Wednesday 8 February 2012

The Murdoch File: Police Mystery. Or not.

Yes, we've finally homed in on one of the great mysteries of our time: why is it that the police didn't investigate the phone-hacking, why didn't they warn people that their phones were being hacked?

Here's MP Chris Bryant on the matter:

'Mr Bryant said it was "still a complete mystery to me why the police failed properly to investigate the News of the World in 2006, why they failed to examine the material they had garnered from Mr Mulcaire, why they continued to tell parliament that they had contacted all the victims when they hadn't, why they refused to show me the material that related to me and why they refused to reopen the investigation even when there was clear evidence that the original investigation had only scratched the surface of the criminality at News International."'

Now, it's possible that when Chris Bryant is saying that it's 'complete mystery' to him, he means that it wasn't a complete mystery to him. In fact, he knows exactly why it all happened. The other possibility is that he's a middle of the road Labour guy who quite genuinely can't figure out that the police service's job in this case was to service the Murdoch press.

The fact is that it's not a mystery at all. It's the system. The only thing that makes this affair look different is that they got caught. Are we really supposed to believe that this sort of thing hasn't been going on for decades?

There was a corridor between the top of the Murdoch empire, the top of government and the top of the police force. They all scratched each other's backs, secured each other's positions, passed oodles of cash to each other, installed 'trusties' in each other's pockets and persecuted anyone who raised a word against any of this.

Quite how Cameron stays clean in this isn't clear as he helped set up the biggest inside job of all - appointing Andy 'I didn't know anything, really I didn't' Coulson to help him slash millions off people's standard of living.

There's a lot about all this that makes me sick but I have a special vom-bag for when I think about how the Murdoch press has specialised in creating public enemies, people they identify as being morally unacceptable. But who are the people who do the finger-pointing? What kinds of lives do they lead that entitles them to do the finger-pointing? Quite clearly, droves of them were illegal snoopers and police bribers.

I hate the idea that we live in a culture that allows secretive, almost anonymous, people to act as our morality police. And now it turns out that the whole apparatus was criminal and corrupt as well.

It's great that we're living for a few months with the whole thing exposed but it won't be long before the covers are put back on and another police-government-press complex will be re-established and someone like Cameron can give a speech about the uniquely wonderful thing about the British is our sense of fairplay, our free press, our independent judiciary and the best police force in the world.