Of course there are cynical suggestions as to why this step should have been taken. Perhaps it was a token gesture whereby the Sun on Sunday will imply replace it. Or maybe this is a fire break: to protect Murdoch and the rest of his businesses from taint or to evade a legal duty to compensate those the newspaper intruded on. Or both.
|Tom Watson MP in full flood|
But what is clear is the complicity of all involved: the police, the DPP, politicians, David Cameron (assuming he was adequately briefed and if he wasn't he should have been) and his predecessors.
News of the World was effectively running a criminal enterprise (which included paying police officers and, in at least one case, full scale surveillance of a police officer). But it was powerful and no-one, until now, was prepared to take it on and had sufficient power to do so. Nor was it alone either in hacking or in illegally paying for information though it may have been particularly egregious .
Complacency is the least of the accusations. News of the World staff appear to have regarded themselves as above the law. That others tolerated this constitutes corrupt relationships. Insofar as police and other individuals benefited from such relationships they are personally corrupt. Insofar as regulatory and prosecution authorities, including the police, have minimised or turned a blind eye they participate in and further such corruption.
So perhaps it's more accurate to say, the whole media-police-politics nexus is corrupt. But within that nexus not every individual is tainted. Tom Watson MP at least must count as one of the good guys in this matter.