Three Way Gunfight in the Last Chance Saloon

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Why does the newspaper that has consistently backed the winning prime minister for the last 36 years sound so panicked?

Last weekend Britain’s best selling paper, the Sun, finally told the truth about the British general election.  Urging its favoured candidate for prime minister to steel himself against adverse polls and a torrid week of coverage, the Sun Says column retweeted by the tabloid’s political editor Tom Newton Dunn, told David Cameron to ignore “left wing social media.”

 

Sun editorials regularly rail against ‘Twitter mobs’ while its new SunNation blog, taken out of the company paywall, seems to have failed to pick up any online momentum, and gets a sad handful of retweets, mainly from fellow employees of News UK

But why does the newspaper which has consistently backed the winning prime minister for the last 36 years sound so panicked? Is it the threat of a tougher complaints system under a threatened Miliband government? Or something deeper in the system of the modern media?

Read more at my crowdfunded regular column: What are They Lying about Now? 

The Political Aspect of Phone Hacking

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Given the current febrile atmosphere of the election campaign here in the UK, this is worth revisiting. A comprehensive report by the Media Standards trust shows how politically targeted phone hacking at News of the World was – mainly under the editorship of Andy Coulson (the only surviving phone records to confirm hacking date from a year or so of his editorship

 A striking number of targets were people in positions important to national security. Four consecutive Home Secretaries from 1997 to 2007 are reported to have been hacked, as well as many senior officers from the Metropolitan police (including Sir Ian Blair, John Yates, Mike Fuller, Andy Hayman, Brian Paddick and Ali Dizaei).

And it turns out that the News of the World was seven times more likely to hack a Labour politician than a Conservative one.

But what emerges most clearly is that the great majority of those who were hacked were people most of us had never heard of. Many were connected to public figures, but often simply by being related to them, or working with them, or being their friends. You might be hacked because you were, for example, the partner or ex-partner of a public figure, or a work colleague or a friend or acquaintance or a parent or step-parent.

via Who was hacked? A New Report Investigates | Policy Wonkers. Continue reading

UPDATED@ Alastair Morgan to @RupertMurdoch “You are in a unique position to help us finally lay Daniel to rest.”

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With considerable speed and grace, on Monday 16 March, Rupert Murdoch replied to Alastair’s letter, promising to co-operate with the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel inquiry, and explaining how News Corp’s Management and Standards Committee have already complied with requests from the police and the IPCC.

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Questions about the role of News of the World and surveillance of chief investigating officer and his family were part of James Murdoch’s formal written submission to the Leveson Inquiry

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My original blog on the letter is below. 

Continue reading

An Appeal for Information on the Daniel Morgan murder and 28 year coverup

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Tomorrow marks the 28th Anniversary of the murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan, and his family’s amazing decades-long campaign for justice. The police corruption around the most investigated murder in British criminal history has been described by an assistant Metropolitan police commissioner as one the biggest stains on Scotland Yard’s history. But Daniel’s murder also leads straight back to the doors of the British press and its relationship with private investigators.  It is “the cradle where the dark arts were born” as a senior police officer once described it to me.

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Whatever happened to Operation Tuleta into computer hacking at News International?

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Rupert Murdoch - World Economic Forum Annual M...

Rupert Murdoch – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the exception of a small element in the Nick Parker trial about accessing a stolen politicians iPhone, the third strand of the Met Inquiries into News International, seems to have virtually disappeared. While Operation Weeting dealt with phone hacking, Operation Elveden payments to public officials, Operation Tuleta was set up in 2011 to look at claims of computer hacking.

Finally there is some news of a settlement by News UK of the claim by Jane Winter at the British Irish Rights Watch has been reported by Roy Greenslade. He follows up a blog by Paul Larkin who argues cogently, that politically motivated hacking during such a fraught period in Irish British history, deserves a wider public inquiry Continue reading

Why the Mirror Group find it Hard to Investigate the Dark Arts and the Daniel Morgan Murder

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It’s not widely realised that the first big investigation into corrupt private investigators, police officers and the press, was Operation Nigeria (which morphed into Operation Two Bridges) in 1999, seven years before the first phone hacking inquiry. That investigation specifically looked at two senior named News of the World Journalists.

But as Paddy French, who has indefatigably stood up details from this era in his Press Gang site reports today, it  wasn’t just the News of the World which was compromised by the ‘No 1 Corrupt Detectives Agency’. The Mirror Group were involved as well. This partly explains why – as Alastair Morgan was told by a Mirror journalist very recently – the story of his brother’s murder is ‘too political’ for the Mirror Group to cover.

Below are three extracts from Paddy French’s important second chapter on the murder. Please visit his site and real the whole in in full at  ROGUE JOURNALISTS & BENT COPPERS | PRESS GANG. Continue reading

Beyond Contempt Reprint: with new Martin Rowson Cover

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Some news from my Publisher, Martin Hickman at Canbury Press; Peter’s book. We did it!.

Some splendid news about Peter Jukes‘ gripping account of the phone hacking trial: we’ve taken delivery of a reprint.

When we published Beyond Contempt in the autumn, it was frankly a little risky – legally and commercially. Thankfully, hundreds of you who followed Peter’s tweets responded positively. Waterstones has been great too.

So, what’s new in the new edition? Well, we’ve torn through the book and had the text professionally typeset, redesigned the pages, and hunted down a few more typos and blitherings.

A little mischievously, we’ve also commissioned an illustration by Martin Rowson of Rebekah Brooks as Justice. It’s on the cover (right).

Get you copy from www.hackingtrial.com