Firstly, I think in the setting up of the Press Complaints Commission there was a feeling that the Press Council had largely failed, which preceded it, mainly because the Press Council had fallen into disrepute. It had fallen into disrepute not in my view because it had done just a poor job -- I've been critical of that too -- but mainly because newspapers, publishers and editors treated it with utter contempt. Whenever the Press Council issued an adjudication which newspapers didn't like, they would publish the adjudication, which they were bound to do, but in large headlines underneath, they would say why they thought that adjudication was wrong.
That, of course, was a nonsense, and they openly attacked the chairman at the time, Louis Blom-Cooper, so it was quite clear to me that that had fallen into disrepute. There was a crisis in the 1980s, a sort of Wild West show in terms of tabloid newspaper behaviour, and that's what created that crisis, a crisis which you can see has happened over phone hacking, although this is obviously on a far worse basis, but it was clear to me that that was the first major failure of the PCC, what is -- in a sense it was set up in order to overcome the problems of the Press Council, had to say, "We want to be inclusive, we want to make sure that we aren't critical", but at the same time the PCC, in having been set up in that way, was bound to say one of the reasons that the Press Council was treated so badly was that it adjudicated so often against newspapers.
So there's the first systemic problem. They were obviously going to ensure that adjudications for breaches of a code were kept to a minimum.
I think the other problem was, of course, that it was really still in the hands of the employers, the owners, and that meant that whoever was contracted to be chairman, director, the rest of the staff were very aware of who their employers were.
I am not saying, and don't wish my statement to be seen in this light, that -- I'm not impugning the directors or the chairmen or the secretariat who had to do that work, but I am saying that it must weigh heavily in people's minds as to what happened before and who their employers were at the time, making it difficult to believe all along that they were being entirely independent.