“Come back John Wilkes. Your work is about to be undone. Politicians are losing the plot.”

Well, some politicians.  Specifically, the Labour Party’s shadow culture secretary, Ivan Lewis, MP, who is calling for suggesting a register of professional journalists.  So they can be “struck off” if they transgress.  As Roy Greenslade comments Lewis and the cheering delegates in Liverpool need to understand the danger of their position. Look at the contradiction at the heart of Lewis’s crowd-pleasing speech. At one point he said: “In Britain, a free press is non-negotiable.” At another, when demanding “a new …

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Northern Ireland, where Government Press Officers outnumber journalists…

If the first base in setting up a democracy is to get a critical mass of politicians to buy into standing for election and then (trying to help) run the country, then Northern Ireland passes that with flying colours. If the next step (and there is no reason these things have to be linear) is a free press to interrogate said public officials, then maybe we have a bit further to go. In any case, there was a nice spot …

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