Ivan Lewis really doesn\’t Johann Hari, does he?

Journalists guilty of serious misconduct should not be allowed to work again, Labour’s Shadow Culture Secretary has said.

Bit harsh, making sure that Johann can never work at anything, ever again.

In a speech to party delegates, Ivan Lewis will said: \”As in other professions, the industry should consider whether people guilty of gross malpractice should be struck off.\”

Ah, so first you\’ve got to get onto the little list and then you can be fired from it. Still aimed at Hari though I think.

He wants \”a new system of independent regulation including proper like for like redress which means mistakes and falsehoods on the front page receive apologies and retraction on the front page\”.

And on the comment page on the comment page I assume.

Going to rather much up the layout of the Indy the day after a Hari column then, isn\’t it?

15 thoughts on “Ivan Lewis really doesn\’t Johann Hari, does he?”

  1. Or, on second thoughts, has the mendacious toad had some sort of obscure perversion named after him? So you can actually “Johann Hari”?

  2. What a complete clown. Government license to be a journalist? The very idea is nauseating.

    Doesn’t this idiot recognize that in the case of the laughable Hari, he got what was coming to him without any sort of state intervention at all? In ther marketplace of hotly-contested ideas, somebody finally sat down and did the work required to catch him red-handed.

    But no, what we need is for the Government to decide whether the free expression of ideas amounts to ‘serious misconduct’. It’s hard to imagine a concept more corrosive of freedom of speech and the rights of the individual. Probably why this junior commissar likes the idea so much. Disgusting fascist.

    llater,

    llamas

  3. llamas, that’s exactly what I thought. These people read about TASS and think, “that’s a good idea.” Journalists on an approved list of the State Information Bureau. It’s Stalintastic.

  4. ‘Nuff said about the truly nauseating idea that journalists and commentators should be in some way “licensed” by the state. No argument there.

    But I am rather taken by the idea that corrections of mistakes and falsehoods should be given a prominence equal to the original story. I can’t see why not, and it would surely act as brake on press irresponsibility.

  5. I didn’t think it was possible for someone to make me feel sorry for Hari, but this has just about managed it.

    He did something dumb, but not bad enough (as a young man) to justify a lifetime punishment. He just writes harmless if stupid opinion pieces for a privately owned newspaper which I don’t buy. So if they re-employ him, it is none of my business. And I have no axe to grind with him to wish a lifetime of poverty or ostracism.

    Yes, the idea Labour has proposed is barking.

    What would constitute a journalist? Is Ritchie one?

    Should he be ‘banned’ for misleadingly claiming he was an ‘expert witness’ at the recent Brighton trial? What’s next – claiming he was England’s hooker in the 2003 World Cup Final? Either way, they are both manifestly bollocks claims.

    And if he were an expert witness (unlikely – if he were, it would have been crystal clear either way in the case), he is in a bit of bother for failing to disclose his partiality in the case.

    He is likely to be reading this, so he might consider publishing a retraction – if for no other reason than to cover his own backside.

  6. By way of an update, I see that Ed Milliband’s official spokesman has now repudiated Ivan Lewis’ suggestion in the clearest of terms – “We are not in the business of regulating journalists”.

  7. Don’t forget of course that alot of you bloggers are classed as journalists.

    Oh how they would love to shut alot of you down.

  8. Adrian,
    The expert witnesss thing isn’t quite as black and white as you might think. Righteous may well have a point.
    I attend Tax Tribunals as an expert even although such Hearings do not have formal provision for an ‘Expert’. The Tribunal members still have a requirement for my de facto expertise, so I attend anyway. CPR doesn’t hold, but I adhere to it anyway as best practice. In the strictest possible sence I am not an Expert, but it is a fair representation of my role (which has been challenged in the High Court but upheld that I am a de facto expert).

    I understand Magistrates courts are the same, so the same logic would/could apply to him.

    Rather his transgression is not to refer to himself as an expert, but to imply that he is an expert on whether the protest was fair. That’s the Judge’s role, not the expert’s. Murphy can opine on whether there is/was a legitimate debate to be had on the Govt policies, and whether there were realistic alternatives for protestors to campaign for (i.e. it was not just a violent nihlistic protest). But whether it’s “fair” is a whole other matter (e.g was it timely, relevant, proportionate, etc) which is almost certainly outside his brief.

    What he *should* apologise for is clearly exceeding his brief, commenting on matters outwith his stated areas of competance and showing disrespect for both the Judge and the process.

  9. Thanks Gary

    Was trained in Oz and am not a litigator. In NSW as I recall there is a Supreme Court Rule making it clear that the 1st duty of the expert is to the court and not to one of the parties. And he or she must be impartial.

    I know Ritchie is not operating under the law of a different country, but I am surprised it is so different here in the UK.

    If the expert is partial and not there to assist the court on matters relating to his/her expertise, what is the point of having the expert? He/she isn’t advancing the case per se (i.e. not advancing what did or did not happen), nor opining on the character of the witness. Surely a partial expert witness is just wasting everybody’s time.

  10. Adrian,
    The expert’s overriding duty is to the court, and is supposed to have an opinion only on the subset of the case which is within the area of expertise. That all sounds the same.
    My point was that the definition of an expert can be a little grey depending on the specific court.
    Agreed also that he was clearly not impartial, which does not speak well to his credibility. This should have been dealt with in cross examination though. Wouldn’t have been difficult.

  11. Churm Rincewind
    By way of an update, I see that Ed Milliband’s official spokesman has now repudiated Ivan Lewis’ suggestion in the clearest of terms – “We are not in the business of regulating journalists”.

    Hmm, Chris Dillow is always going on about the need to shift the Overton Window and this is how it starts. Lets see how strong these denials get the more this debate is aired.

  12. There is a difference between a Joint Expert and a one appointed by a single party. You are expected to select an expert who advances your view of the case.

    Now, the duty to the court means that you should provide an honest opinion, however partial, and that any inconvenient facts should be brought to the court’s attention (in reality, this just means that you end up not being called!)

    But, under English law, an expert is if and only if the judge says they are – no need for any training (in expert witnessing or even in the matter experting on – experience can be sufficient), being in a directory or any such: “Whether a witness is competent to give evidence as an expert is for the judge to determine.

    I would suggest that it is possibly within the bounds of an expert to opine on whether the protest was “fair”, it is the court’s role to determine whether or not it was legal.

    Of course, the concept of Ritchie as an expert, witness or otherwise, merely illustrates that the “several bottles of decent claret with lunch” model of British judicial practice has continued into the modern PC world.

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