Monday, June 23, 2014

Hacked Off, Steve Coogan, Lord Copper and Lord Gnome

Hacked Off has lost the battle. The Leveson recommendations will not be implemented no matter how much you donate to the cause or how many petitions you sign. It has been decreed by press owners and by Private Eye - their licensed fool - that any attempt at state regulation of our print media amounts to 'censorship'. So, the press have dreamt up their own fig leaf with an 'indy' judge at the helm to redden hacks' buttocks for misconduct. The public are not that interested, the government party has an election to win come 2015. Labour is total shit. The caravan has fucked off out of it. No one much is listening.

The behaviour of Private Eye in this filthy enterprise is of especial disappointment (no, I shall not be cancelling my sub: I don't have one - I freely buy a copy every other Wednesday - at full price: I'm not cheap. It's still worth the outlay). That our nation's one satirical organ allies itself with the Rothermeres, Barclays, Murdochs and Desmonds after all that we heard at Leveson must surely prompt the odd chortle in cynics'  minds.

Recently, Hacked Off's Steve Coogan was appointed a patron of Index on Censorship, prompting the resignation from the campaigning charity of Private Eye editor and mini-moi dep ed Ian Hislop and Francis Wheen (resp., as patrons). Steve's exercise of his freedom of speech had proven a little too much for the comic gentlemen of British satire. Perhaps Richard Ingrams is too immersed in his Oldie misery to have noted the many ironies in all this. Lord Gnome and Lord Copper join forces to fight the Abused Celebrities! Except of course most of the people hacked by corrupt hacks were not celebrities but ordinary people caught up in bad news.

The best one can do against united power is to retreat for the moment and observe. Just watch. Note, for instance, how Private Eye will start to carp about the new press fig leaf. The organ's credibility is on the line. The outcome of the Brooks/Coulson trial has no bearing on this - it became a sideshow sometime last year. Let the fuss pass; then observe how monarch and licensed fool pick up where they left off in a game of inflation by mockery. What do I mean? Wait and watch.

Meantime a useful statement from Hacked Off about the Coogan business.


Wouldn't U Like T Know said...

Sublimely foolish piece MA. But you write so well that Narcissus risks drowning in his reflection.

Anonymous said...

This is a black/white situation. On balance, no government should be permitted to control the press. Stick to astrology madame.

Anonymous said...

Pip pip

Sam Best said...

"no government should be permitted to control the press".
Quite right. That's Rupert Murdoch's job.
At no time has Hacked Off or Steve Coogan ever demanded censorship or even indicated that is one of their aims.
Madame is correct.

Jennifer said...

It is sad that the one well-known printed satirical organ of our country should now ally itself to the corrupt, indecent and morally bankrupt press barons. There was once a time when Ian Hislop displayed principal. He now displays moral shallowness.

Googler said...

The fiction in Private Eye's position is that a royal charter on the press is another step towards state censorship. In fact it's nothing of the sort. The charter is supposed to protect all in different ways including the press itself.

Anonymous said...

Private Eye crumbles when the rich & powerful sue for libel but apparently don't give a stuff for the powerless who have no such protection.
I predict- a long and slow decline of a once great magazine.
Hislop is a stupid cunt.

Madame Arcati said...

Private Eye's circulation is still strong. In its next issue it will doubtless flog us some priceless nuggets on the hacking trial. The mag must go hard on this in order to launder its position on Leveson. Games are being played by rich people who call themselves satirists. Remember these days.

DrJG said...

Very late, I know - I came across this while searching for something else.
Private Eye was being sued for exposing the Rich and Powerful before Steve Coogan was out of nappies. Ian Hislop was (or in the view of many, was Not) a banana before Alan Partridge ever picked up a microphone. Since you wrote this, they have been accused of possible contempt of court by the NOTW trial judge. To make the accusation here about siding with Rothermere et al is at one and the same time laughable yet not in the least amusing.

Hacked off may have fine motives, but as any doctor can tell you, treatments applied for all the right reasons can have all sorts of unintended consequences. I certainly don't agree with Hislop and the Eye on everything, but I reckon they have a far better understanding of the dangers than Steve Coogan appears to, and Hislop has gone on record about many of them.