Monthly Archives: July 2011

Press Complaints Ombudsman?

Names matter. The Press Complaints Commission is functionally an ombudsman, mediating usefully between offended individuals and the press, and (unlike media lawyers) providing a free service to the public. It is conceptually distinct from a regulator, and lacks the powers to be one. If only it had been called the Press Complaints Ombudsman in the [...]

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Every Other Century (2)

We know of no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality. Lord Macaulay, 1830. Rebekah excelled herself by virtually admitting she’s been illegally paying policemen for information. I called her to thank her for dropping the tabloid baton at the last minute. She apologised: “That’s why I [...]

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Every Other Century

Puritanism in the 17th Temperance in the 19th Health & Safety in the 21st

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Churchill’s view

People in the UK have compared the “execution” of Osama Bin Laden unfavourably to the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals after the second World War. What would Churchill have thought? Churchill’s view, at least initially, was that the principal Nazis should be shot on capture – after all, there could be no real question [...]

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