Fascinating and thoughtful analysis from Lallands Peat Worrier on the subject of
…the issue is one of the objective appearance of impartiality, which is clearly potentially compromised when the judge moves in the social milieu as the journalists, executives and officers they are examining. On twitter and in a comment after an article by David Allen Green at the beginning of July, I asked – why not appoint a Scottish judge to lead the inquiry? This wasn’t intended as rank Scots legal nationalism, nor as a slight to the many upright Daniels on the English Bench who could do the inquiry justice – but specifically to address the point raised by Hughes.
The physical and social distance between Edinburgh and London, I suggested, would rapidly foreclose any fears about the inquiring judge’s social connections and knowledge of those being investigated. Senators of the College of Justice do not, in general, swim in London’s social pond. Also, a certain douce, precise Scots air might have been just what an inflammatory inquiry into such seedy activities needs.
Unfortunately it seems that horse has bolted. With Fleet St in such a speculative boil, no doubt there will be further fruitless speculation on Lord Leveson’s ‘social connections’…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty