Monday, 3 December 2012

Workers' control is the only press regulation

It's easy to lose your way in the wake of the Leveson inquiry - and many sensible people have. Whilst all right-thinking people delight at the prospect of putting the boot in on the Murdochs and Desmonds of the media world, any sort of press regulation that curtails genuine investigative journalism is less appealing.

However as with many of these knotty issues that stray into the murky area of censorship I am inclined to give the devil the benefit of the doubt - for the sake of the rest of us. As with pornography and racism - or any of those other things that make us liberals reach for the statute book - there are enough laws already. Tapping phones is already illegal, paying bent coppers for stories is already illegal - and politicians manipulating press barons is a fact of life that no amount of laws short of revolution will stop.

On Facebook I came across this wonderful blank page from the Sun when in the midst of the miner's strike, NGA members refused to handle a picture that depicted Arthur Scargill as a Nazi.  And I remembered that it was a similar action by print workers that was a pivotal point in the escalation of the 1926 General Strike.

I can't help but thinking that declining press standards might just have something to do with the breaking of the media unions.

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