Saturday 1st December
Some days there is no news, and the weather or the ongoing slaughter in Syria, make the headlines. But on Friday morning there was so much news that maybe the really significant news was lost in the flood of more sensational headlines. Leveson seemed the only story in town, but maybe that is more because the media is so engrossed in navel-gazing, whereas the general public had no delusions about the press anyway, but also probably suspect that after all the speeches and promises of good behaviour, and maybe even an Act of Parliament to somehow regulate the press – nothing will really change. But in a changing world the Press are less and less powerful; the internet and general public apathy are far more worrying for Freedom in the long run.
There was a vote at the UN which would normally have been Headline News too, where despite Britain abstaining and Isreali and US opposition, Palestine was recognized at last as a state; not quite a full state but at least officially recognized now.
There were also three by-elections on Thursday night, which amid all the other news hardly got a look in. But just possibly this might have been the most significant news of all. Labour won all three, which they had previously held, and quite easily as it turned out. But UKIP came second in two of them and polled well in the third. UKIP has for a few years been seen as on the loony fringe, but slowly they have been gaining both ground and credibility. Could it just be that the recent opinion polls are right and that UKIP are rapidly becoming the third party, or is it just a flash in the pan? Time will tell, but one might have thought that the LibDems would have started to recover in the polls by now; that is if they were to stand any chance at the next election. But the people, or a large number who voted LibDems last time cannot forgive them for allowing Tory policies to be successful. And the Tories are not happy at all with David Cameron, who many see as leaning too far to the centre, especially where Europe is concerned, despite his brave talk he seems to crumble when the crunch comes. So an interesting slew of news; I just suspect that the third item will actually be the most significant in the long run.