Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Independent Press Regulation

I think everyone will now agree that self-regulation of the press has failed and that some form of external independent regulation is highly desireable.
But how is this to be achieved? Certainly putting regulation in the hands of politicians would be a total disaster; as in France, it could totally emasculate the press to such an extent that the misdeeds of politicians would never be revealed. It is also worth looking at Raedwald for an explanation of how the ruling party in Hungary has total control, and effective censorship of the media.

If you look at the so-called independent regulators, one has to ask "how independent are they?"
How independent is the Bank of England? The Governor and Board are appointed by politicians, and at least at the time of their appointment will be of the same economic, if not political, persuasion as the government. The "Independent" Charities Commission was Labour appointed, and is clearly following left-wing principles in their hounding of independent schools, whilst allowing so-called "fake charities" to prosper. We even seem to have a new breed of professional regulators and Quango apparatchiks whose names appear with sickening frequency.

So, how does one get a genuinely independent body of regulators?
I would suggest that the only way is by some form of lottery or draw, as with jury service.
There would need to be a a number of differences, as a start I would suggest that those selected would need to be volunteers, not pressed as in the case of jury service. And unlike jury service, where over-70s are no longer eligible, I would suggest that any volunteers should be retired and over 60 thus ensuring that they have had some experience in  the world and hopefully capable of distinguishing between "Public Interest" and "Interest by the Public". Clearly one would need a minimum standard of education, and hopefully volunteers would have worked at a reasonable level of responsibility.
I would like to see the government calling for suitably qualified volunteers and then selecting an appropriate number of names at random with total disregard their for sex, sexual orientation, ethnic origin or any of the current politically correct criteria.. There would be no pay, just reasonable expenses, a maximum of, say, a three year term, and any necessary staff would be seconded from the civil service for a limited period.

Can anyone think of a better approach to having an independent regulator? 

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