Nick Cohen is absolutely right when he decries the stupidity of animal rights charities (in conjunction with Amnesty International) in taking their call for British political TV advertising to the EU Court of Human Rights.
If they are successful (and there is every chance they will be) it will be yet another nail in British democracy.
As Nick points out (and as is amply demonstrated in the US) it is the rich and powerful (who can afford the most advertising) who will benefit from this. They must be laughing all the way to the bank at their luck and the stupidity of these charities.
We only have to look at the huge waste of money on political advertising in the US and the political inclinations of our press to see what will happen in the UK. At the moment the conservative press cannot get most of their self-interested campaigns off the ground. Expand their malign influence to TV and Radio and it will become even harder to distinguish fact from myth.
The 'free' market and 'free' press is no such thing unless you perversely define freedom in terms of how much money you have. Without the regulation of the broadcasting media, it would quickly degenerate to the level of the gutter press or even worse to Fox TV. Let's hope the court sees sense, I doubt it will though.