Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Phone Hacking, David Cameron, The Murdochs, Brooks, the Metropolitan Police and the Select Committee

The Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks
How Close Are They To The British Government?
So the day the Murdochs came to the side show came and went and anybody that was waiting with baited breath went too, apart from the idiot "pie thrower" who's demented antics ensured a little sympathy for 80 year old Rupert Murdoch, there was little else on show and that was largely down to the Metropolitan police who gave James and Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks and themselves reasons not to answer thr questions they all knew were coming.

It was obvious what had happened Rebekah Brooks spent 11 hours being questioned under caution last Sunday so she was well briefed about what kind of questions they were going to be asked, all the Murdochs and Brooks had to do was agree on the answers no doubt provided by her very "handy arrest" last Sunday.

Each one of them who was interviewed was contrite, and "humble" looked to be the word of the day. They all wished they had the benefit of hindsight and lamented, "if we had known then what we know now we would have acted differently" and the reason why they "didn’t know" then what they now know  is that someone else did not do their job properly.  Rupert Murdoch said he felt "betrayed" and "let down" by those below him, whom he had relied on to watch over his global business. James Murdoch said he was simply  unaware of the extent of the hacking until several celebrities brought private actions for damages and Rupert Murdoch didn't know millions of pounds was leaving his company in payments to other people in the  of "hush money". James and Rupert Murdoch are expecting the public to believe that huge payouts concerning hundreds of thousands of pounds were being made from the company to certain individuals and no one questioned where those millions of pounds were going and these payments were not even picked up in official audits by accountants and that they did not even request information? What should not be forgotten was that yesterday the Select Committee actually managed to extract details of payments which can only be described as smacking of a huge cover-up.

Rebekah Brooks did not know anything either and was "appalled" to learn of the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone, which has to make her one of two things, she is either the world's most incompetent editor, or she is a complete and utter liar.

It looks as if the dramatic arrest of Rebekah Brooks last Sunday and her subsequent questioning by police done the trick, it helped inform the "terrible trio" otherwise known as Rupert and James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks exactly what kind of questions to expect from the committee of MPs and allowed them to have pre-prepared answers and now the question which must urgently be put to Sue Akers who is the senior police officer in charge of "operation Weeting", just who sanctioned Brooks arrest and why last Sunday? After all that arrest could have happened at any time in the past few years but someone decided that it should take part just two days before the meeting of the select committee.

No one in this huge multi-national company wants to take responsibility for what happened and the question for Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, is that if they were politicians would they take that lame excuse?  Of course not, they would be screaming for heads and resignations and they would never, ever stop until it happened.

Jeremy Hunt the Culture Secretary said the Murdochs must answer all these criminal acts and the person running the show should know about them - yes they should I agree, then by exactly the same token Jeremy Hunt should have known all about the company he was just about to award the permission to buy up the entirety of BSkyB to News International, ignorance is no defence, however, Jeremy Hunt cannot even claim ignorance because there was plenty of evidence available much in the public domain and certainly more that he would have known about privately, more than enough to stop the Murdochs bid for BSkyB, yet Hunt was within hours of granting News International permission their take-over of BSkyB and because Murdoch had given a couple of flimsy guarantees Hunt was going to grant this without even referring this proposed take-over to the Competition Commission. Jeremy Hunt actually sat on a recommendation to send the bid to the Competitions Commission for over 3 weeks while the prime minister, David Cameron had 26 social engagements and other meetings with certain interested parties at News International, this must break competition law.

Also questions *must* be asked about how far Jeremy Hunt is involved with the Murdochs, after all it is no secret that Hunt admires the Murdochs and has openly said so several times, this aside when the issue of plurality raised its head and Murdoch was edging towards controlling  an estimated 22% of all the news that we would consume daily and without a doubt this would have led to greater power to the unelected Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks over our elected politicians – and this is one of the very reasons Hunt should steered clear. Like David cameron, Jeremy Hunt's position was heavily compromised before he took responsibility for judging this take-over.
Yet what did Hunt say in his own defence? That he was still "inclined" to refer the bid for a full review, which could take months, "it is right that I consider any undertakings in lieu". While Hunt was reviewing this it looked at one point if it was going to go the Competitions Commission, then the Murdochs stepped in with a couple of "undertakings", this chance things and Hunt was within hours of signing off the bid.

Once again we see this government's total inability to handle serious issues from NHS reforms to take-over bids, if it were not for other people and the public stopping them, some fatally bad decisions would have been taken by this Tory-led government.

Yesterday's committee session thre up far more questions than answers and there are serious questions for David Cameron and his government to answer. It is not good enough that the Murdochs can just plead ignorance, it is not good enough that Brooks can plead ignorance, it was their job to know what was going on in their company and if they did not know then they failed, they failed to operate the correct corporate governance and anyone else doing this would have paid the price.

Yesterday I saw Britain's top police wriggling on the hook and trying to pass the buck. Perhaps the editor of the Guardian should inform us exactly why Sir Paul Stephenson made an "appointment" to see him? Were the Guardian warned to stop investigating and publishing this information? If so why? Why was Britain's top policeman so worried about what the Guardian was doing? Why wasn't this question asked yesterday at the select committee hearing?

The police, the Tory government and the Murdoch press are far too closely intertwined, apart from the very serious nature of phone hacking, this is the biggest issue to emerge from this whole affair.

David Cameron, George Osborne, Jeremy Hunt, Sir Paul Stephenson, John Yates, Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks, Neil Wallis, Andy Coulson, Andy Hayman should be prosecuted and a court of law should be used to get to the bottom of what actually happened. This issue has fast transcended being dealt with by the police, the police cannot investigate themselves, this must now be sorted out in a court of law.

If you look back on previous blog reports on my blog, you will find that I have pointed to this situation for almost a year now. If it was not for the Guardian, Tom Watson, John Prescott, Chris Bryant, Brian Paddick and latterly Ed Miliband, this may never have made public like this.

The victims of phone hacking must always be and the top of the agenda, but this story now is questioning the way this country is policed and governed and how with apparent ease the Murdochs have been able to suppress the truth for years. I have long said that this has the propensity to bring the government down, now we are moving still closer to this happening.

The days of Cameron's appalling, arrogant, dishonest and totally incompetent government are drawing to a close and it is only just over one year old, yet it is mired in sleaze of gargantuan proportions and all roads are leading to David Cameron and the Tories.


Anonymous said...

It looks like David Cameron is off the hook Gracie sad to say
That boy can talk a hind leg of a donkey

Gracie Samuels said...

He is far from off the hook Fourbanks, there is masses still to come out about this story just wait and see. I kept telling people there was a something huge about to break on this story and sure enoough it did and there is something else a lot bigger due to come out and Cameron will not be able to wriggle out of thiis one!

Anonymous said...

I just hope your right Gracie but the way David Cameron can talk it's like trying to nail a jelly to the wall. He could talk for England and more

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add Gracie that their on holidays now for 6 weeks which could be a blessing in his favour ?

Gracie Samuels said...

Not really Fourbanks, the hacking scandal has taken yet another twist involving the Murdochs and Coulson, this time the former editor of the NotW and the paper's former lawyer are saying that James Murdoch knew of an email when he authorised that payment to Gordon Taylor. This is going to rumble on all over the summer and it is going to be very damaging fro Cameron, it is now "silly season" in the papers and they will be using this scandal to fill column inches, by the time Cameron returns from his holiday he'll be all but finished.