No, I’m not talking about my cycling ability nor my running skills. I’m not even talking about the curry I had earlier today.
I’m thinking of the News International Phone Hacking affair. This week we have had several people arrested, Rebecca Brooks (husband beater) resigning at last from her role at News International and then today being arrested – shame.
This evening comes the news that Sir Paul Stephenson the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has also resigned.
The story moves on so fast. first it was about hacking a royal mobile phone and 2 News of the World employees were jailed. Then it turned out celebrities phones had been hacked.
Then the most shocking hacking was that the mobile phone of murder victim Milly Dowler had been hacked whilst she was still a missing person and incredibly the NotW employed personnel had deleted messages off the phone. Quite what the NotW staff thought they were doing is beyond me. Hacking phones is one thing, destroying potential evidence in what turned out to be a murder case is another thing. It may even provide Levi Bellfield with grounds for an appeal against his conviction.
Then we learn the NotW had been hacking into the phones of relatives of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and iraq. Could it get any more appalling?
Then we learn that the NotW had been bribing police officers to give them phone numbers and contact details of people. This included members of the Royal Protection Squad selling or being asked to sell the contact details of the Royal family and their phone details. Incredible!
Then we learn that NotW had tried to get access to the mobile phones etc of the British victims of 9/11. This may well prove to be the most damaging thing to the business interests of the Murdoch family. The US authorities are unlikely to take this too well. There could easily end up being prison sentences and very punitive punishments in the US for this.
To try to limit the fall out from this, Rupert Murdoch has taken out adverts in all newspapers trying to apologise. The apology is a load of nonsense and indeed, the picture below is probably a better interpretation of the apology.
Where will this story end?
It seems that every time we think it can’t get any worse, even more unpleasant allegations come out.
One name that gets mentioned regularly in this, but perhaps not as prominently as it should is Andy Hayman. This obnoxious and unpleasant character was in charge of the first investigation into the NotW. This was the officer who failed to investigate properly the evidence in the case. This is the same officer who, lets not forget resigned from the Metropolitan police over dodgy expense claims (which were not investigated properly) and then went to work for… yes you’ve guessed it, News International.
Am I being unfair on Andy Hayman? I don’t think so – look at his clip of him being asked a simple question before the Parliamentary Select Committee investigating this matter.
His protestations are grossly over the top. I will imagine he asked suspects questions far more offensive and in a far more assertive manner when he was a police officer. A simply answer of “No” would have sufficed,
He was appearing before a committee investigating payments to the police by the NotW. Did he not expect to be asked such questions? If he didn’t then I would question his ability in planning and his ability as a police officer.
Now, you will note that he was clear he had not received any payments from the NotW. Look at the enclosed document released under Freedom of Information by the Metropolitan Police
He might not have directly received bundles of £notes, but he was dined regularly by the News International group. Is there any difference between him getting £100 in cash and used it to pay for a meal or he had the £100 meal paid for. The end result is the same, he was £100 better off than before.
The fact he immediately went to work for News International after resigning from the police tells you something about how cosy his relationship with News International was.
Th politicians are themselves squirming about this. David Cameron has egg on his face after employing former NotW editor Andy Coulson as his press officer. Coulson now having been arrested over this. Cameron also had a close relationship with Rebecca Brooks and News International.
So, you would expect that Labour are reaping the rewards. Well, they would except Labour in the form of Ed Miliband also have close links with News International, as did previous Labour politicians. Gordon Brown accused the Sun of hacking his phone, despite the information coming from a legitimate source and the fact the story (re his son’s health) was published years ago and Brown never complained then or at any time since. A liar and a poor one at that.
However, the best Labour could do about this was Yvette Cooper a minister in the Last labour government ( remember Labour were in power 1997 –2010) demanding to know of David Cameron why this scandal wasn’t investigated properly earlier. Hmmm Yvette dear, look again at the dates of the allegations and you will find you and Labour were in power. Was that shot gun just discharged into your foot?