Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Murdoch reporter's Clive Goodman’s devastating letter blows whistle on News International, hacking 'widely discussed at News of the World'

Dear All

If things couldn’t get any worse for the Murdoch Empire, it seems more is flooding out.

A bombshell has been dropped by former Royal Correspondent Clive Goodman.

He claims that phone hacking was 'widely discussed' at the News of the World, bad news for the Murdochs and bad news for the Met Police who dropped the ball in their investigation by Yates of the Yard.

This gives MPs a reason to recall James Murdoch to give further evidence to the committee examining the hacking scandal.

So, serious questions will be asked and it looks like some people are up a creek without a paddle.

And the canoe is holed below the water line.

The letter by Goodman appears to implicate a raft of top executives and undermine their evidence to Parliament.

I am a big fan of putting things in writing and sending email and keeping a record of what was sent.

That way the truth is never in dispute.

Goodman’s letter in 2007 which has found its way to the public domain claims that hacking was regularly discussed in the newsroom until editor at the time Andy Coulson banned all reference to the subject.

Coulson is in for a tough time as is News International chief James Murdoch, both claimed they believed the hacking was the sole domain of 'rogue reporter' Mr Goodman.

And of course all roads lead to Rome, or in this case David Cameron.

He employed Coulson as his No 10's chief spin doctor citing he believe that anyone deserves a ‘second chance’.

I think he meant that anyone who is rich or has the right networking connections deserves a ‘second chance’.

I wonder which organisation will be giving Coulson a ‘third chance’ providing he manages to dodge jail after his evidence at the Tommy Sheridan trial.

Scotland’s Nelson Mandela got three years in the pokey and is currently in an open prison.

Which means a cell might be freed up soon in the Scottish penal system.

Goodman’s letter points the finger at so many, but does anyone outside the Media Committee have the courage to fall the bread crumbs?

Also said to be contained in the letter, Goodman said he was promised he could have his job back if he did not implicate anyone else on the paper.

Who promised him that and at what level?

Goodman said:

“Tom Crone and the editor promised on many occasions that I could come back to a job at the newspaper if I did not implicate the paper or any of its staff in my mitigation plea”.

Committee member Labour MP Tom Watson said the Goodman letter raised 'very very serious' questions about Mr Coulson's denial that he was aware of hacking at the paper he edited.


“He was appealing his dismissal and he made allegations that the whole editorial team at News of the World were involved in discussions on phone hacking at the time. Andy Coulson was editor of the paper. The Goodman letter I genuinely think is devastating and shows that if it is accurate the whole foundation of the company defence, in all the evidence they gave to all the inquiries, was bogus, and so we need to bottom that out. Then we need to get to the facts of the payments to people who left the company either for gross negligence or because they went to jail, and was their silence bought?”

Labour MP Tom Watson has had a good scandal in much the same way as News International has had the reverse.

Down the road at Number 10, David Cameron has been battling to protect his reputation because he employed Andy Coulson.

And with the riots, his premiership is damaged; people see him and his government as a tool of the rich and powerful in this country.

There is a serious disconnect in society where the rich are protected, whether it be those responsible for the banking mortgage and financial fraud, News International and its problems or MPs robbing the country blind by submitting phoney expenses claims or Wandsworth Council evicting an innocent woman and her family.

The rot of society like a fish starts at the head, there is no respect for those at the top because clearly they don’t represent or respect the people anymore.

Society in Britain has seen a see change, Blair used the song ‘things can only get better’, but things are going to get much much worse.

And before the Murdoch Empire can move on, they have to bite the bullet and take the hit, answer all questions.

And for that they don’t need to be ‘coached’ by lawyers because the truth always remains the truth.

Who knows it could be their fresh start, their second chance.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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