Hunt-Black plan – oh for goodness sake let it lie!

Francis Sedgemore, Friday 30 November 2012 at 13:23 UTC

Less than 24 hours following publication of the Leveson report, David Hunt continues to flog his dead horse of a plan for a revised Press Complaints Commission. I refer to the plan concocted along with the convicted fraudster Conrad Black.

Those of us opposed to the Hacked Off approach to press regulation at least have respect for the victims of journalistic malfeasance whose tribulations led to the setting up of the Leveson Inquiry. Hunt’s refusal to acknowledge that his Son of PCC is stillborn is a slap in the face for the victims of phone hacking. It really is in the worst possible taste.

Speaking last night,…

“I recognise that there is a tapestry of views within the industry about ‘independence’ and I would expect the shadow board to consult widely with the industry and with other interested parties, in particular the parliamentary DCMS Select Committee and the Secretary of State during this process.” [David Hunt]

A tapestry of views? How much revision to the Hunt-Black plan would it take to satisfy those who insist on a non-statutory regulator independent of industry and government? So much revision that it would no longer be the Hunt-Black plan.

The entire Hunt-Black project has been damned from the word go, and this perdition is sealed by Hunt’s words as quoted above. Here are we talking about the need to keep the state out of press affairs, yet Hunt is bleating on about consulting a parliamentary select committee and secretary of state, with no mention of the wider lay membership of a future press regulator that will be required for the body to have any credibility.

Has David Hunt no self-awareness? Does he really not appreciate how ridiculous he sounds?