Resignations! Apologies! Arrests! Just Another Weekend In The News International CrisisJuly 17, 2011
I thought this phone hacking scandal couldn’t give any more and would start to slow down, but I was wrong – very wrong. News came through on Friday that The Gingerbread™ also known as Rebekah Brooks had resigned. Who knows how the Murdoch coterie came to the decision they did, but she became just one more scalp, albeit a very important one as far as the general public and the sacked NOTW journalists were concerned, in the scandal that just will not die. Les Hinton, chief executive of Dow Jones and publisher of the Wall Street Journal, followed her by resigning a few hours later, but no one, bar the media gave a monkey’s about that one. Rupert Murdoch met the Dowler family later that day and apologised profusely. Je ne regrette rien no longer applied to Murdoch as, following his meeting with the Dowlers, he published a series of adverts in almost every national newspaper, apologising for, well, almost everything. He was in danger of having to wear a nappy; such was the ferocity of this expulsion.
Then on a wet Sunday afternoon we heard that The Gingerbread™ had been arrested! Something to do with a small matter of phone hacking and corruption, apparently. Don’t get too excited, though. She has only been arrested and is helping the police with their enquiries. Ah, the Metropolitan Police. It’s not squeaky clean in their corner, either. There have been allegations of accepting payments by NOTW hacks and withholding information from our politicians. But it was our Police Commissioner’s hiring of former NOTW executive Neil Wallis as a media adviser to the Met after being questioned about phone hacking that was as popular as a bucket of cold sick. Then revelations that he stayed at a luxury health spa for recuperation after an operation, which once employed Mr Wallis as a consultant, meant that there was only one way it could go. The resignation of Sir Paul Stephenson became the third of the weekend.
All of this will not distract from the date with destiny that The Gingerbread™ and the Murdochs have with the select committee on Tuesday, to be televised live on The BBC Parliament channel (on Freeview 81, Freesat 201 and Virgin 612 if you’re interested). This is a channel, which usually features politicians blathering on, with some of them snoozing in the back after one brandy too many. I think they’ll be paying a bit more attention in this session. There won’t be confessions as such, particularly from The Gingerbread™, after her questioning by the police, but it could still be gripping.
Get the popcorn out, ladies and gentlemen. This is going to be a belter.