UNITED KINGDOM – David Cameron has called for a slap on the wrist amendment to the list of laws recommended in the Leveson Report into media ethics.
The Prime Minister, who is still looking for a way to avoid the issue of media regulation altogether, said the amendment “would go a long way to making a token gesture”.
Mr Cameron rejected claims he had dismissed the report too early, saying that he was simply putting it off it the hopes it would go away.
The amendment has been drafted by a joint committee of Conservative ministers, and stipulates: “In the event of gross misconduct perpetrated by a media organisation including, but not limited to, hacking the phones of dead schoolgirls”, the government would be given “full authority to exert firm force on the upper portion of the wrist of said media organisation as a means of indicating its extreme displeasure at the aforementioned bad act.”
Any wrist slapping would be followed by telling the media organisation to “think long and hard about what they have done.”
Mr Cameron said with proper enforcement he was sure acts of gross misconduct like those uncovered during the Leveson inquiry would be a thing of the past.
“This is the right thing to do,” the PM said. “It would ensure that problems are dealt with in the lightest of manners while giving the impression I was dealing with the core issue.”
Mr Cameron claimed the draft bill will allow future misconduct to be dealt with in principle “while keeping Rupert Murdoch happy.”
Opposition government rejected the proposals as weak and demanded the coalition take tougher measures to properly punish newspapers in a way they would feel, suggesting Mr Cameron send Nick Clegg to work for any organisation found to have run afoul of the guidelines outlined in the Leveson Report.
“What Mr Cameron has proposed simply doesn’t go far enough,” blasted Labour leader Ed Miliband.”Now is the time to take a strong stand against a culture of bad behaviour.”
“Sending Nick to work for just a week would show that this government was serious about enforcement.”
“No more empty threats.”