We don't have a free press in this country. What we have is a press controlled by a tiny clutch of plutocrats, whose political influence lay at the root of the culture of criminality and impunity that had pervaded a large section of the industry prior to the phone hacking scandal breaking at the beginning of 2011.
On Thursday David Cameron achieved what Blair did with Iraq and Thatcher with the miner's strike: take the difficult, unpopular, but Prime Ministerial route. And if justice is done, he too will be rewarded.
Given that leaking was one of the main reasons for an inquiry into press standards, how surprising it was to discover that despite its nature, none of Lord Justice Leveson's 2000 page report was leaked to the media before its publication.
Power has neurological effects on the brain which can include a distortion of thinking, a degrading of morals and a blunting of empathy. Democracy and its artifacts were invented to counteract this neurological condition and a free press is one of the great inventions of democracy.
The press have to set up the new system and why it is the press and no one else that must develop an independent regulatory regime that will adhere to the Leveson Principles. It isn't for the Prime Minister, the Cabinet or even Parliament to tell them how to do it.
Any position on the future regulation of the press must draw on the long history and association between free speech and democratic participation. Without a culture in which journalism can hold power to account, democracy is only half made.
A free press is vital to a free society and a properly functioning democracy. Once statutory regulation of the press comes in, no matter how far removed from politicians, it will call into question the integrity of the system, and lead to pressure for greater intervention in the future.
It is not in the public interest to have a press capable of running riot in the deliberate manufacture of false news which serves the interests of power. It is in the public interest to have a press which the public can hold to account when it fakes news in the interests of power, and which can thus counterbalance its overwhelming dominance by corporate conglomerates.
Leveson, and the debate that follows, really is not about the r-word. But it helps press and a certain brand of outraged politician to convince the public can be convinced otherwise.
The world is now perilously close to another war in the Middle East. I believe if we could bring Bush and Blair to trial for their war crimes, there will be an enormous shake up in the world which would open the door to talks.
The latest report is a vital contribution to our understanding of child sexual exploitation, but it focuses only one particular type, namely that involving gangs or groups. Although Asian men are overrepresented in this particular category, 95% of the UK's sex offenders are white males.
The pips are squeaking. As the deadline approaches for Lord Justice Leveson to make his recommendations on press regulation to the government, the public debate gets more strident. Rumours abound that he will recommend a role for the state. The chairman of the Press Complaints Commission urged him in a speech last night not to go down this path.
Those newspapers that are now revelling in the BBC's discomfort are in no position to do so and are motivated less by a commitment to rigorous and independent journalism than by the opportunity to make life difficult for their publicly-funded rival. Some of the hypocrisy is astounding.
So in the Sun today when a phone goes on the Sun newsdesk and the journalists are told a shocking story they then ask the nervous caller a strange question; Are you a state employee? Because if you are, no matter how big or important your story is, we cannot listen to you or pay you money for your information because both of us stand a healthy chance of being arrested. Meanwhile, the Jimmy Savile's of this world will go free while those wanting to expose them face going to jail.
Britain has enjoyed Press Freedom for 317 years. It was finally wrestled from the grasp of the State, after centuries of campaigning, in 1695. Many have - literally - died to protect it ever since. So why do so many people want to give it away now?
Who has the right to tell the public what it should and should not know? And how can they decide what is and is not in the public interest? Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan have no more right to dictate the terms of freedom of expression than you or I.