The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

On the first point, do they act as effective campaigners in their own right, yes, they do. Often with great effect and fairly often, I think, to the benefit of the country at large. Some the campaigns I mention here, the Daily Mail's outstanding campaign on bringing the murderers of Stephen Lawrence to justice, that was a brave campaign, entirely justified. The Guardian's dogged campaign, if that's what you call it, to not take no for an answer and keep plugging away at this issue of phone hacking. I suspect if they hadn't stuck to their guns, we wouldn't be sitting here today.

I remember being very involved with a number of media outlets on the campaign to give retired Gurkha soldiers the respect and the support they deserved here. Again that's something I would welcome.

My only point is: as a politician, you quite rightly need to be dispassionate about which campaigns you act upon and which you don't. If we get to the point where the intensity of the campaign determines whether it's successful, you know, that would not be right. It has to be whether the campaign is right in content, as these three examples I've used are. And again, I think it is one of the great virtues of our press, certainly compared to slightly more insipid press cultures in other developed democracies, that we have these, we have this campaigning zeal in our press. I think readers appreciate it and it's something I think we should celebrate.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech