A response to this article published in the Daily Mail on the 13th November
Lets be clear - I stand by everything I said at the Class Conference. A blog based on my speech to the conference can be found here.
The headline in this article is the usual sensationalism and half-truth most people expect from this newspaper. It's based on a response I gave to a question from the audience.The reality is the new press charter will, for the first time, give third parties the right to complain to the new independent press regulator. A regulator brought into existence by all three of the main political parties. What I have said is simply a statement of fact. At the conference I used the example of trades unions, but the analogy applies to many others.
For example if a newspaper, as has so frequently happened in recent years, decries,"Muslims do this...". Now under the new charter a muslim organisation will be able to say "OK we're not directly affected but this is casting aspersions, generalisations, against all muslims and it's wrong."
This doesn't mean they'll win their case. It could be thrown out by the regulator if they think it mere opinion or lobbying.But it does mean those concerned have a right to speak up on behalf of a group in general. I believe that right and proper.Newspapers and journalists who report fairly and accurately will have little to fear from such complainants.
The problem for the Daily Mail is that its brand of journalism - and I use the term 'journalism' very loosely here - will have much to be concerned about.I believe that ultimately this attack and the many others on anyone who has dared to stand up to them is not about defending press freedom. Rather it's about defending such newspapers right to lie,bully,intimidate,manipulate and invade the privacy of each and every one of us.
I'm therefore proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the family of Millie Dowler, the McCanns and the thousands of others who have had their rights and privacy trampled upon by vast, plutocratic, media empires.