Friday, July 22, 2011

Hacking scandal: more high drama as Sun staff member is sacked and James Murdoch’s evidence called in question, things look bleak

Dear All

It is naïve to think that the phone hacking scandal was just a problem for the News of the World.

Previously the narrative out of the Murdoch Empire was it was down to a few rogue people.

We all know that it nonsense, the focus has been kept deliberately short and narrow by the Government so as not to drag in other newspapers involved.

And of course the Police investigation will be limited as well.

We will learn a lot and a few nuggets will be thrown to the public that this type of thing will be stamped out.

A few faces will change, people will rotate out and new ones rotate in with the new press watch dog.

But they will all be establishment people.

The most important thing out of this whole mess is to keep the investigation limited in nature.

Because this story involves the big three, Press, Police and Politicians and the interconnecting relationships they have.

That is how information, power and influence is passed about by the political and social elite.

Ed Miliband is causing a storm but would he be saying as much if he was in power?

The answer is no I believe.

For him, this is all about party political advantage.

In the latest scandal to hit the Murdoch Empire, an executive at The Sun has been sacked.

News International confirmed in a statement that a member of staff had been dismissed and reports suggested it was Mark Nixson, features editor at the daily newspaper.

A spokeswoman said:

“News Corporation’s Management and Standards Committee (MSC) can confirm that News International today terminated the contract of a member of staff in relation to his previous work at the News of the World.

“The MSC is authorised to co-operate fully with all relevant investigations and inquiries in the News of the World phone-hacking case, police payments and all other related issues across News International, as well as conducting its own inquiries where appropriate.”

As things unravel, the Murdoch crew are sacrificing people left right and centre to say their own skin.

So far, they haven’t shut this down; it is growing, because other newspapers and agencies sense real weakness for them over this.

And they see this as an opportunity to boost their share of the tabloid market at the expense of the Murdoch Empire.

However, the real bombshell is the revelations of Colin Myler, who edited the last edition of the News of the World newspaper two weeks ago, and Tom Crone, the paper’s long time lawyer.

They have put James Murdoch between a rock and hard place.

They cast doubt on Mr Murdoch’s testimony to MPs on Tuesday.

During the grilling before the Media Select Committee, Mr Murdoch Jnr told MPs that he was not aware of a crucial email, dubbed the “for Neville” message, before he signed off a payout to Gordon Taylor from the Professional Footballers Association.

In a statement they said:

“Just by way of clarification relating to Tuesday’s CMS Select Committee hearing, we would like to point out that James Murdoch’s recollection of what he was told when agreeing to settle the Gordon Taylor litigation was mistaken”.


“In fact, we did inform him of the ‘for Neville’ email which had been produced to us by Gordon Taylor’s lawyers.”

James Murdoch had a good day in front of MPs, well coached by lawyers; he told them nothing of value.

Despite being questioned for hours; Rupert Murdoch, also held the line.

But Myler and Crone just drove a truck right through his credibility.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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