UK Leveson Inquiry Authorises Government/Pharmaceutical Power Grab Over MMR
As predicted on Age of Autism Lord Justice Leveson has used the inquiry initiated to investigate press abuse of ordinary citizens to authorise a power grab for government bureaucrats and industry lobbyists over science reporting – a piece of misdirection if ever there was one. Notably, in his 2000 page report, he has endorsed the concerns of pharmaceutical public relations expert Fiona Fox of Science Media Centre, who was hired by the UK Department of Business to chair a committee to direct the future of science journalism in the UK. SMC is funded by vaccine manufacturers. Present on the Department of Business committee were both Paul Nuki who was the editor at the Sunday Times that hired journalist Brian Deer to investigate Andrew Wakefield and Martin Moore chair of Hacked Off , the self-appointed public watchdog to the Leveson Inquiry who blocked vaccine damage families’ concerns about Deer’s investigation, and refused to answer questions about Hacked Off’s advisor, politician Dr Evan Harris, who collaborated in the Deer’s initial investigation – a matter of public record which Harris preposterously later denied in a public statement through Hacked Off .
Meanwhile, Leveson himself blocked heavily documented complaints from families about the Deer-Sunday Times investigation not disclosing that both he, Leveson, and the inquiry’s lead attorney, Robert Jay, had taken part in closed hearings to withdraw public funding from the MMR litigation. Leveson had endorsed the decision of Mr Justice Davis (now Lord Justice Davis) who at the time failed to disclose that his brother Crispin was both proprietor of the Lancet and a recently appointed director of defendant MMR manufacturer GSK. Jay had taken part in the Davis hearing (which was also closed) as the representative of the Legal Services Commission, which had withdrawn the funding. Another issue of complaint which Leveson refused to hear was that the Sunday Times re-launched Deer’s attack on Wakefield’s integrity within days of the paper’s boss, James Murdoch, being appointed to the board of GSK with a brief to defend the group’s reputation.
Yesterday Leveson once again branded Wakefield a “rogue scientist” despite the fact that many of the Sunday Times’s key allegations have already been shown to be false in the English High Court where Wakefield’s senior co-author on the Lancet paper, Prof John Walker-Smith was fully exonerated earlier this year. Mr Justice Mitting’s finding showed that there had not been misreporting in the paper, there had been no inappropriate or unauthorised investigations of patients, and the paper was not funded by the Legal Services Commission, all of which had been falsely claimed in Sunday Times reports . (As Martin Hewitt makes clear below the inquiry had Mitting's findings brought to their attention.)
Mitting told the UK’s General Medical Council in regard to Walker-Smith that “this must not happen again” but what happened happened purely as a result of the Sunday Times’s scurrilous investigation in which Walker-Smith and his junior colleague Simon Murch were the collateral damage in the British establishment’s witch-hunt against Wakefield. What has been done to these three good men over the last nine years is unspeakable but the real victims are the children who cannot get proper medical attention, and the public who do not have transparent or accountable science (most particularly in relation vaccines).
The reality is that free comment in the mainstream media has already been completely stifled on such matters, but the prospect of it being formalised is truly repulsive and horrifying. This is a dark day.
Hacked of With Brian Deer as Accomplice
Hacked Off Stonewalls over Harris and Deer
Harris Distances Himself from Brian Deer
Sir Crispin Davis and James Murdoch No Longer on GSK Board
Brian Deer Hired to Find Something Big on MMR
Brian Deer Lords it at Conference
64 Billion Dollar a Year Question
Elaborate Fraud Part 1 Murdoch Paper Deceives Parent
Amen Lou...and the factor tying it all together? The Bottom Line.
Posted by: Joy B | December 04, 2012 at 01:19 AM
..“rogue scientist”...Seriously, Lord "Justice" Leveson?!!
Posted by: Janet | December 03, 2012 at 09:04 PM
"Yesterday Leveson once again branded Wakefield a “rogue scientist”
It is time to realize "officialdom" is NEVER going to give us the truth about certain subjects. It is up to we the people to ferret out the truth and ASSUME we are being lied to by "officialdom"
A Short List of Subjects about which We Will be LIED to
Posted by: Lou | December 01, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Leveson wrote (para 117),
"Taken as a whole, the evidence clearly demonstrates that, over the last 30-35 years and probably much longer, the political parties of UK national Government and of UK official Opposition, have had or developed too close a relationship with the press in a way which has not been in the public interest."
However, Lord Leveson appears to have granted immunity to this particular political hound * ...
... to continue to act with impunity ... in his close relationship with the "press" that hounds the lives of innocent people. This is an outrage.
* Dr Evan Harris MP, former upstanding member for Oxford West and Abingdon, had wilted (lost his seat) ... just three days before this outrageous follow on speech to Deer.
Posted by: Mark Struthers | December 01, 2012 at 06:40 AM
Lord Leveson wrote (Para 7, executive summary),
"There have been too many times when, chasing the story, parts of the press have acted as if its own code, which it wrote, simply did not exist. This has caused real hardship and, on occasion, wreaked havoc with the lives of innocent people whose rights and liberties have been disdained. This is not just the famous but ordinary members of the public, caught up in events (many of them, truly tragic) far larger than they could cope with but made much, much worse by press behaviour that, at times, can only be described as outrageous."
The "press" behave outrageously because they can ... because they've been granted total immunity by powerful political and corporate forces,
This outrageous hack acted with complete impunity before Leveson ... and still acts with impunity after Leveson. This is an outrage.
Posted by: Mark Struthers | December 01, 2012 at 06:02 AM
Mark Lewis (Lawyer) was interviewed by our ABC Breakfast host.
He stated that....."the carrot was dangled before the victims and then taken away from them..."
I would have been interesting if Brian Deer was mentioned!
Posted by: AussieMum | December 01, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Thanks for all your great work John. For anyone interested....
Tell us what you think about press regulation:
Posted by: Janet | November 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM
An arbitration system should be created through which people who say they have been victims of the press can seek redress without having to go through the courts
Ohhhh noo, nooo, noooo -- that is the most dangerous one I see on that list Jenny.
It has not passed yet, right?
Sounds like a fight to maintain freedom. Thank you so much for telling us all what is going on--- hopefully if everyone knows it will help Right win out.
John the darkest days hopefully comes before good days.
Posted by: Benedetta | November 30, 2012 at 10:08 AM
The political landscape has been changing in the most alarming ways. Things that we took for granted, are being carelessly junked - politicians are now screaming to have freedom of speech taken away, based on things which although vile had little bearing on the substance of democracy, but we can see from Leveson's own actions how a bureacracy can control political debate and will: the hard truths that he wouldn't countenance, the lies that he gave space too - all a blueprint for the future. Meanwhile, the head of the Common's culture committee is furious that Leveson has passed over the opportunity to control the internet as well.
Posted by: John Stone | November 30, 2012 at 09:47 AM
John Stone-Thanks for the laugh!! I think the term 'regulation stew' could encompass most of what transpired during and as a result of the Leveson Inquiry!!
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 30, 2012 at 08:58 AM
We can celebrate with Orwell's Symes the absolute obliteration of meaning.
"The legislation would enshrine, for the first time, a legal duty on the government to protect the freedom of the press."
Posted by: John Stone | November 30, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Leveson received an additional submission from parents explaining Justice Mitting's vindication of Professor Walker-Smith and the implications for Dr Wakefield. But Leveson dismissed the submission in the same way as he did the parents original submission. The Inquiry had already decided the line against Wakefield on the basis of pharma-subsidized science lobbies in the UK. Any evidence conflicting with this line was dismissed.
Posted by: Martin Hewitt | November 30, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Here are the main findings and recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry as reported on BBC Breakfast:-
"Work begins on draft Leveson bill
The Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press has published its report. Here are the key points.
New self-regulation body recommended
Independent of serving editors, government and business
No widespread corruption of police by the press found
Politicians and press have been too close
Press behaviour, at times, has been 'outrageous'
An independent regulatory body for the press should be established.
It should take an active role in promoting high standards, including having the power to investigate serious breaches and sanction newspapers.
The new body should be backed by legislation designed to assess whether it is doing its job properly.
The legislation would enshrine, for the first time, a legal duty on the government to protect the freedom of the press.
An arbitration system should be created through which people who say they have been victims of the press can seek redress without having to go through the courts.
Newspapers that refuse to join the new body could face direct regulation by media watchdog Ofcom.
The body should be independent of current journalists, the government and commercial concerns, and not include any serving editors, government members or MPs.
The body should consider encouraging the press to be as transparent as possible in relation to sources for its stories, if the information is in the public domain.
A whistle-blowing hotline should be established for journalists who feel under pressure to do unethical things."
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 30, 2012 at 02:40 AM
The UK BBC Breakfast News, reports that already new laws are being drafted to curtail the freedom of the press, one more step towards an Orwellian totalitarian state.
The 'thought police' are already actively poisoning any non mainsteam points of view. Our already overflowing jails can look forward to welcoming large numbers of 'dissidents'.
Heaven help us!
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 30, 2012 at 02:21 AM