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Sensible move on regulation; RecordView IT appears common sense has prevailed and Scotland has escaped the most draconian press crackdown in the Western world.

All the signs yesterday suggested that Alex Salmond has had a reality check and will work towards making a new UK-wide regulator the lasting legacy of the Leveson inquiry into press ethics.

That's a welcome move and means papers such as the Daily Record will not be put in the ludicrous position of having to deal with two separate systems of regulation.

In equally welcome news, other bizarre parts of the controversial McCluskey report commissioned by Salmond also seem to have been unceremoniously dumped.

There was no mention yesterday of the panel's absurd suggestion that regulation should be extended to anybody who tweets or posts on Facebook or other websites.

Taken to its logical conclusion, that would have meant Scotland becoming a global policeman of the internet - paid for by the hard-pressed Scottish newspaper industry.

It is anyone's guess what the "expert panel" were thinking when they came up with that nonsense.

There are, of course, still many challenges to face - not least because of the ongoing controversy over the Westminster proposals for the first UK press law in 300 years.

The Westminster model will see politicians able at some point in the future to alter the Royal Charter, which will set up the new UK press regulator.

That's a dangerous scenario - especially when you consider the outburst yesterday from Labour backbencher Jim Sheridan, who reminded us all exactly why MPs should have no role whatsoever in deciding what you get to read in your morning paper.

Sheridan said journalists who upset MPs should be banned from reporting Parliament.

How dare he even suggest tampering with YOUR right to know what YOUR MP is up to - especially when, in his case, that includes claiming a PS700 plasma TV on his expenses.

Sheridan should hang his head in shame.

But in the meantime, it's at least welcome that the McCluskey proposals are heading for exactly where they deserve - the rubbish bin.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 20, 2013
Words:320
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