On the Andrew Marr show on 29th April,2012 David Cameron insisted there was no "grand deal" between himself and the Murdochs to wave through News Corporation's takeover of BSkyB.
I do wonder then if the prime minister can possibly explain why on Friday 11th May 2012, Rebekah Brooks told the Leveson Inquiry that on December 13th 2011 that during a private dinner, she lobbied the Tory chancellor George Osborne over the BSkyB bid and stressed that Osborne had expressed to her his "total bafflement" at the reaction of Ofcom to the BSkyB bid? Why was Osborne even in communication with Rebekah Brooks (who was at the time still Chief Executive of News International) at such a sensitive time during the progress of the highly controversial BSkyB take-over bid, let alone attending a private dinner party with her and another News International company executive and their spouses? Who were they? Shouldn't Leveson have them named for probity?(James Murdoch stood down as news International Executive Chairman in February 2012.)
Could the prime minister also explain all these dates where his chancellor, George Osborne had connections with Rupert and James Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson etc and why he (David Cameron) accepted a recommendation from George Osborne that he hire Andy Coulson as his Director of Communications, despite a whole swathe of opposition to the idea and people expressing their dismay and horror at the engagement, not least from his very own party?
However, even more bizarrely, Rupert Murdoch himself told the Leveson Inquiry that he too was amazed that the PM had hired Andy Coulson. Although if Murdoch's "failing memory" allowed him to recall that he was so in the dark about Andy Coulson's "activities" then one has to wonder why he would feel so amazed at his former employee's job at the heart if the British Government.
Is the hiring of Andy Coulson by David Cameron anything to do with some part of a payback to the Murdochs for switching their support from the Tories to Labour in October 2009? Something denied by Cameron, Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, however, with their apparent inability to remember key issues and events, could be they all just "forgot" that Coulson was hired as a favour to News International. With Coulson safely ensconced in Downing Street in a top job out of harms way and apparently a tight lid screwed down on the hacking scandal, News International were free to pursue their BSkyB bid unfettered.
Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne each meet Rupert Murdoch for general discussion.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt attends dinner and reception with Rupert Murdoch and others. [Did Jeremy Hunt discuss the BSkyB bid?]
Education Secretary Michael Gove attends dinner and discussion with Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks, and others.
Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson has lunch with The Times. (I wonder if the editor of the Times James Harding shares his boss's (Rupert Murdoch) amazement at his former colleague Andy Coulson's "luck" in landing such a plum job?)
September 2010: Osborne attends social engagement with Rebekah Brooks;
Has a general discussion with James Harding, and social engagement with James Murdoch.
Has a general discussion with James Harding, and social engagement with James Murdoch.
October 2010: Cameron and Osborne each meet or attend a function with Times editor James Harding, Sunday Times Editor John Witherow (who admits his paper the Sunday Times hired an actor to obtain information on the amount Gordon Brown paid for his flat.) Sun editor Dominic Mohan, the then News of the World Editor Colin Myler and Rebekah Brooks at Conservative party conference.
November 2010: Osborne meets James Murdoch for general discussion and attends Sunday Times business reception.
December 2010: Osborne meets Brooks for general discussion; also meets Rupert Murdoch for general discussion over dinner in New York.
January 2011: Osborne meets Times editor James Harding for general discussion.
June 2011: Osborne attends social engagement with James Harding, and social engagement with Elisabeth Murdoch.
Also, the newly published memos reveal that News International contacted Rupert Harrison, George Osborne's special adviser, to discuss Vince Cable's attitude towards the BSkyB bid. Here's [a copy of a] memo from NI's Frederic Michel to James Murdoch:
[Harrison] confirmed tensions in the coalition around Vince Cable … Vince made a political decision probably without even reading the legal advice, as was confirmed to us also by Vicky Price and David Laws yesterday … Rupert and I will have an ongoing dialogue in the weeks to come [my italics].
And let's not forget who lobbied to bring Andy Coulson into Downing Street – George Osborne. The Chancellor really is up to his neck in this Source: The Telegraph
So whom is lying to whom? Cameron stood up in the house and swore he could not remember having an "inappropriate conversation" about BSkyB bid with James Murdoch. When he did that, Cameron deliberately not only deliberately misled the House of Commons he also deliberately misled the country! Or is he given to the same strange form of memory loss that is currently afflicting Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch, Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and Jeremy Hunt and no doubt countless others involved in this scandal? The attacks of amnesia always seem to be exacerbated when they are called on to give an account of their involvement in the scandal or with News International and News Corp in formal settings under oath, such as the House of Commons and the Leveson Inquiry.
The same scandal that has now found its way right to the heart of the Tory party and the British government, that former Sun editor Kelvin McKenzie once described as "ludicrous" (until he discovered NoW was hacking his phone, then he changed his mind)
After previously denying and proclaiming he couldn't remember having any inappropriate conversations with anyone connected with BSkyB, David Cameron is asking us all to believe that he has suddenly remembered that in fact, yes, he did talk to James Murdoch about the bid at Rebekah Brooks home over Christmas 2010, uncannily he remembered this after James Murdoch himself had a sudden rush of memory when he appeared at the Leveson Inquiry and told everyone that he had in fact spoken with the prime minister about the bid.
What is more it now transpires that in addition to that conversation, Cameron's chancellor George Osborne, has been lobbied by Rebekah brooks over the BSkyB bid, not once but several times. If that isn't bad enough we also discover that Rohan Silva, David Cameron's special adviser (SPAD) has also spoken to Fred Michel of news International about the BSkyB bid on December 02, 2010.
It is blindingly obvious that prime minister, David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and Culture secretary James Hunt have all lied about their involvement with the Murdochs and his papers and broadcast media and the question must now be asked "why isn't George Osborne being called to appear in front the Leveson Inquiry" when it is strikingly obvious there are questions for him to answer?
It appears that not only did Jeremy Hunt break the ministerial code, so too did, prime Minister, David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne.
It would be absolutely extraordinary if the BSkyB bid was not discussed on any of these occasions.
The was an £8bn commercial bid which the government were going to make a decision on. they should never have been meeting interested parties, their position have been wholly compromised.
Yesterday: Andy Coulson said that he did not discuss phone hacking with David Cameron.
Today: Rebekah Brooks said that she discussed phone hacking with David Cameron.
So what is the truth?
Here we have yet another connection with the Tories and Rebekah Brooks.
Conservative Peer Lord Bell of Bell Pottinger, the Lobbyists recently embroiled in lobbying scandal involving a powerful cabinet member's son advised Rebekah Brooks how to handle herself at Leveson Inquiry.
Some more Time-lines
July 04, 2006: George Osborne and his wife throw dinner for James Murdoch and his wife and Samantha and David Cameron
April 04, 2007: James Murdoch dines with the Camerons
May 31, 2007: David Cameron hire Andy Coulson as his spin doctor, at George Osborne’s suggestion on a reported salary of £485,000
January 22 2008: James Murdoch breakfasts at Stafford hotel with David Cameron, at the initiative of Rupert Murdoch, to discuss David Cameron's political views.
July 15, 2008: The Camerons dine with James Murdoch and his wife
August 16 2008: Cameron flies out on Matthew Freud’s plane to meet Rupert Murdoch on his yacht off Santorini
October 29, 2008 The Camerons have James Murdoch and his wife to dinner, along with William Hague and his wife. According to exhibit JRJM10, James Murdoch says the discussion at the dinner was political. This was at the height of the Sachsgate row over the behaviour of BBC presenters. The following Monday David Cameron provided a comment piece for the Sun, strongly critical of the broadcaster.
November 03, 2008: In a typical way in which the thenTory leader had come to act and fall into line with what Rupert and James Murdoch wanted Cameron writes this piece in Murdoch's Sun newspaper in The Sun: Bloated BBC is out of touch, says Cameron Strangely enough just as the recently exposed emails between AS/JH and Fred Michel have proved that what was mentioned in them has actually happened, so the same sort of thing has occurred here. Cameron and Osborne have twice refused to raise the BBC license fee, heralding it as some kind of victory for the people, but is it? Starving the BBC of cash is not only forcing them to cut many of their programmes, it is also pandering to Murdoch's notion that the BBC is bloated, something that Cameron also speaks of after being involved with Murdoch for years. It also placed them in a vulnerable position for privatisation, where they would have been vulnerable to a Murdoch take-over bid, should his BSkyB bid have been allowed through without controversy. Not mentioning that Cameron has parachuted Conservative Peer Lord Chris patten into the BBC Chairman role. Also Cameron replaced Andy Coulson with former editor of BBC flagship 6 and 10 O'clock news Craig Oliver.
May 03, 2009: James Murdoch and his wife have the Camerons, Rebekah Wade and her fiancee to lunch
December 02, 2010: David Cameron's senior policy adviser Rohan Silva, met News Corp's lobbyist, Frédéric Michel, as the Murdochs sought to take outright control of BSkyB.
April 09, 2011: Rebekah Brooks admits paying off police.
May 21, 2010: Prime Minister David Cameron holds secret talks with Rupert Murdoch
January 25, 2011: David Cameron has secret dinner with James Murdoch at the home of Rebekah Brooks shortly before Christmas the secret meeting comes only a few days after Cameron stripped Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, of the power to decide whether News Corp should be allowed to buy the 61 percent of BSkyB it does not already own.
March 01, 2011: Craig Oliver Former Editor BBC Flagship news programmes Joins Downing St staff as Andy Coulson's replacement as Director of Communications. Oliver oversaw government cuts to BBC.
May 1st, 2011: Conservative Peer Lord Patten took over as Chairman of BBC Trust
It appears that there is an inexplicable link between the government, the Murdochs and the BBC and looks very much like the BBC was and maybe still is being prepared for privatisation.
It seems that the chosen fall guy in all of this is Jeremy Hunt, first of all he gets hung out to dry by James Murdoch when he appeared at the Leveson Inquiry and yesterday the same thing happened when Rebekah Brooks hung him out to dry at the Leveson Inquiry also. It appears they have decided on a scapegoat and Jeremy Hunt is it, any loyalty he has towards the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks should be forgotten about, because this looks like it has been done on purpose and it can only now be a matter of time before Hunt Loses his job and goes the same way as he sacrificed his personal adviser Adam Smith. Cameron doesn't want to get rid of Jeremy Hunt, however, he may have no choice and the Murdochs will know this of course.
It is very difficult to envisage that Hunt can keep his job after Brooks exposed that Jeremy Hunt colluded with Rupert Murdoch’s media empire to try to prevent a public inquiry into phone hacking and asked it to help guide Downing Street’s ‘positioning’ on the unfolding scandal, it was claimed yesterday.
A bombshell email published by the Leveson inquiry suggested the Culture Secretary asked News Corporation to ‘advise him privately’ as the News of the World was engulfed in hacking allegations. How much can Cameron and Hunt blame on one person Adam Smith for all of this, it is reaching ludicrous levels and how much more is there to come out?
Is it far from the realms of impossibility that the Murdochs wish to bring Cameron and the Tory led government down and this, for reasons better known to themselves, is this the way they have chosen to do it?
Update Sunday 13, May 2012:
I wrote yesterday that George Osborne was in this up to his neck
George Osborne was dragged deeper into the furore over the Murdoch empire's links to government as it emerged that he entertained Rebekah Brooks for a weekend at his country residence as Rupert Murdoch was planning to take over BSkyB.Also present for the weekend at Dorneywood, the chancellor's grace and favour residence in Buckinghamshire, was Brooks's friend, Andy Coulson, the former Read More: The Guardian editor, who at the time was working as David Cameron's director of communications inside No 10.