Tag Archives: Leveson

Cameron in the “you know what”…..Again!

The judge in the British phone-hacking trial criticised Prime Minister David Cameron  for not waiting until all verdicts were in before commenting on Andy Coulson, his former media chief who is facing jail.

Less than two hours after yesterday’s verdict, Cameron issued what he called a “full and frank” apology, saying he had taken Coulson’s assurances of innocence at the time at face value, something he now realised was a mistake.

The jury was however still deliberating on two further charges on Coulson.

“I asked for an explanation from the Prime Minister as to why he had issued his statement while the jury were still considering verdicts” the judge, John Saunders, said in court.

“My sole concern is to ensure that justice is done. Politicians have other imperatives and I understand that. Whether the political imperative was such that statements could not await all the verdicts, I leave to others to judge.”

In addition, the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, referred to Coulson as “a Criminal” !

The jury was discharged today after failing to reach agreement on whether Coulson was guilty of authorising illegal payments and it would now seem that Coulson will NOT be tried on the two remaining charges against him because of the premature outbursts by clueless politicians.

In spite of Cameron’s very dramatic waving-about of the Leveson report during PMQs, like some executive Teddy Bear or talisman designed to protect him from any suggestion of wrongdoing in hiring Coulson….he still doesn’t get it!

The Root Cause of this mess is not “I am innocent of negligence because I was given ASSURANCES ” but in the amateurish recruitment procedures on Planet Politics.

“I hear that he’s a good bloke”……….” I knew his father”………… We were at the same school”…….”I shagged his sister”….etc…. STILL take precedence over ability.

Coulson was “recommended”…..and of course, the Conservatives needed to please their benefactor Rupert Murdoch.

( It was Chancellor Osborne who did the recommending…….. What’s his game?)

Media Regulation? No point!

What is the POINT of Regulation?  IT DOESN’T ALWAYS WORK!!!!

Before our politicians scratch each others’ eyes out on Monday, fighting over Royal Commissions and Press Regulation, they should consider what good a similar process did to the Financial Services Industry.

Regulation of any sort never works 100%.

Pre the various Financial Services Acts which spawned the Financial Services Authority, the Financial Services Industry was by no means perfect but is was self-regulated.

There was the occasional mis-selling scandal, life assurance salespeople occasionally confused clients’ money with their own and the standard of technical knowledge was below average. Bankers were boring but well-behaved and Building Societies were firmly rooted in the  nineteenth century.

Then suddenly, products became more complicated, less client friendly, building societies wanted to be like banks, banks wanted to be like building societies AND insurance companies AND stockbrokers!! Shiny-new MBAs were hired!

………and oh yes………financial product design became marginally MORE complicated than Rocket Science.

More training, more technical knowledge and REGULATION were needed.

So what did all that regulation achieve – apart from creating a self-perpetuating multi-million pound regulation industry?

Well, since the financial regulator arrived on the scene, we’ve been subjected to many new experiences. For starters, there was the 2008 banking meltdown. Then we had PPI mis-selling by the Retail Banks, followed by LIBOR rigging by the Investment Banks. Then of course we had those VERY naughty Interest Rate Swaps which so many SMEs signed up to. There are still many major issues which will have to be dealt with by the regulators, the hugest one being the continued use of Off-Balance Sheet Accounting by the banks.

Regulation? Code of Conduct? Snooping through Filing Cabinets? Reporting Systems? Yet another Quango?

A fat lot of good they all did in financial services!

A basic Media Code of Conduct and SELF-regulation is the ONLY way forward.

Royal Charter or no Royal Charter, self-regulation of the media or a Regulator supported by law and a Bible full of Rules and Regulations will make absolutely NO difference, either to the conduct of individuals or the behaviour of privately-owned media corporations.

Yes, it is an important issue and Lord Justice Leveson has highlighted ALL the right issues but whichever approach is taken, it will make little difference.

The only thing which is important is that the media is NEVER controlled by the State plus that the legislators learn the lesson of the car-crash that is the regulated financial services industry

Harriet on Jerermy

Much as one hates to agree with Harriet Harman, in this case she is 100% right.

Politicians have one attribute which business-people have tapped into for years – vanity and an over-amplified sense of self-importance.

In common with many politicians before him, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt fell in love with the idea of rubbing shoulders with the likes of the Murdochs.

He has to go. Soon.