Sick Priorities

Today, News International agreed to pay to singer Charlotte Church an alleged £600,000 compensation for hacking into her mobile phone( s ) and listening to message on her mobile phone’s answerphone.

Now, I am no advocate for Rupert Murdoch or News International. I certainly do not condone their actions in hacking into people’s mobile phones. Their way of doing business is anathema to me. I would describe News International ( and Sky) as epitomising all that is wrong with society today.

So, what am I writing about this payment to Charlotte Church by News International? Well, her case is not unique. Max Clifford received £1million as did Gordon Taylor, the chairman of the Professional Footballers Association

These payments are basically for upset or inconvenience as a result of their phone calls being listened to.

Now compare these with payments made to those who suffer injury in say a road accident or a work accident or that received by soldiers injured fighting for their country. It is rare to get a significant sum for personal injury. These figures are fixed by the courts as being the appropriate levels of compensation to recompense the victim for his injuries.

I make no secret that as a result of my cycling accident 2 1/2 years ago, my left knee is permanently damaged. I am unable to kick a football or twist and turn on that knee. I was unable to work for around 3 months and even today the knee causes problems. The compensation I got for pain and suffering was around 1% of that Charlotte Church got. This I was happy with and whilst no amount of money can fully compensate for injuries, it was an adequate  settlement.

Under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, a rape victim will get up to £11,000, and  someone suffering “Seriously disabling

disorder where the symptoms and disability are permanent” gets £28,000 There are numerous other examples, e.g. permanent loss of sight – £44,000

So, can you explain to me why its deemed to be worth £600,000 or £1million to have someone listen to your phone calls? From a surprising source, came a call for these celebrities to give their payments to charity. In the Daily Telegraph last December, Neil Hamilton the disgraced former MP and his wife made such a call. Its a little ironic them making such a claim as they did not give the libel compensation they got to charity.

It says a lot about how greedy these celebrities are when that money, which is a windfall for them, could have been given to a deserving charitable cause such as Help for Heroes. however, they keep it for themselves, despite in most cases being extremely wealthy already.

It is sick that so much money is being paid out for hurt feelings and so little for permanent life changing physical injuries

If you are reading this Rupert, my mobile number is 07……….,