Self-Appointed Detectives

D’ya hear the one about the MP’s expenses? No I hadn’t either until a journalist uncovered it.

There may be long-coated fox-faced hacks, but we’re all clear that journalists perform a public service. If Heather Brooke hadn’t been so bloody-minded and dogged about asking for the details of MPs’ expenses, they’d still be wasting our taxpayers’ money on porn and taxis.

I don’t care that much really, but when I heard Nick Clegg calling journalists “self-appointed detectives” it made me angry. What a stupid thing to say – of course they are. They’re as valuable as teachers to the healthy functioning of our society, except they don’t get golden pensions and the holidays. Clegg was complaining that the press were asking too many questions. They should let investigations about Lord Rennard’s apparently inappropriate sexual behaviour with colleagues continue without interference. But of course, he forgot that the investigation only happened as a result of a Channel 4 programme. A programme investigated by self-appointed detectives like Cathy Newman.

I thought perhaps, with all the newspaper hoo-haa, that as result of this Leveson deal the press’ freedoms would look like something in North Korea come the Royal Charter. But the whole thing has ended in a damp anti-climax. For a start, the leaders of all the parties are smiling. That’s never a sensational show, is it? But then, maybe that’s the point: PRESS SQUASHED UNDER FULL WEIGHT OF LAW might not be tomorrow’s headline, but I’d rather read about what else is going on in the world.


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