Another One Bites the Dust 70

A few bungs down police trousers and an extraordinary two way relationship that made New Scotland Yard an annex of the Murdoch empire, have done for Sir Paul Stephenson. A moment’s reflection that the callous killing of an innocent Brazilian man was not considered worth the resignation of anybody. And on the phone hacking scandal, while Stephenson was as enthusiastic an establishment schmoozer as any, it was his predecessor Blair with whom most of the guilt lies. Like Brooks, at the most charitable possible interpretation Blair was a lousy manager who had no idea what was happening.

I am however rather suspicious that Brooks’ arrest comes just in time to avoid any questions about her relationship with Cameron and others at the select committee – or indeed why she was a facebook friend of the committee chairman.

I am still rather puzzled by why the police have not informed approximately 3,750 of the over 4,000 potential phone hacking victims that their names are on the list. By not informing the victims, of course, the police have so far limited the number of civil suits against News International.

It is hard to recall, (and nowadays I try not to recall it) but there was a period of a few weeks back in 2003 and 2004 when I was front page news, and there were a good few tabloid stories about Nadira’s belly dancing past. Now I wonder….

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70 thoughts on “Another One Bites the Dust

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  • Jonangus Mackay

    An ‘ally of Cameron’ on what Rusbridger did, or did not, tell No 10 about Coulson’s links to jailed private detective Jonathan Rees:
    ‘Axe murder yes. Hacking no.’

  • Strategist

    >>An ‘ally of Cameron’ on what Rusbridger did, or did not, tell No 10 about Coulson’s links to jailed private detective Jonathan Rees: ‘Axe murder yes. Hacking no.’

    Jonangus, what’s the source of that comment? I’m thinking that the axe murder story is the real dynamite under Cameron.

  • Jonangus Mackay

    Britain’s top cop now points the finger at Cameron — BBC political editor Nick Robinson.
    As I opined above, Stephenson is incandescent with anger. All bets & gloves are off.

  • anon

    Letter to my MP
    Dear Sir,
    I just wanted to tell you how good it is to have a Prime Minister that I can really trust. Reports of Greek island yacht cruises and free flights from Rupert Murdoch, and knowledge of the axe murder of a crucial investigator are, I’m sure, just malicious fabrications. Having Rebekah Brooks arrested just before she was due to appear in front the Select Committee has put my mind at rest a great deal, as has the fact that the police have only informed 170 people that their communications were abused. I certainly don’t believe that the police have some 9000 ‘phone numbers on that list.
    You scored some excellent party political points in your form reply to my 38 Degrees e-mail. My former MP, also a Conservative, did very well, too. When I complained about UK complicity in torture, he replied as follows:
    “I totally agree with you in that torture is totally unacceptable and I, like the rest of the Conservative Party, am calling for an investigation into the various allegations that Britain has colluded in torture over the last decade.”
    So it was very heartening to see that the inquiry will be led by a former Commissioner for the Security Services. Who better to investigate complicity and ineffectiveness than someone who himself held the responsibility? I’m also glad that The Cabinet Secretary, ie the government, will decide which documents can be made public. Limiting the scope of the inquiry, and not calling for the US evidence, also goes a long way towards making sure that I will never suspect a thing.
    It is also very reassuring that Murdoch’s 178 newspapers, and the entire Conservative party, were in complete agreement that a war upon Iraq was essential. I’m looking forward to seeing those WMDs when they’re finally dug out of the sand. After all, with consensus like that, I could hardly doubt their existence.
    In the US, I see, counter-intelligence, black ops and phone record monitoring were carried out from a bunker in the government department known as “Fox News”. And given the Murdoch papers’ huge influence over public opinion, I’m sure that the UK electorate made an informed and balanced choice at the last election.
    I’m sorry that my suspicion extended to you so “gratuitously”; I’m sure you’ve learned nothing of any of the above in your forty-one years in parliament; they’re just not the sort of things that Privy Council members are privy to. However, I’d still be interested to know your thoughts. I trust that you will remain opposed to any increase in the power of the electorate, that you’ll continue to support the US in demonising the likes of Julian Assange, and keeping dangerous truth-tellers like Bradley Manning in permanent solitary confinement. I’m so proud to live in a free democracy, with a free, representative press, and open government. I’m sure you agree.
    Yours sincerely,

  • John Goss

    ‘The prime minister thinks that Leveson should concentrate first on press ethics, and not proceed to uncover the truth until police inquiries are finished and any trials have run their course. This process will take at least three years (the police phone-hacking investigation still has 3,800 victims to contact) and presupposes that police officers have the intellectual ability to get at the truth, through any miasma given off by corrupt colleagues and journalists and newspaper executives under suspicion. And police inquiries are inadequate: suspects and potential witnesses have a right not to answer questions, and no duty to tell the truth if they do.’ Geoffrey Robertson, Guardian, 13/07.

    When did Cameron, the Murdochs and the police actually know that there would be a police investigation into News International’s telephone hacking malpractices? Because of the arrest of Rebekah Brooks yesterday she is now under criminal investigation. Tomorrow’s select committe before which she will be appearing will be a farce. Leveson: “Did you know about the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone”. RB “I’m sorry I can’t answer that question because of the ongoing police inquiries.” This business stinks.

  • Paul Johnston

    Agreed but what possible use would be knowing about possible sexual assignations of family members of victims of 7/11 or troops lost in Afghanistan?
    Anyway enough of this gloom and doom, wasn’t it great to see Darren Clarke win the Open. I like Phil Mickelson (yes I am a bit strange)and Thomas Bjorn would have been a worthy winner but after twenty years of trying Mr Clarke is a Majors winner!

  • craig Post author


    Yes it was great. Mickelson is very likeable – he actually looked genuinely pleased for Clarke at the presentation ceremony, and I too was hoping Bjorn might do it. Delighted for Clarke. I wonder if it might kickstart Monty again – Clarke had been written off.

  • Johnstone

    Four police inquiries into murder of Daniel Morgan…
    Three serving detectives arrested on suspicion of…. involvement for the killing
    Murder victims place in his private investigators taken over by a member of the original murder inquiry, former Detective Sergeant Sidney Fillery…..
    After the collapse of the Old Bailey trial in March 2011 it was revealed that Jonathan Rees had earned £150,000 a year from the News of the World for supplying illegally obtained information about people in the public eye
    Jonathan Rees was Daniel Morgans business partner

  • mary

    The combination here of golf news with evidence of massive corruption in the highest echelons of government is surreal.

  • ingo

    In the vain of the tabloids ‘gotcha’, ‘like nine pins’woul;d be another metaphor. Now that Stephenson resinged I believe, just as Courtney, that this goes right to the top.
    This will reach Cameron and unless his coalition partners are desperate to look like those three monkeys, they will further a vote of no confidence. My message to the Lib Dems ‘How much deeper can you sink under the waterline Nick, how much further can you let your party sink before a return to the surface becomes impossible?

    Mind you a general election would confuse the public, it would throw all the bits back up into the air to come down in front of a new administartion, which, as usual, would not ahve a solution reaqdy for voters , but, would have to worked it our, develop policy humm har, humm har, a long grass affair. It would also throw a spanner into the planned war with Iran, one coalition partner in turmoil does not forbode well, he would have to suspend all elections, a ‘way out’ I expect from conservatives to use. and btw. a crap law alltogether.

    If Nick waits just that little longer on the other hand, he might be able to watch a conservatives melt down, members leaving their party in droves, not over this alone, but over their attrocious local agenda’s. Localism is a farce, all over the country they are hitting the buffers with cuts and incineration and, and.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Thanks to David Halpin – I’m sure many people really admire what you’re doing.

    Mary, golf and corruption in high places… seems an apt counterpoint to me. Think of all those sleazy dictators who enjoyed a round or two while ordering executions. Perhaps, now it’s taken outdone by football, corruption and Kissinger, though.

  • Paul Johnston

    Craig early pointed out how close he was to the golf so that’s my excuse anyway and I’m sticking to it.
    Also life would be so boring if all we talked about was politics, and I also guess rather depressing.
    It was re-reading Craig’s book which re-ignited my desire to go to Uzbekistan and it was nice to see the human aspects of a place about which I had just read so many terrible and sad things.

  • Jonangus Mackay

    Guardian’s latest scoop on phone-hack scandal. Farmers Guardian, that is:
    ‘News of the World scandal could delay Government’s announcement of a badger cull.’

  • mary

    Yeah I suppose that surreal is better than real at the moment.
    Ingo, whilst out with the dog in the unseasonal Scotch mist I was pondering what we should be doing and seeking. Rightfully this rotten lot we have in power should get out and we should have an election but, as you say, there is no effective and credible opposition in view of their identical links to the sewer and we would get a rehash.
    An example of the ‘localism’ you also refer to. About eight weeks ago, a very large pile of black bin bags arose in the local park. They are filled with ragwort that some of the volunteer members of Cameron’s Big Society had pulled up from the meadows alongside the river. The pile is still there, the contents are rotting and the bags are breaking open. They will split if moved. (I expect you know that ragwort is toxic to grazing animals)
    Nearby are two still empty skips that the council hired. They have been there for three weeks. How much do two skips cost btw? They were obviously ordered to take the bags. Am example of the waste of money within local government and of the general paralysis around that we are seeing and feeling.
    On the playing fields some youngish people were being put through their paces by ex PE instructors who set up a fitness training company. The motto on their tickety boo little sign written vans is Feel Alive Outdoors which reminded me that the reality in Afghanistan and Pakistan is rather Die Indoors.

    PS Hearing that Stephenson might stay on for some months for a transition although May is suggesting that Tim Godwin takes over in the interim. They obviously want Stephenson out pdq.

  • Jonangus Mackay

    Just in time for free lunch:
    Assnt Commissioner John ‘Binbag’ Yates to be publicly dispatched to nearest wheelie bin about 12:30 pm.

  • Eddie-G

    “I am still rather puzzled by why the police have not informed approximately 3,750 of the over 4,000 potential phone hacking victims that their names are on the list.”

    Conspiracy usually trumps cock-up in this scandal, but here I’ll put it out there that Mulcaire’s list of 4000-odd phone numbers, many of which are surely no longer used, does not always include the name of the person being targeted. And I wouldn’t blame the police for not informing potential targets until they were reasonably sure that they were indeed targets.

    For any one of the inquiries, here’s a question that should be asked – So Glenn Mulcaire has thousands of phone numbers in his note-books, did the police at any point think to offer him immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony against the NoTW?

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