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And the future for News International??

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Panda on Sun 17 Jul - 13:26

Rebekah Brooks has just been arrested by appointment and arrived at a London Police Station.

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Panda on Sun 17 Jul - 13:57

There is speculation that by Rebekah being questioned now, she might not be able to testify at the Commons Meeting on Tuesday. It is apparently
unusual to be arrested by appointment on a Sunday , but if this a deliberate ploy to save her having to testify to the Committee, why did the Police
arrange this NOW, knowing they have themselves a case to answer.

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Panda on Sun 17 Jul - 15:17

Rachel is still at the Police Station and has made a Statement through her Lawyer that she had no idea she would be arrested. said she asked the Police
if they wanted to interview her two weeks ago. Her Lawyer, Mark Lewis says "it stinks" , Committee Member says if Rebekah is not arrested she can
attend thhe Meeting but she may not want to answer many questions.

It is suggested that although the Police are trying to prove they are wasting no time in investigating, this ploy is in retaliation for the Police Chief
accused of enjoying £12,000 of treatment at Champneys, an upmarket Health Spa.

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Guest on Sun 17 Jul - 15:29

BBC are reporting she was told on Friday that she would be arrested

A spokesman for Mrs Brooks says the Met police notified her on Friday, after her resignation had been agreed, that she would be arrested.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14178051

This is funny!


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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Guest on Sun 17 Jul - 15:37

Wonder if any of these Qs will see the light of day (and get an answer)?

The questions the select committee must ask Rebekah Brooks, James and Rupert Murdoch
Those figures at News International behind the phone-hacking scandal must now come clean


Editorial
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 16 July 2011 21.45 BST
Article history
Questions for Rebekah Brooks

1) As editor of the Sun and NoW, did you honestly not know about phone hacking, when so many of your reporters and executives say it was openly discussed in the newsroom?

2) If not, who was checking the source or veracity of the material on which Sun and NoW stories were based? Was it the legal department? If not, why not?

3) Did you ever see any transcripts of voicemail messages?

4) In November 2002 you were personally confronted by senior Scotland Yard officers with evidence that a Metropolitan Police detective was being targeted by your newspaper acting on behalf of murder suspects. What action did you take as a result of that meeting?

5) After this meeting, you knew that private investigators with criminal backgrounds were employed by your newspaper. What did you do to or stop, or at least monitor, this?

6) In 2003, you admitted paying police officers but were interrupted in your explanation by your deputy, Andy Coulson. Would you now like to explain how many police officers your newspapers paid, when you paid them, and why?

7) On 10 July, you wrote to John Whittingdale saying that the Guardian had "deliberately misled the British public" in its report saying that News International had paid Gordon Taylor and others £1m in damages and costs over phone hacking. Why did you say that and would you like to withdraw it?

8) Why, as the CEO of a major British company, did you refuse to come and give evidence to a committee of the House of Commons? Did that not show contempt for parliamentary democracy?

9) How often did you meet (formally and socially) David Cameron in the year before he became prime minister?

10) How often have you met him (formally and socially) since?

11) Did you ever at any stage privately brief David Cameron and/or Andy Coulson on material NI reporters were gathering?

12) If so, was any of this information from illegally obtained material?

13) How often have you met (formally or informally) Dick Fedorcio, the head of press at Scotland Yard? Is it correct that you have had dinners with him?

14) How was it possible for the NoW to be employing private investigators without your knowledge? Did you not have control or sight of your own editorial budget?

15) Have you seen any evidence that Sara Payne's voicemail messages were hacked by the NoW or Sun? Did you persuade Sara Payne not to complain about this?

16) Can you give your account of the conversations that preceded your decision to publish the fact that Gordon and Sarah Brown's son, Fraser, was suffering from cystic fibrosis?

Was the source a health worker or the relative of a health worker? Was the source paid for the story?

17) Did the former prime minister, then chancellor of the exchequer, welcome having his son's medical condition revealed in your newspaper?

18) Why was it necessary to close down a profitable newspaper?

19) What did you mean when you told staff that there were worse revelations to come? What are these revelations?

20) Are you remaining on the NI payroll and continuing as an employee of the company?

Questions for James Murdoch

1) Why did you pay £1m in damages and costs to Gordon Taylor and others in 2009 and seal the evidence? Would you agree that this could be described as "hush money"?

2) On whose advice did you make this decision?

3) Why did you agree the payoff to Max Clifford? Is it right that the value of this was £1m? Is it fair to describe this as "hush money"?

4) Why didn't you make a clean breast of what was discovered in the spring of 2009 instead of covering it up?

5) You have said this decision was based on "incomplete information". What further information would have made these payments right?

6) Was evidence of criminality concealed at any time from:

The News Corp board?

The NI board?

Parliament?

Police?

The PCC?

7) Are you aware of section 79 of RIPA which can be used to prosecute any director showing "consent, connivance or neglect" of offences relating to interception of communications?

8) The Guardian story of 9 July 2009 showed that the "one rotten apple" story NI had stuck to for three years was untrue – and known by then within NI to be untrue. Why did you issue a statement denying it?

9) Did you read the full email evidence upon which the May 2007 report from Harbottle & Lewis was based? Those emails, according to the advice of a former DPP, Ken MacDonald, are believed to contain evidence of possible illegal activity by staff.

10) Why, in 2007, didn't you take the action that Will Lewis is said to have taken in 2011 in relation to the evidence upon which the Harbottle & Lewis report was based?

11) Why did it take at least four years for the significance of these emails to become evident – and why did the company sit on the evidence before handing it over to the police?

12) The Metropolitan Police's former head of counter terrorism, Peter Clarke, has said of NI's behaviour: "This is a major global organisation with access to the best legal advice deliberately trying to thwart a criminal investigation. [It offered] prevarication and what we now know to be lies." Is that a fair description of how your company behaved towards the police? Until 2011?

13) If it was right for Andy Coulson, Les Hinton and Rebekah Brooks to resign, even though they denied knowledge of what happened on their watch, why is the same not true for you?

Questions for Rupert Murdoch

1) When did you become aware of the 2009 payments authorised by your son James to buy the silence of people whose voicemails had been hacked by NI employees?

2) It is understood the value of these payments was in the region of £2m. Which News Corp executives or board members knew about them?

3) Were News Corp's audit committee, board or general counsel made aware of these payments? If not, why not? Should they have been?

4) When previously unknown evidence of criminality within your company becomes known to senior executives isn't it their responsibility to inform the police and regulators rather than try to cover it up?

5) What do you now think of your son's decision to try to conceal this evidence of criminality with secret payments rather than inform the appropriate law and regulatory authorities?

6) The Guardian's story of 9 July 2009 exposed these payments and the fact that the "lone rotten apple" theory within your company was wrong. What action did you and/or the News Corp board take as a result of this story?

7) Once it became publicly known in July 2009 that more than one reporter had been involved in illegal practices did it not concern anyone within News Corp that they had been misled?

8) Did the News Corp general counsel not read the email evidence upon which the 2007 Harbottle & Lewis report commissioned by NI was based? If he did, why did he miss the material which led to the emails being handed over to the police four years later?

9) Do you agree with the evidence of the senior police officer who told MPs last week that your company had "deliberately tried to thwart" a criminal investigation… "with prevarication and ... lies"?

10) How could a company which obstructs the police and misleads Parliament and regulators be considered a fit and proper company to run a media organisation?

11) Do you agree that the actions of your company between the beginning of 2009 and the end of 2010 could be termed a cover-up?

12) You apologised in every newspaper at the weekend. But in your own Wall Street Journal last week you said you and your fellow executives had handled the crisis "very well… with just a few minor mistakes". Is that still your view? What were those mistakes?

13) Does News Corp ever use security/corporate intelligence companies in its business dealings?

14) Have you ever personally seen or been aware of material derived from the accessing of intercepted communications?

15) In your negotiations with the Wall Street Journal shareholders did you have any access or intelligence supplied by external security companies?

16) If it was right for Andy Coulson, Les Hinton and Rebekah Brooks to resign, even though they denied knowledge of what happened on their watch, why is the same not true for you?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/16/observer-leader-rupert-murdoch-phone-hacking

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Panda on Sun 17 Jul - 16:58

carmen wrote:BBC are reporting she was told on Friday that she would be arrested

A spokesman for Mrs Brooks says the Met police notified her on Friday, after her resignation had been agreed, that she would be arrested.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14178051

This is funny!




Excellent Carmen

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Panda on Mon 18 Jul - 4:35

Britain's Top Cop Quits Amid Hacking Claims






4:00am UK, Monday July 18, 2011
Britain's top police officer has become the latest casualty of the phone
hacking scandal after quitting over criticism of his links to a former News Of
The World deputy editor.











Sir Paul Stephenson announced his shock resignation as head of Scotland Yard
following concerns about his relationship with Neil Wallis, who was arrested
last week.
There had also been questions about why the Metropolitan Police Commissioner
had accepted free hospitality at a luxury health spa.
Sir Paul's decision to step down was met with a combination of tributes and
calls for further action as the hacking scandal widens.
He joins a growing list of victims of the controversy, including ex-Downing
Street communications chief Andy Coulson, former News International chief
executive Rebekah Brooks and News Corp veteran Les Hinton - as well as the
now-defunct News Of The World.



Sir Paul's links to Neil Wallis were criticised


In a statement, Sir Paul said he was resigning with his
integrity intact - but admitted his links to Mr Wallis could hamper Scotland
Yard's investigation into phone hacking, as well as preparations for the
Olympics.
Sir Paul had been criticised after Mr Wallis, a former deputy editor of the
News Of The World (NOTW), was hired by the Met in a public relations role.
He said: "The heroism and bravery of Met officers… is in danger of being
eclipsed by the ongoing debate about relationships between senior officers and
the media.
"That can never be right. If I stayed I know the inquiry outcomes would
reaffirm my personal integrity.



I may wish we had done some things differently, but I will not
lose sleep over my personal integrity.
Sir Paul
Stephenson



"Therefore, although I have received continued personal support from both the
Home Secretary and the mayor, I have with great sadness informed both of my
intention to resign."
He stressed he had no reason to suspect Mr Wallis had any knowledge of phone
hacking: "I have heard suggestions that we must have suspected the alleged
involvement of Mr Wallis in phone hacking.
"Let me say unequivocally that I did not and had no reason to have done
so."
He also denied there had been any wrongdoing relating to his
use of the Champney's health farm, where Mr Wallis had been working in a PR
role
.


Boris Johnson on Sir Paul's Resignation










Sir Paul had also faced criticism over the original investigation into phone
hacking in 2006, but said he had no involvement in that probe - and had no
reason to suspect the scale of the allegations would widen to include the likes
of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
His resignation came just hours after Mrs Brooks was detained in connection
with phone hacking and corruption allegations just two days after quitting as
News International's chief executive. She has since been released on bail.
In another developments, Ed Miliband is calling for new media ownership rules to limit
the power of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson told Sky News he had accepted Sir Paul's
resignation with "great sadness and reluctance" and said there was "no question
about his personal integrity."


Sir Paul Should Be Given Credit For Actions










Prime Minister David Cameron, who was on a flight to South Africa for a trade
visit when the announcement came, said he respected and understood the
decision.
But he urged the Met to focus on ensuring investigations into phone hacking
and corrupt payments to officers proceeded "with all speed, with full public
confidence and with all the necessary leadership".
Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said he was
"very shocked" by the resignation.
Sir Paul is expected to be quizzed by the committee on Tuesday.
It is thought his deputy, Tim Godwin, will head the Met until a formal
replacement is confirmed.

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Guest on Mon 18 Jul - 9:42



Last edited by carmen on Mon 18 Jul - 9:58; edited 1 time in total

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Panda on Mon 18 Jul - 9:54

Morning Carmen,

I don"t know whether you noticed but the Armageddon thread is all about Newscorp and I think your post should be on there since they are two
seperate investigations. Anything to do with News International I post on this thread. I"ll try and alter my Title to avoid confusion.

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Panda on Mon 18 Jul - 16:34

David Cameron is abroad at the mo but is calling for the Meeting to be held on Wednesday so that he can be there, because he considers it so
important. On the News it was announced that Jogn Yates has resigned as well, is that true?

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Panda on Mon 18 Jul - 17:30

Commons Recess Delayed Over Hacking






4:35pm UK, Monday July 18, 2011
The Prime Minister has said Parliament will meet on Wednesday to discuss the
phone-hacking scandal after Britain's top police officer resigned.











Mr Cameron is currently on a trade visit to Africa.
He has decided to cut short his trip, and will return home on
Tuesday evening to deal with issues raised by the resignations of two top
policeman from the Metropolitan police.

During a news conference in South Africa, David Cameron said MPs would have the chance to discuss
further developments and he could "answer any questions that may arise".
He also thanked Sir Paul Stephenson for the "great work he has done" in
leading Scotland Yard, but denied there is any comparison to be made with his
own position.
Sir Paul announced suddenly on Sunday evening he would stand
down over his links to Neil Wallis
- the former deputy editor of the
News Of The World (NOTW) who was later paid to advise the Metropolitan
Police.
The Home Secretary has announced Tim Godwin will replace him as Acting
Commissioner.
Assistant Commissioner John Yates has also announced he will
stand down from the force.

He was under mounting pressure over his handling of the phone-hacking
scandal.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said the resignations are
"regrettable but right".


Sir Paul stephenson resignation speech










Sir Paul used his resignation speech to fire a parting shot at Mr Cameron
over his role in the affair.
The officer said when Mr Wallis was hired in 2009 he had not been linked to
the phone-hacking scandal.
But ex-NOTW editor Andy Coulson - the PM's former communications chief - had
been given the role at Downing Street when the full extent of hacking at the
paper had started to emerge, Sir Paul continued.
Mr Cameron said Mr Coulson "worked well in Government" and added: "The
situation in the Metropolitan Police Service is really quite different to the
situation in the Government, not least because the issues that the Metropolitan
Police are looking at, the issues around them, have had a direct bearing on
public confidence into the police inquiry into the NOTW and indeed into the
police themselves."
Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "It is of great concern
that the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police was unable to discuss vital
issues with the Prime Minister because of his employment of Andy Coulson.

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Panda on Mon 18 Jul - 18:05

This is an extract from s skynews ongoing blog. why do I get the feeling that what has happened today was designed to scupper the Committee
Meeting tomorrow??????





  • Deborah Glass of the IPCC said: "These matters are already
    the subject of a judge-led public inquiry announced on July 13 which is looking
    into the way in which police investigated allegations of conduct by persons
    connected to News International."
    by oliverpickup 6:00 PM
  • The IPCC has been asked to look into Sir Paul Stephenson's
    actions as the officer with overall responsibility for Scotland Yard's
    investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World.
    by oliverpickup 7/18/2011 4:58:54 PM

    5:58 PM
  • Sky's Mark White
    says: "The latest revelation coupled with John Yates's resignation will mean
    that the Parliamentary Committee will not have time to answer all the questions
    they want to tomorrow."
    by oliverpickup edited by
    oliverpickup 6:01 PM

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Panda on Mon 18 Jul - 18:14

Latest News on the Meeting. Rebekah Brooks will not sit with Rupert and James Murdoch, they will be questioned seperately. James is expected to
be closely questioned because he has admitted paying someone for information. there are 5 counts against News International and there is talk that the Serious Fraud Office who specialize in white collar offences may be called in. Newscorp U.S. is watching events unfold in the U.K. and there is a special
programme on Bloomberg tomorrow to discuss the matter.

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Guest on Mon 18 Jul - 21:40

How the phone-hacking scandal unmasked the British power elite
The close ties between politicians and the media mean that if Murdoch's empire falls, the political establishment will suffer


John Harris
guardian.co.uk, Monday 18 July 2011 19.59 BST
Article history

James Murdoch and David Cameron in 2007. Photograph: Stephen Lock/Rex Features
At 2.30 on Tuesday 19 July, the story that has spread itself over the news for weeks will reach one of its most spectacular moments. An elderly American–Australian billionaire and his 38-year-old son will be transported to the Houses of Parliament, along with a 43-year-old woman from Warrington, long used to the company of the rich and powerful, but freshly departed from her high-powered job and just released from a central-London police station. There, they will face a committee of MPs, from a wide array of backgrounds – among them, a trade unionist's son from Kidderminster; a privately educated chick-lit novelist who has recently married the manager of Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers; and a woman who was once the finance director for the company that makes Mars bars.

Exactly what will happen when Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks face the culture, media and sport select committee is anyone's guess. Tom Watson – the Kidderminster-raised Labour MP whose dogged pursuit of News International forms one of the key threads of how the hacking scandal has played out – warned the Guardian against getting too excited. "There is not going to be a killer blow on Tuesday," he said. "Expectations are way too high."

That may be true, but even if the trio hide behind half-answers and obfuscation, there will plenty on which to feast. Body language will be picked apart; pauses will acquire huge significance; the merest slip-up might open up very damaging lines of inquiry. And besides, the event will be defined by one massive piece of symbolism. In the 43 years he has been operating in the UK, Rupert Murdoch has never formally faced British MPs. Why would he, when the most powerful among them would gladly grant him regular audiences, opening the back door of Downing Street so they could check that everything in his world was as perfect as it could possibly be?

Yesterday, in the wake of yet more arrests and resignations, I listened to another media appearance by Steve Hewlett, the Guardian columnist and presenter of Radio 4's Media show – who, in the midst of droves of talking heads coming close to losing theirs, has sounded a dependable note of calm and real insight. As far as I know, he has not talked about the "British Spring". But when he popped up towards the end of the Today programme, he seemed to agree that something absolutely remarkable was afoot.

"It's almost as if the whole establishment – the political-media elite – is in a state of wobble," he said. "Any association with Murdoch and his papers, which quite naturally everybody has had in some form . . . is now so toxic that any mention of it is . . ."

A pause.

"I mean, look: it's carnage. It's almost as if the light has suddenly come on, and everybody has said: 'Good lord – were we doing that?'"

This is an example of what he means. On Saturday 2 July, Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth and her millionaire PR husband Matthew Freud hosted a party at their 22-bedroom mansion in the Cotswolds. Michael Gove, the education secretary, was there. So was David Cameron's consigliere Steve Hilton, and the culture minister Ed Vaizey. The Labour figures in attendance included Peter Mandelson, the ex-work and pensions secretary James Purnell, the shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander - and his shadow cabinet colleague Tessa Jowell, who reportedly arrived with her supposedly estranged husband David Mills. They were joined by David Miliband – who, let us not forget, was supported in his quest for the Labour leadership by the entire Murdoch stable of newspapers.

Robert Peston was glimpsed in deep conversation with Will Lewis, News International's general manager. The BBC's director general Mark Thompson turned up, along with Alan Yentob, Jon Snow from Channel 4 News, Bear Grylls, Mariella Frostrup, Lily Allen and Patrick Kielty. And what a time they had: thanks to Nick Jones, the owner of the members-only Soho House club and husband of Desert Island Discs' Kirsty Young, two marquees had been turned into pop-up versions of his London reaturants, Cecconi's and Pizza East, and drinking and dancing went on until 4am.

Also among the guests was James Murdoch, who spent much of the night talking intently to Rebekah Brooks – whose behaviour that night was said to be somewhat uncharacteristic. "Usually, Rebekah flits around having a word with everyone," one witness told the Daily Mail. "She loves being the centre of attention. But that night, she spent nearly all her time with News International people."

The following Monday, when plenty of the revellers must still have been feeling groggy, the Guardian ran the story by Nick Davies and Amelia Hill about Milly Dowler's phone being hacked. And so began the explosion of revelations that has – for the time being, at least – blown this cosy, cloistered world apart.

A long love affair

Self-evidently, powerful people tend to cluster together. Those who control the media are a particularly strong magnet for the rich and influential, and there is a long history of people from all sides of politics sharing their company. Take note: that great socialist godhead Aneurin Bevan was a friend of Lord Beaverbrook, as was Bevan's protege Michael Foot, who was so enamoured of the proprietor of the two Express titles and the London Evening Standard that he once said this: "I loved him, not merely as a friend, but as a second father."

But the endless scramble to Rupert Murdoch's table, and the powerful milieu that sprouted around him and his children, has been something new. When he decisively began to exercise his grip on British politics in the 1980s, Murdoch was an intimate of Margaret Thatcher, who cleared the way for his move into British television, though to claim that she was under his spell was deeply misplaced. As with so many things, the rot decisively started under New Labour, thanks to obvious enough reasoning: News International had so tortured John Major and Neil Kinnock, that rather than be monstered by people who evidently decided who to target and then pursued them to the point of destruction, it was surely better to get them decisively on side, via whatever means were necessary. So, in July 1995, Tony Blair and his retinue famously made their whistlestop trip to a News Corp conference in Hayman Island, off the coast of Australia.

The Murdoch factor undoubtedly informed swaths of New Labour politics: not least, an ingrained reluctance to embrace the more economically interventionist aspects of the European Union, and a reckless belief that Britain should always support American foreign policy, no matter how dangerous the consequences (never forget: all of Murdoch's newspapers loudly backed the invasion of Iraq). Moreover, even before Blair entered Downing Street, he and his allies' closeness to News Corp seems to have led to very precise manoeuvres on Labour's media policy.

In 1996, for example, the Major government's broadcasting bill was making its way through parliament. There was particular controversy surrounding the question of whether the legislation should force Murdoch to manufacture digital TV boxes that could be used for services provided by other companies – so that, if you chose to buy BSkyB kit but wanted to watch television delivered by another provider, that was possible. The alternative was effective monopoly, as plenty of Labour MPs well knew. But when it came to the vote at committee stage, two Labour members mysteriously went missing, meaning that the vote was tied 11-11, Murdoch got his way – and we began our passage into that brave new TV world where BSkyB has a UK market share of 80%.

If you read Volume One of Alastair Campbell's diaries, you find one possible explanation, not just for this, but other New Labour capitulations to News Corp – such as the 2003 "Murdoch clause" that relaxed the rules on the acquisition of TV companies by newspaper owners, and thus opened the way to a Murdoch buyout of Channel 5 (which didn't happen – though it's this change that allowed in that unseemly sub-Murdoch Richard Desmond). It's there in an account of a meeting between Campbell, Blair and Mandelson, and Les Hinton and one Jane Reed, then News International's director of corporate affairs. "They were clearly worried that party pressure would lead us to adopt positions on the broadcasting bill, and legislation if we got in, that would hit their business interests," Campbell recalls.

Later in the same paragraph, he seems to suggest that in return for Labour's quiescence on these issues, they expected full and consistent support from Murdoch's newspapers: "I emphasised that they had to understand that there would be a big price to pay in the party if we restricted and curbed the natural desires of people to do something about Murdoch, and ultimately the Sun and News of the World really went for us."

When I interviewed Campbell last year, he was at pains to deny that the Blair government had ever offered News International any kind of quid pro quo on anything. Still, I asked him about the broadcasting bill, and suggested that behind his account of meeting Hinton and Reed and that mention of "curbing" the collective Labour desire to somehow move on Murdoch, there had been a whole tangle of intrigue. He nodded. "Mmmm. Mmmm," he said. "I'd forgotten about that."


Power couple: Elisabeth Murdoch and Matthew Freud. Photograph: Richard Young/Rex Features
Twelve years later, in the summer of 2008, David Cameron was transported in a private plane – laid on by Freud – to the Greek island of Santorini, from where he was ferried to Rupert Murdoch's 184ft yacht the Rosehearty, for an important meeting. The following year, the Tories began to harden a new antipathy to the BBC, floating the freezing of the licence fee and urging the corporation to do "more with less": messages that were in accord with the chippy anti-BBC lecture James Murdoch gave at that year's Edinburgh TV festival. Just over a month later came achingly predictable news: that the Sun was swinging its support behind the Conservatives, and dumping Labour.

By then, the spell cast by the Murdoch empire on politicians of all parties was endlessly reported as if it was the natural order of things. The next year, when the Sun announced its support for the Tories with the headline "Labour's lost it", even the BBC reported the switch as if it were an enshrined part of the British political process, rarely questioning why its reporters were paying so much attention to the whims of one man, or what it said about the fall of our politics that his manoeuvrings were considered so important.

Meanwhile, the so-called Chipping Norton set – the Camerons, Elisabeth Murdoch and Matthew Freud, Brooks and her husband Charlie, Steve Hilton and his wife Rachel Whetstone, Google's head of communications and public policy – was developing into a hardened clique. News International had long since seduced not just politicians, but police officers. In Sunday's deluge of news about Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, one story was strangely overlooked: that according to the New York Times, his links with News International were sufficiently close for him to have "met for meals 18 times with company executives and editors". All told, British politics was blurring into a mulch largely built around policies the Murdochs could endorse, and their company was apparently so gone on its own power that some of its staff obviously thought they were way beyond the law.

The unpopular press

Which brings us to some of the most important questions of all. Even before the hacking scandal decisively broke, how does anyone suppose all of this was this playing with the public? How did ordinary voters feel, watching every broadcast outlet telling them that Murdoch had swapped from Labour to Tory, and implying that the next election was thereby all but decided, as if their own votes counted for precious little? As they heard about Blair's trip to Australia, or Murdoch and Cameron's tete-a-tete in Greece, what did they think? This is not to suggest that millions of people were anywhere near as hostile to the Murdoch empire as hard-bitten lefties, nor that the politics of his newspapers did not chime with those of millions and millions of people: but rather to point out that if politicians have long gnashed their teeth about "disconnection" and the decline of public trust, the fact that they have increasingly formed a distant, pampered elite – with the Murdochs at its centre – must surely provide some of the explanation.

Right now, as the arrests and resignations pile up, you wonder how dangerous all this is for the amazingly small collection of people who have such a colossal influence on British public life. Comparisons between the fall of News International and the crisis that beset the banks are currently 10-a-penny, but there is one point of comparison that has not yet been mentioned. Just as the entire banking system was almost brought down by the insidious contagion of bad debt, might an entire establishment be horribly damaged by its equally widespread and just as toxic links to News Corp? Each time Andy Coulson crash-lands in the headlines, David Cameron flinches. When Stephenson resigned thanks to the Met's links with the former NoW staffer Neil Wallis, he made explicit reference to Coulson, and thus defined a whole swath of the next day's headlines, as well as jangling Downing Street nerves even further. Now Assistant Commissioner John Yates has gone – and Boris Johnson remains under fire for the London mayoralty's failure to act on the seemingly unhealthy connections between Wapping and Scotland Yard.

On and on it goes. In every report that followed Brooks's resignation and arrest there were potent images of her in the company of Blair, Cameron and others. Ed Miliband may have largely kept his distance from the Murdochs, but there are plenty of senior Labour figures who have been only too happy to pay court, repeatedly. And one other thing worth knowing before the select committee hearing: according to the Independent on Sunday, its chairman, John Whittingdale, has dined with Brooks, met Elisabeth Murdoch on several occasions, and is a good enough friend of Hinton to have been invited to his wedding in 2009 (he didn't go). As you push through the establishment and encounter endless links to News Corp, you start to wonder where it will all end. Questions even started to be asked about whether the prime minister should consider his position. When Stephenson resigned, a friend texted me: "Who's next: the Queen?"

As this whole saga develops, some people's hopes are being raised into the stratosphere. Undoubtedly, it has been great to see a Labour leader so confidently end his party's demeaning relationship with Murdoch, and widen the argument into a discussion about wider irresponsibility at the top and the dangers of large concentrations of power. Yes, we now have the best hope in generations of convincing laws on media ownership. There is a good chance that if Murdoch's shadow recedes, politicians will extend the national debate into at least some of the areas that have been shut off for far too long.

But beware one thing in particular. After the fall of the banks and the scandal of MPs' expenses, the events of the last two weeks are less likely to result in a gleaming new dawn than a deepening of a deadened public scepticism about Britain's elites, and our politicians in particular. We've heard a lot about Watergate lately: it's worth bearing in mind as the full extent of the Nixon administration's transgressions became clear, the main result was not a massed drive to get politics working again, but a drastic hardening of the public cynicism that had initially taken root thanks to the Vietnam war. In 1964, three-quarters of Americans believed the government in Washington could be trusted to do the right thing; in 1974, it was just over a third. Eventually, politics was revived not thanks to the Democrats, but Ronald Reagan and the populist New Right.

In other words, you could be forgiven for looking beyond the hacking scandal and asking a sobering question: rather than marking the point at which Westminster starts to make some kind of recovery and politicians are entrusted to clean things up, might it actually push us into a deadening stand-off between most of those at the top, and a public who now simply trust no one at all?

The Sunday before last, Elisabeth Murdoch was allegedly heard claiming that her brother James and Brooks had "fucked the company". Here's my fear: that as the revelations extend into the distance, they may have done the self-same thing to our politics and public life.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/18/phone-hacking-british-power-elite

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Guest on Mon 18 Jul - 21:48


Monday 18 July 2011
Exclusive: Channel 4 News has learned that a former senior journalist at the News of the World worked as a translator for the Met Police, whilst he was employed by the newspaper.


The Metropolitan Police force has confirmed to Channel 4 News that former News of the World journalist Alex Marunchak was on its list of interpreters.

He was one of a team which provided translation services for victims, witnesses and suspects of crime who do not speak English.

A spokesperson for the Met told Channel 4 News: "Since the records system became electronic in 1996 we know that he undertook work as an Ukrainian language interpreter on one occasion in 1997 and six in 1999 as well as two translation assignments, totalling around 27 hours of work.

"It is likely he undertook work prior to 1996 as well.

"Interpreters are vetted by the MPS and all sign the Official Secrets Act. They are employed on a freelance, self-employed basis. We recognise that this may cause concern and that some professions may be incompatible with the role of an interpreter."

The Met says it is now investigating the matter. Ukrainian Alex Marunchak spent most of his career at NoW.

http://www.channel4.com/news/now-journalist-worked-as-interpreter-for-met

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Panda on Tue 19 Jul - 11:06

Just been reported that a guy called Stephen something has been flown in to help Rupert Murdoch prepare for the Meeting and the approach he should adopt. This Guy helped Robert de Niro and his brief is to soften Murdoch"s taciturn approach to questioning and ccome across as contrite......can you
believe this????

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  wjk on Tue 19 Jul - 13:10

Bit bloody late!

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Panda on Tue 19 Jul - 13:45

wjk wrote:Bit bloody late!

Yeah, can you imagine him suddenly acting humble? Anyway, another pundit says that this Meeting, far from being the sensation that everone
expects, will be a bit boring because they too face Police questioning so will not want to say much at the Meeting

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  wjk on Tue 19 Jul - 15:54

Panda wrote:
wjk wrote:Bit bloody late!

Yeah, can you imagine him suddenly acting humble? Anyway, another pundit says that this Meeting, far from being the sensation that everone
expects, will be a bit boring because they too face Police questioning so will not want to say much at the Meeting
They're not wrong there Panda, its not doing much for me yet. A lot of 'no knowledge of that' going on.

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  wjk on Tue 19 Jul - 17:40

I'd like to change the above post!^^^^^^
Well, it went off there, didn't it!

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as above

Post  halfamo on Wed 20 Jul - 15:44

Amazing three people Murdoch senior junior and Brooks all in charge in varying degrees and they knew nothing heard nothing saw nothing a classic example of the three wise monkeys.Thank goodness for Tom Watson when he sets out a course of action the mans not for turning.

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Panda on Wed 20 Jul - 17:34

I think Rupert Murdoch should retire, he didn"t have much to say and James acquitted himself very well, "I wasn"t there at the time", I don"t know
anything about that" summed him up, but it was obvious they couldn"t say anything which could incriminate them , neither could Rebekah.

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  widowan on Wed 20 Jul - 19:23

And yet in this morning's Wall Street Journal you have an exec from News Corp saying that Murdoch is a genius and they desperately need him.

So which is it? doddering old man who is kept out of real decisions and just jollied along til he tumbles in to the grave, or brilliant high powered business man who keeps his finger on the pulse and boot on the neck of every story and underling?

Others had let him down - it's for them to pay. That just sounds like a lack of willingness to be held accountable.

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  Badboy on Wed 20 Jul - 19:42

REBECCA BROOKS DENIED SHE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THE SURVILLANCE OF A MURDER DETECTIVE,DENIES SHE HAVE MEETING WITH DETECTIVE ABOUT THIS,SHE SAYS SHE DOESN'T RECALL MEETING.

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Re: And the future for News International??

Post  widowan on Wed 20 Jul - 22:37

I wonder how it feels now the limelight is on THEM.

Rebekah,m James, Rupert - how's it feel to BE the story?

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Re: And the future for News International??

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