The biggest threat to British democracy in decades. Did Orwell call it or what?
Labour MPs have proposed a new law that will require all news outlets (including Vision News) to register with a dystopian 'independent' regulator of their making. The amendment was tabled by MP Kim Leadbeater under the Online Safety Bill. All though the amendment was rejected at first attempt, Labour have vowed to make it law as soon as they are elected.
Leadbeater, whose only criteria for being an MP appears to be that she's the sister of murdered MP Jo Cox, proposed that “all print and online media seeking to benefit from the exemption should be independently regulated.” Critics noted it was similar to the Leveson inquiry of 2014, which recommended the formation of a state-approved regulator for the press.
A state-approved regulator would of course, only push whatever nonsense the government of the day wanted you to believe. A 'Ministry of Truth' where state sanctioned 'facts' were the only thing allowed to be printed. Exactly the opposite to a free press whose job it is to hold the government to account.
Leadbeater is undeterred, insists that the current draft bill could be abused, the Times reported.
“The internet is full of groups describing themselves as news publishers, but which distribute profoundly damaging and dangerous material designed to promote extremist ideologies and foment hatred,” she said. “Is it really the intention of the government that any organisation meeting their loose criteria as currently drafted in the bill should be afforded those sacrosanct rights and freedoms of the press that we all seek to defend?”
In classic Orwellian speak she then added: “This bill must protect freedom of expression, and in particular, the freedom of the press – a freedom that I know we are all committed to upholding and defending."
“However, in evaluating the balance between freedom of the press and freedom to enjoy the digital world without encountering harm, the bill as drafted has far too many loopholes and risks granting legal protection to those wishing to spread harmful content and disinformation in the name of ‘journalism."
Yes, we can't have independent journalists questioning the status quo, only stories that agree with the government should be allowed. State-sanctioned opinions are always best - Ed
Junior Culture Minister Chris Philp said the government dismissed the proposed amendment because regulating the press constitutes a violation of press freedom. “If the amendment was adopted in the way it has been written, then it would effectively be requiring news publishers . . . to register with one of these regulators,” Philp said.
“I want to put it on record very clearly that, for reasons of freedom of the press, this government does not support any kind of mandatory or statutory press regulation of any form. We think to do so would unreasonably restrict the freedom of the press.”