When Rupert Murdoch’s News International can strike fear into the entire political system, rival media & journalists, royal family and the police making them powerless to act because they are afraid of retribution from a powerful private organisation, then something is horribly wrong with modern British democracy.
Wow, fearless investigative journalism is not dead, Peter Oborne went hard against über zionist media overlord Rupert Murdoch. If you didn’t see Dispatches last night, it’s still available to view on Channel 4’s website.
The gist of the investigative documentary centred around the illegal phone hacking carried out at the News of World during the six years Andy Coulson was either Deputy Editor and Editor.
Dispatches produces powerful new evidence that Coulson’s claim that he knew nothing about the phone hacking is false.
It was also established that Coulson’s claims about Clive Goodman, the News of the World royal reporter who was jailed for phone hacking several years ago, were laughably false. Coulson told the House of Commons last year:
‘I am absolutely sure that Clive’s case was a very unfortunate one off case.’
The truth is that thousands of victims were targeted by the News of the World during the period that Coulson was in charge.
Dispatches also looked at the way MPs were fearful of what News International, the owner of News of the World, could do when they tried to investigate the phone hacking in advance of the general election earlier this year. Plaid Cymru Mp Adam Price told Channel Four:
‘I was told by a senior Conservative member of the committee, who I knew was in direct contact with executives at News International that if we went for her [the News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks] they would go for us – effectively that they would delve into our personal lives in order to punish them.’
The committee member in question denies he passed on any message from News International and questions whether they would have been so foolish as to have make any threat of that kind. Another MP, Labour’s Tom Watson, was another who told Dispatches he was threatened by a senior News International Journalist in 2006 although News International deny any knowledge or approval of this conversation.
It is outrageous if MPs feel powerless to act because they are afraid of retribution from a powerful private organisation. But this is not the only troubling issue about modern British democracy raised by this Dispatches programme. A giant question mark surrounds the conduct of the police. As part of their investigation into Goodman they came across evidence showing that there were thousands of other potential victims. Yet not a single one of these cases were investigated. It was this police inertia which allowed NI to make its ludicrous claim that Goodman was some kind of rogue operator.
Was this just laziness?
Or something else?
Trust in British politics has taken a series of hammer blows in recent years, of which the two most devastating have been the lies told about Iraq and the parliamentary expenses scandal. So many hoped that David Cameron would restore a new honesty and decency. In many ways he has: bringing back the cabinet system, restoring civil liberties, rebuilding the integrity of our civil service.
By hiring Andy Coulson David Cameron has sanctioned the News of the World culture of impunity, and that is desperately sad not just for the prime minister but for our public life.