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« Climate cuttings 57 | Main | Mashive attack »
Saturday
Aug062011

More on phone hackers

It's always interesting when someone you have met is in the news, particularly if it is in relation to a major scandal. We have discussed the links between UEA's media management team and the phone hackers, but another odd connection between Climategate and illegal accessing of voicemails has recently emerged.

In the early days of the Climategate story, I was visited by David Leigh, the investigations editor of the Guardian. I discussed the resulting article here. At the time I thought it odd that such a senior journalist would be visiting me, particularly since the Guardian's coverage of Climategate had been the exclusive preserve of the usual suspects from its environment team. However, Leigh had told me that he had a holiday cottage in Scotland and had been assigned to visit me because he was going to be in the area anyway.

Leigh's name has come to prominence in recent days, with the UK's premier political blogger, Guido Fawkes, accusing the Guardian man of being involved in phone hacking. The evidence seems pretty incontrovertible, and Leigh appears to be highly unamused to have it broadcast to all and sundry. All good clean family fun.

In answer to the obvious questions, I doubt my own phone was hacked, simply because I didn't actually have a mobile at the time - I got my first one last summer.  Mrs Hill does wonder, however, if somebody from the Guardian could show me how to access voicemails on it.

 

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    Response: Look At This
    - Bishop Hill blog - More on phone hackers

Reader Comments (48)

Duff first link Bish.
http://order-order.com/2011/08/05/david-leigh-the-guardians-hacker-in-chief-lied-to-guido/

Aug 6, 2011 at 8:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

Thanks Adam, fixed now.

Aug 6, 2011 at 8:44 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

This is from today's Financial Times.


Guardian to bare all over hacking claim

By Ben Fenton, Chief Media Correspondent

The Guardian said it would give the judicial inquiry into press methods “all information necessary” about an article its chief investigative reporter wrote in 2006 admitting that he had hacked into a mobile phone.

The newspaper has led the investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World, but until now had not been implicated in any illegal journalistic methods.

David Leigh, then investigations editor of The Guardian, wrote in 2006, just as two staff on the Sunday tabloid had been convicted of phone hacking, that he had listened to the voicemail of “a corrupt arms company executive” who had left his personal identification number on a printout.

He said he was not, like the News of the World men, seeking “witless tittle-tattle” but investigating a story of bribery and corruption.

Mr Leigh did not say when he did this. Intercepting voicemail messages has been, since October 2000 and the introduction of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, a strict-liability offence. In other words there is no public interest defence.

In a statement, The Guardian said the story, which was repeated in several papers on both sides of the Atlantic, was not new, that Mr Leigh had been open about it and that all details would be provided at the proper time to the Leveson panel investigating the behaviour of the press.

...

Aug 6, 2011 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterSuramantine

First link still duff.

I think calling Guido the UKs premier political blogger is a little strong, but I hope he gets Huhne and Morgan fired.

Aug 6, 2011 at 9:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris

After setting the stage like that, I wonder if Leigh will be throwing a custard pie in his own face during the enquiry!

Aug 6, 2011 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

This is interesting Bish. David Leigh also visited me in February 2010 and subsequently published a front page article on me and the climategate issue suggesting by bare innuendo that I might be the person who leaked the emails (wrong). He also told me he had a cottage in Scotland and had just visited it. I think he may have mentioned that he visited you afterwards as well.

I didn't take to Leigh, though I did buy him coffee and lunch and showed him round my lab! I was furious after the Guardian article because he misrepresented my views and misinterpreted the results of one of my papers but also because of the phalanx of journalists making their way from London to appear on my doorstep in deepest rural Norfolk. My only pleasure was asking where they had come from then telling them to bugger off back home.

I made a rather vituperative comment at the Independent web site which was picked up by the ever excellent Philip Stott in one of his blogs.

Aug 6, 2011 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Dennis

Guido had the lawyers on his back or is it denial of service? "Guido Guardian's chief hacker emails to tell me I'll be sorry" and the link brings up

Error 404 - Not Found

The page you are looking for cannot be found

Aug 6, 2011 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

http://order-order.com/2011/08/05/david-leigh-the-guardians-hacker-in-chief-lied-to-guido/

a space before “lied” was the problem

Aug 6, 2011 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterDeadman

Paul Dennis, have you ever been accused of being a national treasure?

Just Asking.

Aug 6, 2011 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterDead Dog Bounce

From Suramantine's post about Leigh;

"...He said he was not, like the News of the World men, seeking “witless tittle-tattle” but investigating a story of bribery and corruption...."


'Well m'lud, I admit to robbing the bank but it wasn't for personal gain. I was just teaching those evil bankers a lesson'

I wonder how that would stand up in court as a defence?

Aug 6, 2011 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterDougS

OT - Has anyone noticed the lack of e-petitions for Mr Huhne ?

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/departments/7

and nobody has raised the BBC lack of balance on climate either.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/departments/5

Aug 6, 2011 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris

Does my mobile automatically have voicemail? How do I find out? Do I have to interrupt the mouse in its wheel?

Aug 6, 2011 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

I am a prophet. Apparently. Because I told everyone who might listen that 'phone hacking' would not prove to be the preserve of the News of the World, NotW might have defined what was meant by 'Gutter Press' but they were not exclusive. Pun intended.

The Gutter Press hacking vulnerable innocents' phones disgusted us, but could be expected. The Metropolitan police, on the other hand, without whom this would never have happened, took bribes to make it possible. I expected the worst from the News of the World. Is it just me, or shouldn't the story be that we expected better of the police force?

Aug 6, 2011 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

Why the plural "links between UEA's media management team and the phone hackers"? I know about Neil Wallis, is there anybody else linking the UEA with Hackgate?

Aug 6, 2011 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

Remember the big money in carbon trading, the banks and the hedge funds, also the reinsurance industry eager to demonstrate higher future risk.

Aug 6, 2011 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered Commenteralistair

dearieme

get someone to call your mobile but do not answer it.....the caller should be able to tell you if it goes to voicemail.

Aug 6, 2011 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Paul Dennis


I recall that shabby accusation and saw Stott's piece defending you at that time. It now seems obvious what the Guardian's reason for these visits were, and it wasnt cordiality.

Aug 6, 2011 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Stott does not seem to run an active blog anymore, but he pops up with some fine essays from time to time, like this:

http://www.thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/1305-global-warming-the-death-of-a-grand-narrative.html

Aug 6, 2011 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

I dont think the bear should hv been shot at all ..

Aug 6, 2011 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterursulatb

Is the Twitter link down? I can't access it.

Aug 6, 2011 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

twit a bit to yourself for now then

Aug 6, 2011 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterursulatb

BH, the link in "I discussed the resulting article here." is incorrect; it sends one to Guido. Presumably you intended this.

And Steve, I had no problem with the Twitter link.

Aug 6, 2011 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

Bish, did he ask you if you owned a mobile phone at the time or take any other interest in your IT?

[BH adds: it's a long time ago, but I think we did discuss my mobile phone (or lack of one), yes].

Aug 6, 2011 at 3:45 PM | Unregistered Commentermpaul

This is an amazing situation, well it is to me.

I have just read Steve McIntyre' take on the issue:-

"The Guardian Is “Bemused”"

http://climateaudit.org/2011/08/06/the-guardian-is-bemused/#more-14387

It is mind blowing

Aug 6, 2011 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

Bish, did he ask to use your loo ;)

Aug 6, 2011 at 5:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

@Hengist

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/7/14/news-of-the-world-and-uea.html

Alan Edwards seems to have been another one.

Aug 6, 2011 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

So, was Jeff Id's phone hacked?

Aug 6, 2011 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

So, was Jeff Id's phone hacked?

No, the possibility is that the Police released his contact details to the Guardian despite his contact details being cover by the data protection act. Note a possibility as there are 2 other potential routes, Wordpress who hosted his blog and his ISP (using the IP address from his email header).

Aug 6, 2011 at 7:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

BOFA,
I agree.

But, after coming to know who Jeff Id was, did anyone at the Guardian hack his phone, as a sceptic - 'for the sheer voyueristic thrill'?

Aug 6, 2011 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Leigh is rather more than just a hack.

He has a long history of political skullduggery against those whom the Grauniad decide are "enemies of right (left?) thinking people".

Those old enough to remember will recall that he was a prime actor in the libel case which resulted in the disgrace and bankruptcy of Tory MP Neil Hamilton - as a result of evidence provided by one Mr Al-Fayed.

I have no idea whether or nor Hamilton took money for asking parliamentary questions - but it is interesting that several books and websites since have made detailed allegations of criminal conspiracy against the Guardian personnel involved and their legal team, without any hint of libel proceedings by them.

If anyone is interested, the background is here:-


David Leigh is The Guardian's comment editor and the brother-in-law of The Guardian's editor, Alan Rusbridger. Leigh was also the engine of The Guardian's invented 'cash for questions' campaign, and firmly at the heart of the inner circle of Left-wing zealots along with Andrew Roth, Mark Hollingsworth; and former Labour MP Dale Campbell-Savours.
David Leigh's mendacious, disingenuous style of reporting, of which the 'cash for questions' affair makes an excellent case study, and the multitude of conspiracies he has enacted over the years in league with Dale Campbell-Savours and others - including the outrageous smearing of The Observer's editor and journalists to facilitate the paper's acquisition by The Guardian* - has shown him to be little other than a conscienceless amoral political warrior. His continued employment in the senior post of comment editor confirms that The Guardian's transformation, from a standard bearer of liberal ideals into an unaccountable subversive juggernaut, is complete.

http://www.guardianlies.com/Section%203/index.html

http://www.guardianlies.com/Section%203/page4.html

http://www.guardianlies.com/Section%203/page11.html

I hope you used a long coffee spoon Bish.

Aug 6, 2011 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

O/T but the Beeb is repeating the fracking black propaganda

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-14431512

"The process has caused controversy in the US where some householders claim that shale gas leaking into their drinking supply causes tap water to ignite."

Aug 6, 2011 at 7:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

The same year he headed the Guardian team, which investigated the Wikileaks releases, and which worked closely with Julian Assange. This relationship soured however. This caused David Leigh to tweet: "The #guardian published too many leaks for #Assange 's liking, it seems. So now he's signed up 'exclusively' with #Murdoch's Times. Gosh.

From Wikipedia

Aug 6, 2011 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

From the Press Gazette, 2007:
http://www.bjr.org.uk/data/2008/no1_leigh

David Leigh: "...once-respectable newspapers are now using more-or-less illegal, tabloid-style “dark arts” to get hold of material. Those arts range from the hiring of scuzzy private detectives to the use of elaborate snares and “honey traps”. It all makes the traditional complaints about chequebook journalism look trivial and, indeed, naive. What is going on here, if accurately described, is dismayingly reminiscent of the behaviour of the secret police in some grubby Soviet outpost."

From the Press Gazette, 2009:
http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=42885

'"Leigh criticised the investigative reporting carried out by the Daily Mail and the News of the World - the Sunday tabloid that last year paid £60,000 in privacy damages to motorsport boss Max Mosley over its front-page story on his "orgy" with five women.

“It’s not journalism in the public interest, it’s journalism in a commercial interest pretending to have a moral agenda," Leigh added.

"The stuff I do only gets to be allowed to published by lawyers if we can demonstrate that it’s in the public interest."'

And from the Guardian, 2008 (I recommend reading the whole article, it's interesting):
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/apr/04/impugningwithimpunity

David Leigh: " I have been a reasonably successful investigative journalist for 30 years and I have never done anything, to my knowledge, that would have caused me to fall foul of the data law. I'm quite willing to take my chances before a jury when explaining that what I do is in the public interest."

Aug 6, 2011 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

@Messenger Aug 6, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Alan Edwards seems to have been another one

I'm not so sure about Edwards' "direct" involvement, but as I had noted on CA, OO operator, Sam Bowen's LinkedIn profile (at least at that point in time!) included the following:

Sam Bowen’s Experience
Strategy Director The Outside Organisation
Public Relations and Communications industry

May 2009 – Present (2 years 3 months)

Senior consultant working with major media, entertainment and corporate brands:

- Channel 5 corporate PR [pre- and post Richard Desmond's purchase of the channel]
- Northern & Shell corporate PR [Express newspapers & magazine portfolio]
- University of East Anglia [crisis management during 'ClimateGate' [2009/2010]
- Halebury Law [media, IP and employment 'virtual' law firm]
- Rock of Ages [Tony award winning Broadway show coming to London in 2011] [emphasis added -hro]

As an aside, considering these latest revelations, perhaps my questions [Jul 16, 2011 at 7:17 AM] may not have been quite so off the wall, after all!

Aug 6, 2011 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

"Mrs Hill does wonder..."

Well, I wonder, too. I took you for a Catholic Bishop. ;-)

Aug 6, 2011 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Oops, my first quote was from the British Journalism Review, not the Press Gazette.

For good measure, here's an article by David Leigh about the joys of FOI:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/jan/06/freestuff.guardianspecial411

Aug 6, 2011 at 10:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

For what it's worth...

I hope the climate skeptic blogosphere will continue investigating the web of deception involving Neil Wallis, UEA, David Leigh and, perhaps, even the Norfolk Constabulary.

I would however strongly caution against turning this into another Left vs Right political point-scoring. The phone-hacking issue is much bigger than that. The primary 'public interest' motivation was to remove the stranglehold that a single man and his empire had over the political life in the UK and elsewhere.

The Guardian took a lot of risks and copped a lot of flak pursuing this matter. That even their own journalists might be involved in phone hacking must have been known to them. The Guardian may yet come to pay the price for its share of illegal and immoral journalistic practices.

But, of all the media outlets in the UK and the US, only the Guardian was prepared to suffer the consequences, even if that meant losing an arm and a leg, so long as they could chew the head of the leviathan that was the Murdoch media.

The Guardian is the hotbed of CAGW cultism, that is true. But their bitter and lonely fight against the giants ought to provide some lessons and inspiration to those who are doing the same in their own fields.

Aug 6, 2011 at 11:58 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Steve's Climate Audit post is now headlining at GWPF.

Aug 7, 2011 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

sHx - the Guardian also provided relatively fair coverage of Climategate. Fred Pearce ran a series of articles that did not accept official flannel and were critical of CRU. The Guardian symposium in July 2010 was also very fair and the editors were very cordial to me.

I suspect that, as in many walks of life, it all depends. David Adam formerly of the Guardian was very biased. He now writes at Nature, which offers a comfortable home for his sort of bias.

Aug 7, 2011 at 12:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Steve, thank you for a fair and gentlemanly response. Your leadership on this is much appreciated.

Aug 7, 2011 at 1:11 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx

@Steve McIntyre Aug 7, 2011 at 12:16 AM

I suspect that, as in many walks of life, it all depends. David Adam formerly of the Guardian was very biased. He now writes at Nature, which offers a comfortable home for his sort of bias.

It's interesting that David Adam was wearing his Nature hat when he "revealed" (Nov 15/10):

Although the police and the university say only that the investigation is continuing, Nature understands that evidence has emerged effectively ruling out a leak from inside the CRU.

Yet a few weeks later (Dec. 24/10) Bish reported on a communication from the Keystone Cops Norfolk Police:

Following the publication of e-mails and other data prior to the COP15 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009, the Norfolk Constabulary investigation into the data breach at the University of East Anglia continues.

With the many different lines of enquiry that officers identified, the workload has varied with specialist investigators/law enforcement partners used when needed.

Commenting on the investigation, Senior Investigating Officer (SIO), Detective Superintendent Julian Gregory said:

“This has been a complex investigation, undertaken in a global context and requiring detailed and time consuming lines of enquiry. Due to the sensitivity of the investigation it has not been possible to share details of enquiries with the media and the public and it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this time.”

Note to Editors:
It is acknowledged that interest in this case continues, given that the enquiry has now been running for approximately a year and that there is a desire for us to publish further detail. However, the circumstances of the case do not lend themselves to public comment at this time due to the sensitivities of the investigation and this is unlikely to change in the near future.” [emphasis added -hro]

Apart from the rather curious choice of wording with which the above "framed" the timing of the "data breach" ... if their "it has not been possible to share details with the media" was a truthful statement, one might wonder whether it was Adams' "bias" that led him to comment on the alleged "evidence that [had] emerged" or whether he had access to "inside" information.

Or perhaps - considering what we know now, that we did not know then - inside access to "Outside Organiz[ers]" implementing one of their known "strategies", i.e. (in their very own words) "We started leaking out rumours to the press [...]"

Aug 7, 2011 at 2:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

If this bloke is the brother-in-law of the Guardian's editor Alan Rusbridger then that newspaper turns out to be more and more like family business: Rusbridger's daughter is a fierce moderator on CIF.

Aug 7, 2011 at 3:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterAntonyIndia

If this bloke is the brother-in-law of the Guardian's editor Alan Rusbridger then that newspaper turns out to be more and more like family business: Rusbridger's daughter is a fierce moderator on CIF.
Aug 7, 2011 at 3:22 AM | AntonyIndia

Yes Isabella's mum Lindsay Mackie (Rusbridger's wife) is a Grauniad journo as well.

You have to remember, fighting the establishment is often a family business - think of the Benns, the Marrs, the Foots etc.

The funniest and most revealing thing I ever read about Rusbridger was his unwise interview by Piers Morgan (because Morgan was a lefty he thought he'd be safe):-

...........PM: What's your current salary?

AR: It's, er, about £350,000.

PM: What bonus did you receive last year?

AR: About £170,000, which was a way of addressing my pension.

PM: That means that you earned £520,000 last year alone. That's more than the editor of The Sun by a long way.

AR: I'll talk to you off the record about this, but not on the record.

PM: Why? In The Guardian, you never stop banging on about fat cats. Do you think that your readers would be pleased to hear that you earned £520,000 last year? Are you worth it?

AR: That's for others to say.

PM: Wouldn't it be more Guardian-like, more socialist, to take a bit less and spread the pot around a bit? We have this quaint idea that you guys are into that "all men are equal" nonsense, but you're not really, are you? You seem a lot more "equal" than others on your paper.

AR: Er... [silence].

PM: Do you ever get awkward moments when your bonus gets published? Do you wince and think, "Oh dear, Polly Toynbee's not going to like this one."

AR: Er... [silence].

PM: Or is Polly raking in so much herself that she wouldn't mind?

AR: Er... [silence].

PM: Are you embarrassed by it?

AR: No. I didn't ask for the money. And I do declare it, too.

PM: But if you earned £520,000 last year, then that must make you a multimillionaire.

AR: You say I'm a millionaire?

PM: You must be - unless you're giving it all away to charity...

AR: Er...

PM: What's your house worth?

AR: I don't want to talk about these aspects of my life.

PM: You think it's all private?

AR: I do really, yes.

PM: Did you think that about Peter Mandelson's house? I mean, you broke that story.

AR: I, er... it was a story about an elected politician.

PM: And you're not as accountable. You just reserve the right to expose his private life.

AR: We all make distinctions about this kind of thing. The line between private and public is a fine one, and you've taken up most of the interview with it.

PM: Well, only because you seem so embarrassed and confused about it.

AR: I'm not embarrassed about it. But nor do I feel I have to talk about it.

PM: Do you like money?

AR: I remember JK Galbraith saying to me once: "I've been rich and I've been poor, and rich is better." You can have an easier life if you have money.

PM: I heard you bought a grand piano for £50,000.

AR: £30,000 - the most extravagant thing I've ever bought.

PM: Are you any good at it?

AR: I can play quite well, I suppose. I rarely inflict it on anyone else, though.

PM: Is it true you play naked?

AR: No. I usually play fully clothed in the mornings.

PM: What about your cars? Are you still driving that ridiculous G-Wiz thing around?

AR: Yes, and I love it.

PM: But I also read that you use taxis to ferry your stuff to and from work, which sort of negates the green effort, doesn't it?

AR: That story was a bit confused. I used to cycle to work sometimes, and if I was too tired at the end of the day then I would fold up the bike and get a cab home, yes. But about a year ago I was nearly killed in a nasty accident on my bike so I gave up cycling and bought the G-Wiz.

PM: Any other cars?

AR: A company Volvo estate.

PM: A big gas-guzzler.

AR: Yes.

PM: Bit of a culture clash with your G-Wiz, then?

AR: Let me think about that. The problem is that I also have a big dog, and it doesn't fit into the G-Wiz.

PM: I'm sure the environment will understand. Any others?

AR: My wife has a Corsa.

PM: Quite an expansive...

AR: Fleet...

PM: Yes, fleet.

AR: But I've got children as well.

PM: They're privately educated?

AR: Er... [pause].

PM: Is that a valid question?

AR: I don't... think so... no.

PM: And you went to Cranleigh, a top public school.

AR: I did, yes.

PM: Do you feel uncomfortable answering that question?

AR: It falls into the category of something I don't feel embarrassed about, but you get on to a slippery slope about what else you talk about, don't you?

PM: It's not really about your private life though, is it? It's just a fact. And I assume by your reluctance to answer the question that they are privately educated.

AR: [Pause] Again, I am trying to make a distinction between...

PM: You often run stories about Labour politicians sending their kids to private schools, and you are quite censorious about it. Are you worried that it makes you look a hypocrite again?

AR: No. I think there are boundaries. It goes back to this question of whether editors are public figures or not.

PM: And you don't think they are?

AR: Well, again, I've tried to draw a distinction between making my journalism accountable, but I have never tried to go around talking about my private life and therefore making myself into a public figure..........


Source:-

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/what-happened-when-the-guardian-editor-met-piers-morgan-442870.html

Aug 7, 2011 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate, with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

Prophet Gixxerboy

Bribery (and lies)

For something like forty years I have not read newspapers for reasons that include those recently the subject of public attention. You may, therefore, be better informed than I. ( I listen to the BBC, these days with increasing exasperation and skepticism.)

I did, however, watch, from end to end, the two recent parliamentary committees’ hearings relating to this phone hacking business (on the BBC, of course).

I totally believed the police explanation of the sequence of events that lead to them to slip up and let the hacking continue. In my experience of bureaucracies, which the police evidently are, the reasons the individual police officers gave rang true and totally explain the mistakes. The errors that were made were the sort that limits the effectiveness of all bureaucratic organisations and makes them prone to disasters. In my working life I witnessed many such happenings and no doubt contributed to some. The reasons given by individual policemen were ‘suffiicent’. There is simply no need to invoke bribery to explain what happened.

However, like I said, I limit my sources of information and you may know facts that I do not.

While the reasons may have been ‘sufficient’, they may not have been ‘complete’, and a bribe or two could easily be concealed in the gap between the two.

While pontificating, let me add a few thoughts about the other enquiry.

I also believed every word of what the Dirty Digger and his long winded son said. But in this case, I thought the explanation barely complete. The tittle-tattle around me outside this blog is certain lies were told. However, I think the DD and his son are far too clever for that: they know that untruths can, and almost certainly will, be discovered and made public, whereas the missing parts of an incomplete explanation attract little attention and, merely being sins of omission, attract no disapprobation or, usually, penalty.

That the DD was allowed to get away with what he did is really an indictment of Parliamentary Committees. They simply did not ask the right follow up questions:

(1) You (the DD) say you did not know that your journalists were hacking phones. Why? Some years back, a journalist on another paper published a book in which he confessed to hacking. Why did you not have one of your people look into the possibility that it might be happening in your papers? Were you not aware of the book? Someone in your organization would have been. Would the pressure to maintain profit that you no doubt apply to your staff have motivated them to ignore the confession and to withhold news of it from you? What gave you reason to suppose that your journalists are any different from those on rival papers?

(2) OK, you say you are now going to clean up your papers and stop phone hacking. How are you going to do that? Seeing as how you trade in a competitive market, do you not fear that limiting the activities of your journalists in this way will put your papers at a disadvantage and eat in to your profits? What practical steps will you take if other papers continue to hack phones?

After reading the HSI on the US hearings, I add that Brit politicians seem no more incompetent than others. The system needs improvement.

Enough!

Aug 7, 2011 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

@sHx

The Guardian provided "leadership" in exposing the hacking affair the week that News Corp's bid for BSkyB came up for approval. The Guardian was protecting the BBC's controlling position over news in the UK.

Aug 7, 2011 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterDead Dog Bounce

Indeed, DDB, it is well known that the BBC is the broadcasting arm of the Guardian. Also with all the talk amongst the Guardianistas about the terrible Murdoch Empire's impact on plurality in the UK, no-one sees fit to mention that the BBC (aka Guardian Broadcasting) provides over 70% of the nations broadcast news.

Aug 7, 2011 at 12:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

Who guards the Guardian?

The Guardian has
slammed Murdoch for his papers’
illegal hacking

though upright practice
by that newspaper, it seems,
was sadly lacking.

You should be here now,
Junius Juvenalis,
to ridicule these

moral guardians
who smugly disregard their
own hypocrisies.

Aug 7, 2011 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDeadman

sHx: "The primary 'public interest' motivation was to remove the stranglehold that a single man and his empire had over the political life in the UK and elsewhere."

But I thought Mark Thompson was still in post. Did I miss something?

Aug 8, 2011 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coles

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