10/12/2012

PM's U-turn on statutory underpinning leaves public 'aghast'

David Cameron has finally revealed his true colours. Not, as one would expect, blue through and through. But given the interview Hugh Grant gave to House following the PM's decision not to enforce statutory underpinning, one would have to say that Cameron's turned yella.

Following the publication of the Leveson Inquiry recommendations the country was expecting a legal precedent to be set. If not for prosecuting those heavily involved in the recent phone hacking scandal, at least future guidelines enforced that would make the press answerable to a legislative body.

Not entirely so. The Prime Minister has approved all recommendations outlined in the aftermath of the phone hacking scandal besides the one that really matters: statutory underpinning. Grant believes that the country is 'aghast' at the decision.

What is statutory underpinning?


Statutory underpinning is a framework of legal requirements applicable to bespoke organisations and industries, but are safeguarded from political interference.

As such, an industry, the medical profession for example, has been deigned by one parliament committee or another to need legal boundaries. But as the industry is so complex, the committee has sought statutory underpinning so that politicians can not interfere with the process.

Hugh Grant is spear-heading the celebrity campaign to make The Press answerable to their actions by law. The group, calling itself 'Hacked Off', has met with Cameron twice to raise its concerns. And now that Cameron has bottled it, Grant suspects that the PM's been somewhat dodging bullets all along.

Furthermore, Hugh Grant is totally disappointed that Cameron has "jump[ed] straight back in between the warm sheets with the newspaper barons." Especially after the PM was asked directly whether he would recommend statutory underpinning or not at a similar meeting, but with the victims of phone hacking by the media.

Public not so much 'aghast' as appalled


Let's call a spade a spade. The country isn't just aghast, Mr Grant. It thinks that Cameron's an opportunistic, two-faced twat. Now the time has fallen upon him to make a decision in public, he's had to choose. The choice he's made proves he's got no bollocks whatsoever.

Cameron's motto has been, through this entire saga and waste of taxpayers' money, that the decisions he made following the Leveson Inquiry's publication would enable him to “look the [phone hacking] victims in the eye”. I'd like to see that now.

Whilst Hugh Grant lauded Clegg and Milliband for sticking to their word, he firmly believes that the country is starting to rumble Cameron's game. Indeed, the Leveson Inquiry has threatened to draw Cameron in deeper before now.

Pleading ignorance about not understanding text-speak? C'mon, David. We're neither blind nor stupid. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all that bollocks. Not this time.

My question would be this. Rebekah Brooks is supposedly going on trial next year for her role in the phone hacking scandal. If there is no statutory underpinning, no legislative framework in place governing The Press, what or whom exactly is she answerable to?

Furthermore, what has Brooks got on Cameron to make him U-turn thus, knowing that he'd face a backlash from campaigners and the electorate?

Should he ever grow that pair of balls, my guess is that Brooks will have the Prime Minister well and truly by them...

Have your say: Is Cameron right for opposing press regulation? Or is it a case of: live life in the public eye, be judged in the public eye and accept the consequences?

[caption id="attachment_14395" align="aligncenter" width="646"]cameron and tories to oppose statutory underpinning Cameron and Tories to oppose statutory underpinning
photo: the scotsman, tim ockenden[/caption]