Leveson, liberty, security


‘Freedom’ has featured strongly in responses to the Leveson Report. A swathe of the liberal-right, including Prime Minister David Cameron, have claimed that any state regulation of the press – even Leveson’s minimalist solution of setting the principles of an independent regulator through the law – would amount to ‘crossing the Rubicon of writing elements of press regulation into law of the land‘, with the ‘potential to infringe free speech and the free press.’ The right-leaning weekly newspaper the The Spectator, claiming a long, principled history of libertarianism in standing up for a free press, announced that it ‘would not sign up to anything enforced by government‘. The principle here is that freedom must be absolute, and fiercely protected from compromise. But it is not so much these individual examples that are striking, rather the sheer amount of liberal-right argument mobilized against…

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