One aspect of the recent election that may have escaped your notice was under the unexciting name Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014.
This piece of legislation includes clauses threatening charities with financial penalties if representatives undertake activities in the months ahead of an election which could be regarded as “political”.
The relevant clauses of the act are vague, which is an unhelpful contrast to the strident language used to justify them.
One charity was needlessly lambasted in the Daily Mail for issuing ‘socialist propaganda’, while Brooks Newmark, fresh from his elevation to ministerial office, offered the patronising and sexist suggestion that charities ‘stick to their knitting’.
As the Government gagging order came into play, George Osborne waded into the definitively one-sided debate, attacking charities as ‘anti-business’.
When Mr Newmark (who is married) sent a compromising photograph of himself to an undercover journalist posing as an admirer, it clearly wasn’t the biggest mistake recently made by a government minister.
There was no reason for charities to be hampered with additional threats, the sector already being adequately regulated by the Charity Commission.
According to the findings of the Leveson enquiry, which the Prime Minister had pledged to accept, there were, however, pressing reasons for regarding the analogous Press Complaints Commission as comparatively toothless, and for further regulation of the national print media.
So why are unpaid and underpaid charity workers subjected to sexist vilification and government gagging orders while rich multinational media corporations and magnates get off unmolested?
And might the Prime Minister’s U-turn on Leveson’s findings have helped him gain political endorsement from said national print media, certainly in higher proportion than the mere quarter of the registered electorate that actually voted for him?
In April 1992, after another Conservative government secured a surprising narrow majority, Murdoch’s flagship famously boasted ‘It was the Sun wot won it.’
The new appointment to the post of secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport certainly suggests that Mr Cameron has taken over from Blair as Murdoch’s Manchurian candidate.
Now, as in 1992, and many times in between, it is clear who is the real winner.