sign up to.
Those that do not sign up, or refuse to follow it, should be penalised, in monetary terms. The code is there. It just needs to be more rigorous in how it is enforced by the press. And on the panel, it should be completely independent of press and government.
What do you think of the Leveson Inquiry?