NoW is yesterday

The sudden death of the News of the World has been announced.

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
However it is clear that we are not (and never were) talking about 'rogue operators'. The willingness to hack anyone and everyone, from the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police to a man who helped a victim of the 7/7 bombing was systemic.  A list of known names to date is here but up to 4,000 people may have been hacked and quite possibly more.

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.


  1. Throwing NoW to the wolves in hopes of saving James Murdoch & Brooks (who knows where far too many bodies are buried for them to risk sacrificing her before it's absolutely inevitable).

    I feel a little sad at the demise of a paper that crafted the headline "Nudist welfare-worker's model wife falls for Chinese hypnotist from Co-op bacon factory".

  2. Thanks Lapinbizarre, I chortled away at the surrealism of this headline.

  3. V welcome. 1970. So wonderful I learned it by heart.