The Bloggers are the Problem...The Bloggers are the Problem
The long awaited Leveson Report has been released and those newspapers orientated towards the Left (The Guardian, The Independent, along with a host of celebrities) are scandalised by the outcome that, thus far, the Prime Minister hasn't endorsed official regulation of the newspaper industry by statute.
The newspapers traditionally orientated towards the right of British politics, (The Telegraph, The Times, The Daily Mail) have meanwhile praised David Cameron for resisting pressure and not endorsing a statutory body for press regulation.
My first reaction is thus: David Cameron, as we have seen, seems to move along the left to right spectrum like a table football figure depending on how politically expedient it is to do so. So...what has the British Press got on David Cameron?
However, while the British mainstream media chew over the results of the Leveson Report, a totally unexpected tangent has suddenly been taken, one supported, most probably by MPs and newspaper proprietors alike. Yes, from out of the blue, MPs have suggested that whatever happens with the mainstream Press in terms of regulation, the notorious group of scoundrels known for phone-tapping, police bribery and underhand journalistic mendacity - bloggers - have been omitted from the Leveson Report altogether.
Why? Well, the answer is because bloggers have not done anything other than express opinion on politics and the state of current affairs. The truth is that the relationship between the State and newspapers has always been a 'complex' affair and that the Press has the power to make or break politicians, their reputations and careers. They can, as we know, build you up or knock you down. Ordinary British people, however, have a less complex relationship with Government in as much as British people are there to be largely shafted by their Government, to vote out the criminals only to elect a new bunch of criminals in their place in order to largely represent the interests of an elite. Unlike the British newspaper barons, we don't really have a wining and dining relationship with our elected politicians and Prime Ministers.
We do, however, have dangerous opinions. Recall, for instance, that it was bloggers who broke the Climategate scandal and it was bloggers who sent that scandal viral. The sad truth is that there is, as Belloc said, an "Official Press" and there is, now, an unofficial, alternative source of news, opinion and commentary gaining in profile and readership. Don't believe me? Well, just ask The Tablet. In the wake of the Leveson Report, we're seeing that while those in Government fear the power of the Press, they fear the power of the people far more. Of course our politicians fear Rupert Murdoch...but they fear you more and there is no reason to believe that the establishment Press fear you any less than they do.