Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Saturday, 16 July 2011

News International

I am far more interested in the fall out from the phone hacking scandal than the phone hacking itself. In practice, it is not phone hacking in the strict sense, but voice-mail hacking. From what my friendly experts tell me, it is very difficult to know whether your voice-mail has been hacked, and the fact that NotW reporters had someone's phone number, even their ex-directory phone number, is no proof that they have hacked your phone. Personally, I suspect that a lot of people are making these claims in the hope of either getting publicity or compensation.

To me, the most important issue is the involvement of the Metropolitan Police at all levels. Since my childhood, I always believed that the Met was totally incorruptible and could be held up as an example to police forces all over the world. Yes, like all organisations, you might have the odd "Bad egg", but generally they were found and removed before they could do any harm. Officers at Commissioner and Commander level would be totally beyond reproach, not only in their work, but in any activities outside work. To my immense sorrow, such days seem to have long gone, and it is now very hard to find anyone in the top echelon whom one can believe would meet the standards set some thirty or more years ago. It is not that I think they are corrupt, it is that they do not seem to have the common sense to avoid situations which might lead people to thinking that they are corrupt. Like our Prime Minister with Andy Coulson, they do not seem to have looked ahead; they do not seem to have asked the "what if" question; they have not acted with the discretion that the public have the right to expect from someone in their positions.

To me the other issue is the future of News International and in particular Rupert Murdoch.
According to the Daily Mail, Rebekah Brooks is in line for a 3.5million pound pay-off in exchange for a gagging clause. Normally when one resigns, one would not expect any pay-off, especially when one has made a hash of the job. One wonders what she knows about News International for Murdoch to be paying such a sum!

I await developments with interest

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