A Life Without Brian

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Most people don’t really care about the Inquiry into Press Standards being conducted by Lord Justice Brian Leveson. They cared very much, and rightly so, about “journalists” at the now defunct News of the World accessing Milly Dowler’s voicemail account after she had been abducted and (we now know) killed. They cared rather less about similar hacking into the voicemails of celebrities and politicians. They care even less about how close senior politicians from the Labour and Conservative parties were to journalists. At the bottom of the pile of “whatever” comes the public’s interest in what did or did not happen in the course of the culture secretary’s assessment of News International’s bid to take over BSkyB.

I’m not saying that’s right, but rather, that that is what the reality is for the vast majority of people. Even as someone who is interested in politics, interested enough in journalism to have blogged twice about the nugatory Harigate ,and professionally interested in merger control, I can see that this is not something that is engaging the wider public. Continue reading

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Beecroft Boohoo

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Venture capitalist and Tory donor, Adrian Beecroft has written a report on employment law for the government which has received pretty much universal panning across the spectrum of opinion. Probably the most contentious aspect has been his proposal for the introduction of “Compensated No Fault Dismissal” (CNFD). Most of the other proposals are variations on policies which are already being put in place and are rather less interesting. The angle which Beecroft was meant to bring was one of how to reform employment law to make it fit with the need to promote economic growth generally (and with it, increased levels of employment). Continue reading

Supermarket Sweep

One of the odder parts of yesterday’s Queen’s Speech was the announcement of the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill. This was odd because it is the sort of Bill that normally loses out in the annual Cabinet bunfight over which department’s Bills will get introduced in that session of Parliament. It is as far from being a populist crowd-pleaser as you can get in legislative terms. Continue reading