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    Young Master Smeet

    Just to get ready: today sees the launch of the Leveson report, and the results of his extensive enquiry into press ethics.

    Obviously, as a print and online publisher, the Socialist Party has an interest in this matter.  Although it is unlikely to bring in censorship, or state control, regulation may mean burdensome bureaucratic impositions on us by the state, which we will be unwilling to accept.  We may be too small to be direct affected, but then, maybe not.  During the day we will hear, and we will then have to decide how we defend our freedom of speech and independence.


    Maybe we've jumped the gun but here's what we've said on our blog this morning:http://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/marx-on-leveson.htmlIn other words, Marx said it all and we can leave the government and the press barons (and their employees) to slog it out over the issue of freedom of trade for newspaper sellers. It's not a "freedom of the press" issue.

    Young Master Smeet

    http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0779/0779.pdfIt looks like this is the key paragraph:

    Leveson wrote:
    It should be open any subscriber to a recognised regulatory body to rely on the fact of such membership and on the opportunity it provides for the claimant to use a fair, fast and inexpensive arbitration service. It could request the court to encourage the use of thatsystem of arbitration and, equally, to have regard to the availability of the arbitration system when considering claims for costs incurred by a claimant who could have used the arbitration service. On the issue of costs, it should equally be open to a claimant to rely on failure by a newspaper to subscribe to the regulator thereby depriving him or her of access to a fair, fast and inexpensive arbitration service. Where that is the case, in the exercise of its discretion, the court could take the view that, even where the defendant is successful, absent unreasonable or vexatious conduct on the part of the claimant, it would be inappropriate for the claimant to be expected to pay the costs incurred in defending the action.

    What he is suggesting is an independent board, funded by publishers, to regulate and uphold standards.  Such a board to be "recognised" by a statutory body, and the advantage to publishers of joining may be that it may costs more to defend libel actions if you haven't joined the regulatory body.  That does effect us, slightly, but doesn't change our real position as we already stand at risk from libel actions.

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