Now Leveson wants heretics ‘gagged’ | Mick Hume | spiked
There has been some surprise at the weekend’s reports that Lord Justice Leveson rang Britain’s top civil servant to demand that education secretary Michael Gove be ‘gagged’ in February, after the Tory minister had expressed concern that the Leveson Inquiry into the UK press was creating a ‘chilling atmosphere’ over the media. Surely that nice Mr Leveson would not have done anything so, well, authoritarian?
In fact these reports should not have come as much of a surprise to anybody who has followed what was being said and done at the Leveson Inquiry rather than the fairytale version reported in much of the media – still less to anybody who has followed spiked’s Counter-Leveson Inquiry.
From the first we have argued that the phone-hacking scandal had become a pretext for something far more dangerous. The inquiry is a showtrial of the tabloids, an inquisition designed to purge the popular press and reinforce a conformist orthodoxy across the media. Lord Justice Leveson’s apparent demand that Gove be ‘gagged’ only confirms the inquiry’s mission: to enforce and endorse a ‘chilling atmosphere’ of You Can’t Say That – firstly about the Leveson circus itself.
No, the real surprising question is rather different: why has almost the only prominent public figure to ask any probing questions about the authority of the Leveson Inquiry to rule on the future of a free press been a leading Conservative member of the coalition government that set it up in the first place?