What’s in a Name?

by craig on July 20, 2011 12:48 pm in Uncategorized

The police investigation into bribes to police officers by News of the World is called Operation Elveden. It has not identified, suspended or arrested a single bent cop.

What’s in a name? To Norfolk people Eleveden is a notorious bottleneck on the A11, the main road into and out of the county. You can, literally, queue for miles and for hours to get through Elveden in either direction. It is a place notorious to Norfolk for frustration, obstruction and never getting anywhere. I myself have spent a huge amount of time being stuck by Elveden; it is extremely difficult to avoid or get round. Elveden means no progress.

Andy Hayman was Chief Constable of Norfolk before moving down to the Met.

Did the Met name Operation Elveden as a grim in-joke to indicate they would make sure the accusations never went anywhere?


I have just realised I am definitely right. Operation Weeting is the investigation into the News of the World phone hacking itself. Weeting is the village at the southern end of the notorious Elveden traffic jam.

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  1. Brilliant spot!

  2. most likely!

  3. Numberstation

    20 Jul, 2011 - 1:14 pm


    Keep up the good work. The blog is on great form at the moment and is making great reading (as always).


  4. Interesting read here from Reuters, on corruption and “collusion between money, power, media and the police.”
    “Analysis: Is Britain more corrupt than it thinks?”
    “John Bassett — a former senior official at the British signals intelligence agency GCHQ and now a senior fellow at the Royal United Services Institute — says that coming after the financial and economic crises the hacking scandal “has revitalized the narrative of a corrupt elite.
    “The long-term result is likely to be a further erosion in the credibility of the British establishment, particularly the media and police, in the eyes of citizens.”

  5. Scouse Billy

    20 Jul, 2011 - 1:48 pm

    That’s really very insightful, Craig.
    The psychopathology of these “criminals” is always revealing.
    Whilst thinking they are being so clever with their deliberate hints, they build in plausible deniability.
    You will, no doubt, be dismissed as a conspiracy theorist with a vivid imagination (fueled by your alcohol problem, of course).
    There are no accidents – a very good spot.

  6. Are these the names of the new investigations, or the very (compromised) long-running ones?

    Great spot, by the way. Weeting is little north of the A11 though, but very close to the Elveden bottleneck. So maybe there’s a deeper Met in-joke at work…

  7. Here is Tom Watson’s letter to Cameron about Coulson, dated 4 October 2010. Mr Watson received no reply.

  8. Eddie G

    Yes I think the “Brandon roundabout”, from which the trouble really starts, is officially in Weeting.

  9. Here is the Telegraph’s take on the significance of Tom Watson’s letter to Cameron, by Daniel Knowles:
    “David Cameron was having quite a good time of it in the Commons. Ed Miliband was quite shrieky, but his heightened rhetoric only helped shore up support for the PM among his own MPs. But has Tom Watson just taken the wind out of his sails?
    He came in with a devastating intervention, telling MPs he wrote to David Cameron on the 4th of October last year to warn him about allegations that Andy Coulson had listened to recordings of voicemail messages. Cameron’s confidence seemed to drop away for a moment – he spluttered, before repeating his line from a fortnight ago about “second chances”. He certainly didn’t answer the question.
    Cameron’s explanation of why Ed Llewellyn warned John Yates against warning him that Andy Coulson might have been implicated in this scandal was just about plausible. But how will the PM explain this?

  10. Just received this via email, worth a read: it’s a letter you can sign to Cressida Dick about investigating criminality across the whole industry:
    There is a third investigation I’d not before heard about, Operation Tuleta – but it is only a “scoping exercise” at this stage rather than the full thing. I think the idea is that if public pressure can be applied to the police, they might look into the activities of the Daily Mail and other papers, who are also alleged to have been involved in illegal data gathering.

  11. Eddie G,

    Just trying to find the answer to your question, but I can’t. Perhaps the names have carried over.

  12. “Did the Met name Operation Elveden as a grim in-joke to indicate they would make sure the accusations never went anywhere?”
    I am not joking, the way things are they would get away with calling it Operation Cover-Up or Operation In Your Face. That is really how bad this all is. They don`t care what we think or say, none of them.

  13. Hmmm.
    Very interesting bust up between Louise Mensch and Piers Morgan.
    It appears she misrepresented Morgan’s account of phone hacking to the Culture committee and now she won’t repeat that misrepresentation outside of parliamentary privilege.
    I wonder why?

  14. From my late grandma, I always knew of this area as “just the other side of Thetford”, but now you’ve forced me to zoom right in on google maps…

    Brandon roundabout I think is the one just by Thetford, but look, what connects Elveden to Weeting? Bury Road.

    Ps. Like you, I have no idea where one Met investigation ends and the next begins, but it will take a genuinely courageous and determined individual to get to the bottom of this.

  15. Craig.
    Why don’t you put in a FOI request to find out how these particular Operation names were chosen?
    There was s system for choosing these Operation names.
    It would be interesting to know was there any deviation from that process on these occcasions, and if so why.

  16. More on that bust up between Louise Mensch and Piers Morgan:
    It looks like he has her. She clearly misrepresented what he wrote.
    I hope she doesn’t singlehandedly undermine the reputation of the Culture committee. That would be a shame.

  17. “Eleveden is a notorious bottleneck on the A11, the main road into and out of the county. You can, literally, queue for miles and for hours to get through Elveden in either direction”.

    Or perhaps he used the name in frustration that he would most likely sit for hours and hours in “traffic”, getting nowhere in the investigative process despite his best efforts.

    Maybe sometimes we read something sinister into something that isn’t there.

  18. Matthew,

    I am sure we do. Just as sometimes we overlook something which is sinister.

  19. Scouse Billy

    20 Jul, 2011 - 3:09 pm

    “Millions saw the apple fall but Newton was the one who asked why.”
    Bernard Baruch

  20. In a fight between Piers Morgan and Louise Mensch, I would probably just root for injuries.

    As far as I can tell, she misrepresented what he wrote in his book, but he won’t talk about the Sven-Ulrika story, broken by the Mirror, which has been alleged to have come about from a phone hack.

    Such fun.

  21. “Millions saw the apple fall but Newton was the one who asked why.”
    if i knew then what i know now , then i would’nt have hesitated to ask ..
    am i exonerated?

  22. Eddie G.
    The problem here is that if it can be shown in the US that a Committee member misrepresented evidence, without rebuke by said Committee, then that undermines the Committee in the US and its broader questioning of Murdoch Inc’s reputation in the US.
    Mensch’s statement clearly misrepresents Morgan’s account and her performance in interview with him was not impressive, to put it at its mildest.
    Murdoch wins in the US, the only place that is truly important to him.
    Anyway, Tim Ireland is doing some old fashioned foot slogging research up Colindale way:

  23. Herbie, the Louise Mensch Vs. Piers Morgan clash looks stage managed to me. CNN gave it nearly nine minutes. Hardly anything gets nine minutes. And to check, you’d need Piers Morgan’s book.
    I wonder who prepared Louise Mensch’s notes.

  24. Clark.

    If you mean that it was stage managed to the benefit of Murdoch Inc in the US, in the manner I’ve indicated above, then I certainly think that’s a strong possibility.
    That would mean of course that the abuse of parliamentary privilege was all the greater.
    Some are viewing this as fun and games but it really is much more serious than that.
    Much, much more serious.

  25. Ah Elveden, I know it well, it calms down all those hasty and irate souls behind their 444horsepower monsters, designed to eat up roads and petrol. Elveden was home to a Maharadja once and his estate is right next to the A11.
    Maybe the dualling of that stretcth up to Thetford, the go ahead has been given, will take less than the inquieries into this damning affair.
    Camerons performance must make Clegg think twice. Maybe Craig can find out how the internal Liberals are coping/thinking about a coalition partner who has seemingly got his boots full of the proverbial and is merely clinging on by the skin of his teeth.

    Little Snoring is another Norfolk village name fit for a Met investigation.

  26. Off topic but more dodgy goings on, this time in NZ at the time of the earthquake.
    Straightforward. Just Israeli back packers! You will recall the two who were jailed for stealing identities from passports in NZ from 2 deaths (NZ passports are very valuable – ie it is not hated anywhere)

  27. Apologies, this is off-topic communication for Jon. Jon, please don’t be offended, that was not the intention of my last post. Us Ukrainians are a blunt lot verging on rude sometimes (though the Danes are better at it I gather) :) I was referring to the argument that you put forward and not to you as a person.
    Am on 500 mg Amoxicillin myself, also for a ‘cold’ that overstayed its welcome. I hope we can continue on the topic another time.

  28. http://content.met.police.uk/News/Statement-from-Commissioner/1260269177528/1257246741786
    Statement from Commissioner
    06 July 2011
    Statement from Sir Paul Stephenson, Metropolitan Police Commissioner:
    In view of the widespread media coverage and public interest, I am taking the unusual step of issuing this statement.
    As you know Operation Weeting – the investigation into phone hacking – commenced on 26 January. I can confirm that on 20 June 2011 the MPS was handed a number of documents by News International, through their barrister, Lord Macdonald QC.
    Our initial assessment shows that these documents include information relating to alleged inappropriate payments to a small number of MPS officers.
    Discussions were held with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) at the time and they are content that this matter should continue to be investigated through Operation Elveden under the direction of DAC Sue Akers, in partnership with our Directorate of Professional Standards.
    At this time we have not seen any evidence requiring a referral to the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) in respect of any senior officer.
    Whilst I am deeply concerned by recent developments surrounding phone hacking they are a product of the meticulous and thorough work of Operation Weeting, which will continue.
    Operation Elveden will be equally thorough and robust. Anyone identified of wrongdoing can expect the full weight of disciplinary measures and if appropriate action through the criminal courts.
    So Deborah Glass who comes from Australia, the deputy chair of the IPCC, becomes more powerful by the day. She seems to be deciding on a lot of matters and speaks for them to the media. The interim chair is a Len Jackson.
    {http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/en/Pages/dg.aspx+ her biog.

  29. None the wiser!
    Police Operation Names ? Who decides ?

  30. “Currently three people have been arrested in Elveden.”

  31. I could give some other examples that are obviously relevant, but can’t be bothered. This sort of thing, and similar things, happen quite frequently. All a coincidence, not.

  32. Stephen,

    Thanks – but none of them cops I think.

  33. The Israeli Ambassador to New Zealand has refused to comment!
    Referred to esrlier: {http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5311491/SIS-on-trail-of-suspected-Israeli-spies}

  34. As the posts about the flotilla are way back now, I thought I would post this here.
    One of the Canadian boat pasengers in Greece took this really clever action. The biter bit.
    Sandra Ruch commented on the message:
    Israeli cruise ship “Royal Iris” in Agia Nickolai July 17–please file a “complaint” against it!
    I did it!! Went to Port Master and filed a written complaint against the Royal Iris. They were very nice and got the inspector to speak to me. I was very serious. There was one of the residents of Aghios Nikolaos in the office and he gave me a little smile…he knew what I was doing and was showing his appreciation for our “little idea”.
    I wrote:
    I am lodging a complaint against the Royal Iris currently docked in Aghios Nikolaos. I have been informed that this ship is unseaworthy. I believe that the ship is a danger to our environment and to its passengers. Specifically in regards to its emissions and waste management. There are also questions about the legal status of their captain and if he is legally recognized by the flagging country.
    Sandra Ruch
    Tahrir, Aghios Nikolaos

  35. @evgueni – thanks for the reply, and no worries – all good. Having a cold can be a bugger, as I think we can both attest.
    Indeed, I should be happy to continue on that discussion – excellent brain food!

  36. Ooh, check you Craig – link from the FT blog!

  37. Have you seen this latest outrage on the BAE scandalous fraud on the people of Tanzania, the selling of military radar to a country that has no air force?
    BAE in Tanzania reparation stitch-up fury

  38. How about selling coal to Newcastle? They’d do that, too. They, and their corrupt, backhanded customers in these assorted countries, have no shame. HRH Prince Andrew is the Shiny King of Deals! Oh, but I forgot, there is no coal in newcastle anymore. Even more reason to sell them coal, then! Go for it, HRH Prince Andrew! To Newcastle we ride!

  39. What did anybody expect? in 1978 Operation countryman had 200 officers investigating police corruption, 4 million quid later and 400 officers “retired” but not a single prosecution. In a force that big this has to be a statistical impossibility. The Police do as they have always done, look after their own.

  40. YugoStiglitz

    21 Jul, 2011 - 5:09 am

    Mary, your silly assertions about Jewish spying in Israel are merely an indication of how much the world hates Jews.

    Now why would you feel comfortable making such posts here?

    And why weren’t your posts deleted from this site? Way off topic, and inflammatory. Do you think it’s because some people at this site want to always put Jews in a bad light?

  41. Methuselah Now

    21 Jul, 2011 - 5:53 am


    You couldn’t make it up, more on the delectably self-importantly thick Mrs. Mensch, from her twitter feed:

    [. Gave many interviews today, refused one to Al Jazeera. Not interested, given their coverage of Israel. My last name is Mensch. @maindepowr ]


    [. For everybody new, my twitter avatar is green to support pro-democracy activists in Iran. ]

    As with the Piers Morgan slander, she did a similar childish thing with the super-injunction issue, like the arrogant/smug kid who pokes and bullies, then needs to hide behind an elder sibling when Karma catches up.

    Kind regards,


  42. Methuselah Now

    21 Jul, 2011 - 5:59 am


    For all of you not aware, this is why Rupert Murdoch is so “Humble”, look up General Tire Rko:


    Kind regards,


  43. Yugostiglitz, are you ready to give us your opinion on President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan and his family?

  44. @LfStL
    The Israeli Ambassador to +++NEW ZEALAND+++ has refused to comment.
    Do you need to go to Specsavers?

  45. Yugostiglitz,

    Neither the newspaper article Mary refers to, nor Mary, refers anywhere to Jews. I wish you would take your obsession elsewhere.

    On the other hand, I agree that it is irrelevant to this posting and not a very interesting story. In general will people kindly resist the temptation to post about sonething different, that they think I ought to be blogging about. This is not a general message board.

  46. As Murdoch, his nurse Wendi and the entourage flew off in their private jet, I expect everyone has noticed that the ‘Move along, nothing to see’ mode is now in operation. It is now all about ‘austerity’ and the control of Europe by the fascist leaning Merkel and Sarko, and the dangers and likelihood of another imminent financial crash.
    Germany and France agree common position on debt crisis
    Angela Merkel wants private investors to share taxpayers’ burden if Greece restructures its debts Greece crisis
    Q&A: Debt crisis
    Austerity plans in full
    Timeline: Eurozone crisis
    EU austerity country by country
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have hammered out a common position on the euro debt crisis.
    A statement by the French president’s office said agreement had been reached after seven hours of talks in Berlin.

  47. Ms. Mensch, which means ‘human’ in German ought to ask herself why so many able BBC journalists have joined Al Jazeera and how she justifies her media bias, because the reasons she is giving are a tad islmaophobic.

    She also should look at what influences those who meet under the banner friends of Israel hold over british foreign policy, why she has joined the warmongers and why she thinks that Iran has not got a democratic, albeit violent, democratic discourse at elections.

    Further, unless her knowledge is as young as herself, she can asceratin from US records that some 400million/annum and rising has been spent on infiltrating opposition groups in Iran, influencing elections, just as in Ghaza last time were it failed abysmally, for fuelling old tribal rivallries and for undermining Iran as the only major oil producing country in the middle east that does not whistle Dixie.

    If she is trying to replace Rebekah Brooks as the principal female warmonger, pairing up with the likes of Melanie Phillips and Mr. Aaranovitch in her false fury, then she must not be surprised if some of her constituents are turning away from such belicose sabre rattling.

  48. I am from the village of Weeting and work near Elveden and I’d have to agree with you.

    Although Weeting isn’t attached to Elveden, it’s six miles away and the traffic in elveden has no impact on our village.

  49. The Guardian has a great video-still of James Murdoch at the select committee. Talk about “crooked”.

  50. Yeah, would you buy a used car from this man? Or even yesterday’s ‘papers?

  51. For all his boring corporate-speak-waffle, his evidence to the committee is being challenged now:
    “Wapping at war as former allies turn on James Murdoch”


  1. Has Yates secretly signalled the current investigations are going nowhere? | Westminster blog | Jim Pickard and Kiran Stacey share their views on the UK’s political scene for the Financial Times – FT.com

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