30 Jun The Press Complaints Commission Campaign

Recently we have received a large number of decisions from the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). Not once has it ruled in our favour.

The original post about each complaint will be edited to include the decision and the title amended to indicate the result. All complaints made be viewed by going to the “Campaigns” item on the menu and choosing “Press Complaints Commission”.

Of course, I am disappointed at these results but I believe it is right to keep calling publishers to account when, to quote the Editors’ Code, they publish “inaccurate, misleading or distorted information”.

I don’t think I’m being a sore loser here but it seems to me that the PCC’s objective, actually, is to find an excuse for publishers to say whatever they want. It is absurd that not one complaint has been upheld amidst an avalanche of deceptions and inaccuracies about cannabis. I think the PCC would have been wiser to concede on even a few. As it is, their true intention is revealed.

We shall keep going though, so that publishers know they will have to work to explain themselves every time they try to demonise cannabis. We have already achieved a noticeable reduction in the very worst scare stories and had several letters published in prominent positions. Experience proves that a complaint to the PCC can work as a lever to get a letter published.

I am also considering a “Super Complaint” about the way the PCC has handled all the complaints. We already have one complaint in with Lt Gen Sir Michael Willcocks, the independent Charter Commissioner. There is no appeal against a PCC ruling. All you can do is complain about the way your complaint was handled. It seems to me that we may have grounds to complain about how all 20+ complaints have been handled.

As an insight into the issues and the way that the tabloids and the prohibitionists work, this is a fascinating process. Reading through this correspondence is an excellent way to understand the nature of the debate amd the misinformation and propaganda we are up against.