Category Archives: Rupert Murdoch
I was munching my toast on Sunday morning wondering who this high profile resignation was to be from… tweeting away… having a little giggle at some of the funnier tweets… getting concerned about some other developments I was reading about… nothing unusual there then !! No announcement this morning ! Then around lunchtime the news broke that Rebekah Brooks had been arrested. It was pointed out fairly quickly that the arrest was by appoinment.. and of course all the usual questions were asked and opinions given!
The statement from Rebekah’s spokesperson soon arrived… who would that be ? A little bit of digging around soon revealed that the spokesperson was from Bell Pottinger… Aha ! A name I recognise well. Being interested in human rights and what’s happening in Bahrain, for example, I know that Bell Pottinger represent that government. Protesters are also aware of who is representing their govt… they have held up placards ‘You can’t spin the unspinnable’ ! Things got dangerous to the extent that Bell Pottinger had to close the office.. Lord Astor became involved according to Bell Pottinger but the UK Govt refuted that he’d praised the dialogue referred to http://is.gd/9DroZ0 Lord Astor is UK under-secretary at the MoD and he’s also Sam Cameron’s stepfather… So it might have been a bit embarrassing if, indeed, he had been involved… don’t you think ? http://is.gd/rzWEZW. If you’re wondering who Rachel Whetstone is – wife of Steve Hilton. Just click on her name! And here’s a bit more http://is.gd/sYJSYO from 2010.
Bell Pottinger was, of course the firm whose internship was auctioned by the Conservatives at their Black & White party. As well as in the daily news it also received criticism from within the PR industry http://is.gd/Ez2ZXE. Via auction, the internship was being offered to the highest bidder rather than on merit, giving opportunity only to the wealthy. And here’s a little bit of info about Lord Bell the man in charge http://is.gd/ppdcaL
Going back in history Tim Bell was brought in to help the troubled Lord Black to defuse the crisis at Hollinger which owned the Daily Telegraph http://is.gd/xsRaWx So he’s used to helping out media moguls… Black is now serving a jail sentence… http://is.gd/dWMBMj.
And of course there’s the whole saga surrounding Mrs. Duffy… who I’m sure you’ll remember. But Bell Pottinger ? Hmm… read on… you might find a few more names that you’re familiar with too http://is.gd/0Vs34Y
Oh and if you want to know how Bell Pottinger sell themselves http://www.bell-pottinger.co.uk/
Wonder what they can do for Rebekah? When she leaves the Police Station maybe Rebekah will take herself off to Champneys – she’ll be in good company as her husband Charlie Brooks introduced the kriotherapy chamber there… http://is.gd/2mZGpM. What’s that ? Well it’s something like a big ice cube.. I think… http://is.gd/ZRGhHK.
Oh but hang on hasn’t Champneys already been in the news today… http://is.gd/JdVmBr
As I write this blog, Sir Paul Stephenson has resigned from his post as Police Commissioner. How many more will bite the dust coming out of the murky world surrounding News International?
And if Rebekah doesn’t fancy Champneys ? She might just fly off somewhere for lunch ! http://is.gd/EXz1pp
All the information contained in this blog is publicly available.
The parents of murdered school girl Milly Dowler were given false hope she was alive after the News of the World hacked her phone and deleted voicemail messages, the family’s lawyer said today.’
Articles Today from the News of the World:
RUTHLESS lawyers will be banned from berating murder victims’ families in court in the wake of the Milly Dowler trial.
Tough new rules to be unveiled this week will protect their privacy and dignity – with judges forced to halt intimidating, humiliating or distressing questioning.
The safeguards come in a revamped courtroom code aimed at ending the nightmare ordeal faced by thousands of witnesses and innocent victims of crime.
It follows the shameful treatment of Bob and Sally Dowler by lawyers defending their 13-year-old daughter’s killer Levi Bellfield.
The distraught couple endured cruel questions about their sex life, Bob’s porn collection and letters which showed Milly was unhappy.
Such vicious cross-examinations will be halted under a charter of rights for witnesses drawn up by Victims’ Commissioner Louise Casey.
She wants to tilt the justice system back to give victims at least equal status with the rights of suspects.
She said yesterday: “I see lobby groups and campaign organisations in droves on the offender side. Yet victims struggle to get heard.”
Ms Casey will hand her 60-page report to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke on Wednesday.
Among its other proposals is one that courts should have flexible start and end times to make it easier for family members to give evidence. Another is that the bodies of murder victims should be returned to their families within a month.
The report is expected to be backed by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, who chairs the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee overseeing court practice.’
LOUISE CASEY writes for the News of the World
‘MANY of us felt such compassion for the brave family of Milly Dowler and anger at the way they were treated in court.
Sadly for me, although I was shocked and appalled, I wasn’t surprised.
When I started working for the rights of victims I thought I was unshockable. But what I have found over the last year has made my jaw drop.
Like most people I assumed that families who, like the Dowlers, have had their lives ripped apart by criminals, would get all the help they need. And that the criminal justice system would be on their side.
What I discovered is they are often not given the support, care or consideration they deserve. Many are still treated as if they are an “inconvenience”, and this can make their grief worse.
These families deserve not to have to sit next to an offender’s family in court listening to them laughing and joking. They deserve to be told that their rapist is going to be released before they bump into him in the supermarket.
They deserve to bury the body of their child without defence lawyers asking for autopsy after autopsy – in one case I know a 35-day-old baby only got to be buried by her family on what would have been her first birthday.
They deserve to not find out that the murderer of their husband is appealing by reading it in a newspaper. They deserve to be treated with humanity, dignity and most of all a bit of respect.
So when my report comes out about the treatment of families like these, I ask that you be shocked too. And then those in charge might sit up and listen.’
“All you citizen journalists/bloggers – call the NOW newsroom on 0207 782 1001 email email@example.com to find out their views”
Members of the National Union of Journalists are expected to abide by the following professional principles:
Extract from Rupert Murdoch’s letter to News Corp staff introducing the company’s ‘Standards of Business Conduct’.
Yesterday in the House of Commons, during Prime Minister’s Questions, Tom Watson used Parliamentary Privilege to reveal further allegations, adding to a growing mountain, in the increasingly widely publicised phone-hacking case.
A BBC recording of his question and David Cameron’s reply can be found here.
|Clegg, Cameron, Osborne listening to Tom Watson’s question at PMQs|
Press reports written following Tom Watson’s allegations yesterday are here:
“A spokesman for News International, the News of the World’s parent company, said: “It is well documented that Jonathan Rees and Southern Investigations worked for a whole variety of newspaper groups. “With regards to Tom Watson’s specific allegations, we believe these are wholly inaccurate. The Met Police, with whom we are co-operating fully in Operation Weeting, have not asked us for any information regarding Jonathan Rees.
“Tom Watson MP made these allegations under parliamentary privilege.”- Telegraph.
The Metropolitan Police spokesman said yesterday, as reported in the Guardian:
“[We] can confirm that since January 2011 the MPS [Metropolitan police service] has received a number of allegations regarding breach of privacy which fall outside the remit of Operation Weeting. These allegations are currently being considered.”
As these new allegations and slivers of information emerge, it becomes increasingly obvious that phone-hacking and the News of the World may be the tip of an enormous iceberg, involving many more journalists, criminals, newspapers and methods of intercepting information.
We are watching, perhaps, the denouement of a murky plot with far-reaching and dramatic consequences.
Will we eventually witness the disappearance of not only criminal methods of news gathering but of the equally harmful character assassinations in the name of the ‘public interest’ such as this, reported today?:
Sun apology and damages to Baby P social worker
A social worker targeted by The Sun in its Justice for Baby P campaign has received an apology and substantial damages.
Full story here.
Yet another apology wrung from the News Corp stable of titles, this time by the Press Complaints Commission.
Many, many more will, no doubt, be added in the future..!
Updated – 9th June 2011:
Tonight, writing in the Guardian, Tom Watson has made an impassioned plea for those Labour MPs, Shadow Ministers, who were also victims of the News of the World hackers to come forward and ‘speak out’.
“Yet it’s not just the Conservative prime minister who could do with a spine replacement. It’s the former Labour ministers who were allegedly hacked by News International’s private investigators who have made secret, out of court settlements with the company. I want to be clear to my parliamentary colleagues (in the Lords and Commons): if you were the target of a News International private investigator you have a democratic duty to speak out. You owe it to yourselves to put an end to a toxic media culture that allows journalists to think it acceptable to hack the phones of the families of murder victims.”
If these people were to publicly denounce the practices employed by the editors, journalists, hackers, newspaper proprietors etc, they would not only be helping those mentioned by Tom Watson in his article, – they would be helping to restore to health the democracy of this country.
They owe it to us, the ordinary people, who need honest, principled reporting and unmanipulated facts to enable us to make decisions as to who represent us in Parliament.
I add my plea to that of Tom Watson.
Following months and years of allegations, rumours, challenges, sniggers, sneers, procrastinations and denials we are now seeing that further questions merely bring about further questions ! This whole saga is becoming murkier and murkier… who would want to touch it ? But at what cost do we not touch it…. ?
This saga began with a few people concerned that their phones had been hacked realising that stories printed could only have been ascertained via their mobiles. Since those days the story has grown to such an extent that we are now questioning the actions and motives of all those involved from journalists, private investigators, newspaper editors, owners of big media organisations, The Met, latterly the Director of Public Prosecutions and even the PM has been brought into it ! The British Prime Minister !! Excuse me.. but whatever political party we may or may not belong to the Office of the Prime Minister has been brought into question. Private dinners, inviting Murdoch through the back door not the front door of No 10. What does that say ? And let’s not forget Coulson… he was there at the beginning of this tale – will he be there when we get to the end ? When the DPP & a Senior Officer of the Met start throwing accusations at each other, as alleged, then there are serious questions… we need the answers !
I believe this has become very serious. In fact I would go so far as to say there is an odour… an odour of corruption about this whole affair. I thought this a while ago but the latest headlines, where innocent, distressed, bereaved families have been targeted, just takes it to a different level. Before this, I feel there may have been a question mark amongst the public, ordinary people who go about their daily lives never questioning that they could be targeted, believing such happenings were the territory of the rich and famous. But how wrong can an assumption be… I feel people will now start to sit up and take notice. I hope so because there are far-reaching implications.
But what can we do about it? Write to every newspaper editor,write to the DPP, petition the PM, contact the police… ? But hang on – these are the people/organisations who are involved in this scandal ! Get my point ?
No, we support those who are trying to get to the bottom of this whole sordid, pernicious affair. We show our support for Tom Watson and Chris Bryant ! They are our representatives on this. And whilst pursuing, their lives might not be so easy… they deserve our support ! They, along with those who are taking legal action, rather than accepting pay-offs, are the one’s who will lead us to the truth… and importantly, by doing so, hopefully restore our faith in our long trusted institutions…
Finally, I cannot say how sick I feel that these parents may have been targeted…
There is today a renewed campaign to influence Government and the public against the move by Rupert Murdoch to gain overall control of BSkyB.
On Twitter (: An Avaaz.org e-petition currently with over 90 000 signatures ), in the House of Lords: (Lord Prescott speaks against the transfer of shares to Murdoch prior to conclusion of the phone-hacking cases ) and in the wider media world: (Evening Standard ), voices are raised against this proposal.
One new but strong voice is that of the NUJ which joins with the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom and plan a demonstration for the day of the announcement by Jeremy Hunt, Minister for Culture, Media and Sport and have called for supporters to join them The announcement is expected this week.
Pressure was being brought to bear on Jeremy Hunt to refer the proposed take-over to the Competition Commission for a final decision, but as reported here, behind the scenes negotiations to hive off Sky News, or place it under the auspices of an ‘independent’ Trust, have been taking place to negate the need for the Commission to make a judgement.
Should Rupert Murdoch not succeed in his aim for full ownership of BSkyB, it will not be because of lack of guile, nor support in high places…