Suppose somebody drove into your car and it was proved it was their fault, yet you still have to pay the costs of their repairs as well as yours. How would you feel about that?
This is exactly what is being proposed for the press. In the new year legislation may come into force which will shut down some national papers, a large number of provincial papers as well as many magazines like the Salisbury Review, (although we will try to keep going.)
Just like the car driver who crashed into your car, if somebody sues a periodical or newspaper for libel, and they lose, the newspaper or periodical still has to pay their costs, as well as its own. Costs are often huge thanks to the greed of lawyers who usually pocket most of the winnings anyway. No paper or magazine would dare publish anything remotely controversial, however true it was, for fear of being sued.
The new state-approved newspaper regulator is called Impress, and the new law which threatens the Press is Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act, awaiting activation by the Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley.
Killers, thieves, fraudsters, bent politicians, molesters and corrupt bankers will hide behind this legislation .
If it gets anywhere near to being passed, every newspaper and magazine in the country should include a blank page in each issue, warning the public that this is what we would know about the killers of Stephen Lawrence before they were exposed by the press, nothing – or what we would have known about the parliamentary expenses scandal before it was exposed by the papers – nothing – or about the persecution by lawyers of soldiers who served in Afghanistan and Iraq – nothing.
Read this article by Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail