Saturday, 11 February 2012


Despite now having what must be half of the management team of The Sun on bail, Rupert Murdoch, has promised that the paper will continue to publish and will be on the street on Monday.

But, it's early days.

The newspaper's deputy editor along with four colleagues was arrested Saturday for making illegal payments to police, and other officials, who appear to be an Army officer and an MoD civil servant. 

The other journalists arrested were John Kay, former chief reporter who joined the paper in 1974; Nick Parker, chief foreign correspondent; John Edwards, picture editor; and John Sturgis, deputy news editor.

A woman employed by the Ministry of Defence was arrested at her home as was a member of the Armed forces and a serving police officer with Surrey Police was also arrested at his home in Surrey.

A memo to all staff from the chief executive of News International, Tom Monkridge, said that he had had assurances from Mr Murdoch himself that he was committed to continuing to own and to publish the Sun. (As opposed to ditching it as he did with the News of the World.)

When Rebekah Brooks appeared at a Commons committee in 2003, she was asked by Chris Bryant whether her newspaper had been involved in improper activities.

She replied: “We have paid the police for information in the past.”

Andy Coulson, who was sitting next to her, and clearly a more savvy operator than Brooks, which may be why he, and not Brooks, later worked as David Cameron’s director of communications, nearly fell off his chair in an effort to point out that the hay-head sitting next to him meant to say that any payments were made “within the law”.

It appears that he was lying.

Oh well. These things happen. 

A little word of advice to Mr Cameron: When picking staff who are going to be working very closely with you, best to make sure that they are squeaky clean. That's what the Secret Service vetting system was set up to do, so, it should have winkled out Mr Coulson's involvement in this travesty. 

Well I say it it should have, what I properly mean is it would have if you hadn't just taken Coulson's word. as a personal friend, that he was as innocent as the day is long, and bypassed the Secret Service.

A little word of advice to the Secret Service: Don't take Cameron's word for anything on anybody. He is an appalling judge of character, and his friends seem to be truly dodgy people. 

Furthermore he appears to not know his arse from his arm pit.


  1. The media malpractice is hardly limited to the Murdochs, let us not lose sight of that!

    And SOME illegality is justifiable, such as the Telegraphs illegal securing of the MPs expenses files, which were subsequently published.

    So its all complicated, and not clear cut.

    'Wrongdoing', according to who? and 'who decides?'

  2. Yes, it's difficult Dean. But paying the police and the MoD, not to mention serving soldiers, is wrong.

    If people want to be whistle blowers, they should be doing it because it has to be done, not for profit.

    But yes, I agree, it's not clear cut.

  3. Dean
    So trying to find out where our taxes go is illegal ?
    We are truly finished.

  4. "An independent Scotland in control of all her oil revenues would have the strongest currency in Europe with the exception of Norway and What is quite clear is that the balance of payments gain from North Sea oil would easily swamp the existing deficit whatever its size and transform Scotland into a country with a substantial and chronic fiscal surplus.It can be credibly argued that Scotland would be more prosperous should the Union of 1707 be repealed." McCrone

    That says it all.

    We subsidise that bloke and he's belly aching about subsidising us.

    If the English aren't happy with their situation they should leave the UK. Form the ENP.

    Mind you with a charisma-free zone like that bloke as its spokesman, I don't see a huge future in front of them...

  5. Throbber: I think what Dean means is that technically the Telegraph got hold of and published items which were not passed for publication by the Speaker (Michael Martin of the aristocracy!).

    He, or rather, his office was preparing some sort of redacted version, but someone passed the Telegraph the full story and they pre-empted His Nobleness.

    I've no idea of whether money changed hands in that case. But it was illegal to pass that information to even such an august organ as the Telegraph.

    Of course it was good that we know...and Michael was trying to avoid us knowing. But it was illegal.

    As it would be now to publish correspondence between a government minister and the Duke of Rothsay, even although it was on government business. I'm sure, nonetheless, that someone will do it.

  6. Thank you Tris, anyone with the semblance of intellect would have understood that is precisely what I meant.

  7. cynicalHighlander,

    I've added my wee piece to it:

    "I will not sign the petition because I am Scottish. If you want those things then you are going to have to sort it out yourselves. The figures for london are wrong; they are way over that. Things like 'crossrail' and the 'olympics' are considered UK investments and, therefore, does not come under Barnet Formula for London. London has been ripping off the rest of the UK, not Scotland, Wales, NI or even northern England. The Barnett Formula is not the end of the matter; it is a con to hide money."

  8. Dean,

    I agree on the principle of what you are saying but I would suggest that when the MPs broke the law then whatever the speaker wants or says about that is NOT in the public interest and I would further suggest that there was a moral and possibly legal right to have those figures released.
    Surely if there is a criminal offence being committed then to keep quiet about it is tantamount to breaking the law as well?

  9. Ah the ties that bind eh! It brings a tear to the eye to see how much our dear English friends love our oil...oops..I mean us Scots so, and just what extraordinary lengths they will go to, to keep in their blessed union. I'm sure you will all join me in a weep over the ungrateful nature of those gauleiter's...oops sorry no that's not PC, Ruth Davidson told us so... petty fogging ingrates that run the Scottish Government. Boo Hoo!

    Let us not forget that it is the most successful union of nations in the entire universe and in time itself! Never from the big bang to the collapse of the multi-verse and the infinite plains of existence has a more beneficial union existed. Why God himself probably could not have created anything more successful. The mere fact that the Union has left Scotland too small, poor and stupid to go it alone (despite all the reputed benefits) is infinitesimal when looking at the bigger picture of how much the English...I mean British...state has got out of it. Also irrelevant is the fact that parts of Scotland are the most deprived in the UK and the EU where life expectancy is lowest and child poverty highest. The proud boasts of the nation and the Dunkirk spirit live on. The south east got the six lane M25 (a great British achievement) and the channel tunnel; we got the two lane (with no hard shoulder and the occasional layby) M90 to Perth and a couple of toll bridges. It’s good to see the oil money well spent!

  10. LOL Dean... I've gone up in the world now. I have a modicum of intellect.

  11. That's a very good reply Ged...

  12. Ged. There was undoubtedly a moral right to have these figures published, but, as it stood, there was no legal right. There is now.

    But it was just another example of the state protecting itself. No one had noticed that this was all secret. No one had cared, therefore they stole all they could reasonably get their hands on, because they thought they were worth it.

    Clearly they didn't have to live the the country that they provided, or they would have known that they definitely were NOT worth it.

    What the telegraph did was strictly speaking illegal, but no one brought a charge against them because, apart from the thieves, no one much thought it was a secret worth preserving. Now, as i say, they are obliged to report it to us. Of course whether we believe their reports or not is another matter.

    That is different from the police being paid to let out information to one newspaper so tat they can claim a scoop... on a drugs bust, or the state of play in a murder case... or whatever.

    But it is a difficult situation to sift the morally justifiable from the just plain illegal... because we all have different standards by which we measure moral justification.

    Sorry... that was very rambling...

  13. Munguin...Did you get out of bed on the wrong side this morning....?