Sir Alan Moses speech to the Society of Editors this week is well worth reading in full for those concerned that the press's new form of self-regulation will be no great improvement on the Press Complaints Commission. It is of course too early to tell, for some of the reasons that he identifies in his speech, whether that will be the case.
But in the speech as a whole, and in the quoted extract below in particular, he puts his finger on one of the abiding reasons for scepticism about the new self regulator - it falls short of what Lord Leveson recommended, and short therefore of what the government had promised to implement.
There is only one consolation for claimants confronted with the labyrinthine regulations for making complaint to the regulator, or dubious about the hearing they would receive if those rules can be negotiated. That is that the provisions depriving claimants of costs in Court proceedings if they do not submit to arbitration by the regulatory body (under s. 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013) only apply once an approved regulator has been established. By the admission of its new head, IPSO is no such thing.
Those who have in the past had their lives turned upside down by breaches of standards to which the press has publicly committed itself, the standards in the Editors’ Code, were promised the earth…not by me, not by you but by Government. Whatever was not “bonkers” would be delivered. You cannot be surprised at the despair and anger, the misery and rage that continues when that promise was not delivered. And they have waited and waited and finally have been given what, shrouded by their veil of tears, looks to them like a sham.