The writings of Roy Greenslade are frequently suspect, but on this occasion I think he deserves a hearing.
It’s about what he reckons is a backdoor way of getting the shocking ‘section 40′ into law. Section 40, if triggered, means that a publisher that has not signed up with the ‘official UK press regulator’ and gets sued for libel, must pay the legal costs of both sides, even if they win. At the moment S40 is in abeyance. This sword of damocles should be consigned to the furnace, not left lying around for malicious implementation.
What’s wrong with forcing publishers to sign up? Earlier this week it was IMPRESS, Max Mosley’s vehicle for revenge on the press, that was annointed ‘official UK press regulator’. (The fact that JK Rowling and Rowntree are also involved does not make me feel any the more comfortable.)
And we consider ourselves a free nation? You couldn’t make it up. Heaven help us.