Hacking – watch this space

IS there no one in the UK who hasn’t had their phone hacked in the last decade? It seems not, and the revelations keep coming.

Editors are popping out of the wood work, pointing fingers in a belated acts of contrition and blame. Even the great Piers Morgan has become embroiled, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this thing goes to the very top – Simon.

It may seem outlandish to suggest that Britain’s top person is somehow involved in the hacking scandal, after all he has nothing to do with the newspaper business, but I haven’t read an article recently where Simon doesn’t feature, and all I can say is “watch this space.” At least can we not have Simon’s opinion on what’s going on? The country deserves this. Please Simon, we need you. Or  if you can’t, perhaps Cheryl?

One real scandal here though, is that I am the only person I know who hasn’t been hacked. And I have to say I feel pretty indignant about this. I am minded to call for some form of inquiry, preferably an independent parliamentary or judicial commission – they always work don’t they? – who can look into the reasons for this omission.

Maybe I have been hacked, and just don’t know it yet, but until we have a full transparent investigation, in which I have total faith, I will never be sure. The reality is that whilst the spectre of not being hacked hangs over me, I can’t move on with my life, and it’s the not knowing that hurts.

The other scandal of course, is the realisation that the media establishment, together with certain elements of the Metropolitan Police, have been complicit in decades of corrupt practices that have rightly disgusted the nation.

With English criminal law, the collective acceptance of a crime by its perpetrators makes the crime, even in its planning, more serious than if it was carried out by one rogue person. The word is “conspiracy”, and the reason for the law taking a dimmer view of this is that a group of individuals think they are above society’s rules, and their behaviour is accepted practice within this clique.

This acceptance by a group is pernicious in the eyes of the law as it challenges the fabric of society. Conspiracy is even more pernicious when those involved are in positions of trust and power, such as the police and those who control the papers.

Basically, when people in power think they are beyond the law, and above the rest of society, we are in dangerous waters. The way the law stands in the UK, the penalties are predictably lame.

The worrying prospect for the Murdochs go’s beyond this: financially there is the possibility of meltdown for them and News Corp, and if the Americans get their teeth into the allegations that News Corp’s New York Daily News were involved in the same nefarious practices – in this instance, the hacking of phones of the victims of the twin towers bombings – then American criminal proceedings might come into play, and they are much harsher than our own.

The other thing to come to light is the unhealthily cosy relationship between MPs and the media. Murdoch makes and breaks governments and this is not acceptable in a democracy. For too long, politicians in the UK have sought favour of media tycoons, in exchange for what? An ex Scotland yard detective pointed out that to refuse a cup of tea is churlish; to accept a crate of whiskey is corruption.

This all came out now because in order to sell more papers, phone messages of a missing girl were deleted by private eyes acting for a News Corp paper. They hacked the message box; it was full, so they deleted messages to read new ones. Both the police and the girl’s parents thought that the she was alive and accessing her own messages. This wasn’t the case; the girl was already murdered.  Editors and the Murdochs all claim ignorance of wrongdoings. Who do you believe?

I say get someone incorruptible to sort out this whole mess.  Someone in whom we all have faith, and trust. I say, get Simon.

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