Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Not Before Time!

I don't usually write much political stuff and to be honest this isn't really political with a capital P.  However for the past week it has seemed like someone had opened Pandora's Box with the news of the disgusting activities of the News of the World and News International which have dominated the news and every day seemed to get worse.

The public didn't really have much sympathy with celebrities like Hugh Grant & Sienna Miller whose phones had been hacked but when it came to Millie Dowler, the teenager who had been so brutally murdered it was a whole different ball game.  We'd already seen the agony her family went through as they gave evidence in the trial.  What kind of person hacks into a missing teenager's phone and deletes messages giving the parents & police hope that she was still alive and doing it herself?  Well it's the type of person who is employed by the gutter press apparently.  However it seems that is just the tip of the iceberg! It looks like they've left no stone unturned with politicians, royalty, widows of soldiers killed in Afghanistan, victims of terrorist attacks, murdered children's families, all are possible victims of phone hacking.  Anything is justified apparently to get a story for their newspapers.  

Well it looks like finally Rupert Murdoch is getting some come uppance in relation to his media empire.  His News Corporation has today announced that it is dropping its planned bid to take full ownership of satellite broadcaster BSkyB. The announcement came as the House of Commons prepared to vote for a motion supported by all major party leaders calling on Mr Murdoch to scrap the bid.  For once all the politicians were in agreement.  

Finally News International is being taken to task for its disgusting activities which have been going on for years.  

The whole thing leaves a nasty taste in your mouth as politicians don't come out of it squeaky clean either despite their loud protestations against the News of the World's activities.  David Cameron was pretty cosy with News International as he courted their support before the election.  He's distancing himself now though. In addition his ability to employ decent staff comes into question.  He employed Andy Coulson as his communications chief, yes the ex-editor of the News of the World at the time of the jailing of employees of News of the World for intercepting voicemails.  Gordon Brown, ex- PM has accused News International of targetting him and attempting to access his voicemail, bank accounts and his family's medical records. Disgusting but why hadn't he made this public earlier.  Looks like politicians have all kept quiet.

Police too are coming in for some stick. It's alleged that a police officer offered to sell News of the World details of the royal family and their staff.  Then there's the issue of the Met where the Assistant Commissioner John Yates assessed the first inquiry into the practice of phone hacking in 2009.  He decided that they couldn't take it any further.  Now he's blaming the News of the World for failing to co-operate with the police.  Mmmmmm!

You have to wonder whether the unethical and illegal activities of this organisation are limited to the UK.  Surely it would be unusual if they were limited to one part of this global corporation.  Now the police are going to look into the possibility that phones were hacked in the USA following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre.  Nothing would surprise me now.

So we're going to get a public inquiry into media regulation (what regulation?) and phone hacking.  Well I won't hold my breath!

Meanwhile the best news so far in this whole sorry story is that thankfully Rupert has withdrawn his bid to totally takeover BSkyB!  Have to say I've never subscribed to BSkyB because Murdoch owns 39% of it.  Now if he relinquishes that, I might just consider taking out a subscription!

What's a Gansey?

                                                Photograph courtesy of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums It's a seaman's kni...