The fans just got turned on again….another Hackgate pandemic is on its way
As The Slog has long insisted, Hackgate is far from over – and there is no way the practice begins and ends with Newscorp. Nor does it begin and end in Fleet Street – see post of earlier this week. This scandal is about the uncovering of a surveillance State being run like the Wild West…with both the connivance and knowledge of the Met Police, the security services, and many politicians in senior roles in this and previous Administrations.
The tale has been given a firm nudge forward in the right direction by two pieces today. The best piece by far is in The Independent, where Ian Burrell and Mark Olden show how the authorities have known for more than eight years the degree to which media organisations employed private detectives to obtain the personal information of thousands of individuals, including the families and friends of murder victims.
The article gives a clear sense of contagion, by using what is still the best source available to us – the Motorman files from 2006. It fingers the Sunday Express, Mirror Group and NatMags….but as yet steers clear of the former Daily Mail boat people now at the Maily Telegraph. Watch this space.
The Telegraph itself, meanwhile, is keen to dish some dirt on the Left-wing press (I’m glad somebody is) and has persuaded veteran People reporter David Brown to admit that journalists on the Sunday Mirror regularly targeted celebrities in an effort to discover their latest partners, peccadilloes, affairs, tattoos and other matters of vital interest to the public. A particularly interesting feature of this piece is that David Beckham won his case against Trinity Mirror, after his little dalliance some years ago, by suing in the knowledge that Trinity wouldn’t dare use the hacking evidence as proof.
Some weeks ago, a well-informed little bird also told me that Paul McCartney used exactly the same tactic to scare off whiter-than-white CNN Celia Walden beau Romping Arse, who had phoned Sir Paul with a grubby restaurant story based on hacking the phone of unibomber Heather Mills. Sir Paul is, of course, due to talk to Plod on his return from the US. Let’s hope he chooses somebody straight to talk to.
So then, Piers old buddy, feeling another gentle waft of heat re this one are we?
So then, Tom Watson, ready to take a machete to Trinity Mirror are we?