The Law Commission has been dreaming up ways to “regulate” bloggers, and new ways to regulate mainstream news.
Their proposal includes a new “code,” and an “independent regulator.” “Independent” in the sense of being being an agent of government, but paid for by those it regulates. And “voluntary” in the sense of “do what we suggest, or we’ll make you.”
They’re happy because the more regulation there is, the more difficult it can be made for their smaller competitors.
And because they generally get to write the code.
So expect a new watchdog to be announced once the pretence at “consultation” over this is completed.
And free speech, once again, to diminish.
UPDATE: Russell Brown is less enthusiastic than the Blue Team bloggers. But still concludes
Not everyone will be comfortable with the proposals in the paper, but the Law Commission has, I think, admirably fulfilled its brief of providing a basis for discussion.
And, finally, the role of a free and robust press in a democracy is strongly and repeatedly emphasised in this discussion paper. Given that the minister who commissioned this review did not think to say so, I am particularly glad the Commission has.