Saturday, 16 July 2011

21st Century Foxes, Vixens and Sewer Rats

Update:  (4 August 2011)

This news is bound to set the heather ablaze!  We were all ready attend a glorious shooting party in Perthshire and now we hear that "Hackgate" is also the talk of all the journalists and politicians in Scotland.

Will this have an repercussions on the First Minister Alex Salmond or does it prove that he was politically astute in courting the Murdoch press, especially the Scottish Sun to support the SNP?  In this there were certainly some strange bedfellows!


Over the last 10 days a tsunami of sycophants, sewer rats, gutter press journalists, phone hackers, bent coppers and pillars of the community (Members of Parliament and Peers of the Realm not excluding Piers Morgan) have been dragged into the leader columns of the international press.  We present a drama which is still unfolding as we write and reflect that tomorrow, Sunday, will be the first Sunday without the News of the World. 

The main characters in this drama are:
Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks, Les Hinton, Neil Wallis and Tom Crone

Politicians have not remained unblemished and David Cameron and Gordon Brown have both been guests at events organised by News International (NI) and News Corp.   The Metropolitan Police has also been called into question, especially John Yates, Andy Hayman, Lord Blair and the current commissioner Paul Stephenson.  The MPs who have been most active in using privilege are Tom Watson and Chris Bryant.  In the House of Lords, John Prescott has been consistent in claiming that his phone was hacked and other Peers of the Realm who may have taken the Murdoch shilling have put in their tuppence worth.  If this sounds like loose change, it is.  It shows that the UK is no cleaner than some countries which the Establishment despises.  In this scandal, we have seen politicians, press and police mingling to such an extent that one wonders whether this is the lubrication of the wheels of government or the raking of money, power and influence by very opaque means. 

The attention of the public has been drawn to NI primarily because it has recently been disclosed they hacked into a child’s mobile phone after she had gone missing and was later found to have been murdered.  The cover up then unfolded and has dragged in the great and the good, though strangely Whitehall, the civil service and some others pillars of the establishment have remained untouched.  We present the following links which illustrate the status of the constitutional ramifications of the Murdoch saga, it’s unwinding and some calls for a statutory body to oversee the press, as the PCC has failed.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown: Murdoch’s News International operated a “criminal-media nexus”

Lord Prescott’s speech in the House of Lords

Lord Grade’s speech in the House of Lords debate:

Baroness Wheatcroft’s speech in the House of Lord’s debate:

Meanwhile, the constitution is being tinkered with by Nick Clegg and his chums.  Charles Walker, MP, has made probably the shortest speech for many years in the House of Commons and other interventions are worthy of some notice. 

Mr Charles Walker: No system is perfect, but we have had a fairly dynamic democracy over the past 350 years and by fixing parliamentary terms we will lose some of that dynamism.

Mr Charles Walker: Fixed-term Parliaments: constitutional vandalism.

(you will need to search for Charles or Walker on the web page)

Stain from tabloids rubs off on a cozy Scotland Yard

Hacking row: Theresa May to 'outline' concerns over Met


  1. I've heard that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not suffered from the bout of phone hacking that seems to have affected the UK. This, we are told, is because he doesn't use a mobile phone. Would the same be true of Gus O'Donnell (GOD) too?

  2. You seem to have ignored Ed Milliband altogether. Don't you think his battling with David Cameron on PMQs has at last been justified? And surely, his calling for the departure of Rebekah Brooks was, in your terms, a 'brave decision'? Or do you consider that Gordon Brown and his own spin doctors, such as Charlie Whelan and Damian McBride still call shots? They must have buried a few emails or at least seen them?

  3. In my opinion, Ed Milliband distancing himself from his brother and carving out a leadership role which will only be tested if an election is ever called in this country. I agree wtih Obreption regarding the coalition government and worry that our eyes will be off the ball when the constitution is wrecked.

    On a separate topic, the publication of the Cloyne Report in Ireland has shown previous cosy political, civil, educational influence and control being abused by some sectors within the Roman Catholic church. You have been fairly quiet on this issue for sometime. Is this because you feel it is purely an Irish issue? Or do you think the Murdoch empire is more insidious than the Vatican?

  4. So Stephenson's gone now too. Must say, I find it incredible that he could claim that he left with his integrity intact. Is that an obreption or living in a parallel universe?

  5. This saga is obviously still working its way through and it would appear that Sir Paul Stephonson has resigned or it may well be that he was pushed. His remarks bringing David Cameron and his choice of advisor Andy Coulson may have jarred with some in the government. Cameron is in Africa, doubtless preaching the benefits of good governance, sound economics - while back home, we have to listen to Theresa May and William Hague defend his position.

    We don't think the BBC should be left out of the debate. We are of the view that the political discourse frequently employs a cheap form of point scoring that is the MP panel. This has infected many programmes or such populist political programmes.

    The relationship between major journalists and their spouses/partners within the broadcast and print media has always been a subject of nepotism charges. With this Murdoch scandal it is worthwhile looking at all the characters, their partners, their offspring, their brothers and then checking who knew what and where. Did it all really happen in Chipping Norton and if Cameron is to take the blame for Andy Coulson, why did Brown cosy up to Rebekah Brooks and get his wife Sarah to organise all these cosy get togethers?

    We haven't brought GOD into this, but surely the civil service and those who run the country knew what was going on - or did they have their snouts in the trough?

  6. Well the foxes and vixen were there on display and ready - but what a bunch of castrated hounds! There is accountability and then there is window-dressing.

  7. Yes, and then there is just turning over and wanting your belly rubbed or a pat on your head to assure you that you next meal will arrive - if you're good. Pathetic.

  8. Thank you again for your comments. The shocking news of the massacre in Oslo of so many people has taken away much of the heat of the debate caused by the Murdoch appearance in the House of Commons in London. UK politics will go into a 6 week holiday period unless parliament is recalled, though Cameron has a sword of Damocles hanging over him in the form of the investigation by Strathclyde Police regarding possible perjury in the Tommy Sheridan case and the News of the World NoW defunct!). For some strange reason this is know as the Rubicon investigation, though what this has to do with Julius Ceaser is beyond my sense of imagination. Doubtless the Crown Office in Edinburgh have their reasons. An interesting take on this may be found in the Herald on Sunday.

    Regarding the Cloyne inquiry, I think Mr Kenny from Ireland has said all there needs to be said about some deceit and obfuscation on the part of certain prelates in the Vatican.

    The Norwegian tragedy and mass killing of young people has given a reality check to extremism which can too glibly be put down to 'nutters'. Nutters do not normally hand themselves in and usually manage to dispose of themselves by going out in a 'blaze of glory'. This nutter clearly pre-meditated with the bomb blast in Oslo and the use of ammunition in the island. Labels of Christian fundamentalism have been applied by the press, who were all too keen to blame the shooting on Al-Qaeeda and Islamic extremists. The spread of poisonous hate is often condemned by religoius authorities who are quite happy to stir up hatred in a sectarian move to gain the upperhand. This may be unremarked when it happens in the streets of Karachi, where hundreds are killed but it gets more attention and hand wringing when it happens closer to home. I can't remember the Oklahoma bombing being based on the message of the Christian right.