16.9 C
Byron Shire
March 4, 2021

Mulcaire arrested again as News inquiry ploughs on

Latest News

Byron Wildlife Hospital’s DA up for public comment

A development application for the mobile Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital is now before the public.

Other News

‘Groundhog Day’ shifts Splendour to November

Splendour in the Grass 2021 organisers say that Groundhog Day jokes aside, the festival will be rescheduled for a late spring edition, from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 November.

Praying for Vanuatu in Ballina

The World Day of Prayer is a gigantic ecumenical event staged on the first Friday of March.

Truth

Dr Matt Landos, East Ballina There is the real news and then there is the fake news. The radio news announced...

Heritage Bruns?

David Kolb, Brunswick Head When Mathew O’Reilly spoke to Council regarding heritage listing for parts of Brunswick Heads he was quoted...

Transparency needed

Janelle Saffin MP, State Member for Lismore. I read with interest Mia Armitage’s front page article in last week’s Echo...

Lifting the lid on plans to build a retirement village in Ewingsdale

The letter sent to the residents of Ewingsdale last year by holiday park owner Ingenia seemed fairly innocuous at first glance...

Guy Rundle has a ringside seat at the mud-slinging match that the inquiry into the News phone-hacking scandal has become. He filed this intriguing report for Crikey.

December 7 – a day of infamy for an empire, its forces tethered and defenceless, the enemy coming out of the sun, laying waste. Yes, all in all a tough day for News International.

[Last] week will be remembered as the one where it all fell apart for what everyone and their mother now calls a criminal conspiracy.

With the Leveson inquiry ploughing on, came news from elsewhere – that private detective Glenn Mulcaire has been arrested again, following [the previous] week’s explosive evidence from long-serving scumbag Paul McMullan.

Mulcaire has already done time for the phone-hacking scandal – he was the ‘detective’ who performed the hacking for News of the World royal reporter Clive Goodman, and went to jail for a few months in 2007. McMullan’s evidence explicitly tied Mulcaire to the wider process of hacking at the paper, suggesting that he may face not merely hacking-based charges, but also for perverting the course of justice and worse.

Mulcaire’s arrest will in turn prompt fresh revelations. He has nothing to lose now – he, and others, are facing rather more serious prison sentences than the first time around.

Given that he has accumulated 11,000 pages of notes during his hacking years, it seems more than likely that his final act will open up a fresh round of investigations.

Crucially, the Leveson inquiry has made it clear that Mulcaire was only the technical facilitator of much of the hacking, much of the content part done by News reporters, under the explicit direction of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson.

The latter two are now well in it, and the monolith of News Corp management has cracked down the middle. James Murdoch has now cut Brooks loose, writing to the inquiry to claim that Brooks did not seek authorisation to settle with star-manager Max Clifford – a settlement, including costs, of close to 700,000.

The Brooks-James Murdoch link, or lack thereof, matters because acknowledgement of early knowledge of hacking Clifford’s phone is acknowledgement of the source of dozens of stories about his roster of A-list clients.

Clifford represented not only standard celebs, but tragedy-afflicted civilians eager to fight off the tabloid media, or f-ck it, or both. He was the mother lode for NotW, and the settlement with him a clear indication of a generalised hacking.

Cutting Brooks loose is the nuclear option. It was used on Coulson too – and he has now responded by launching a legal suit against News Corp, claiming there was an agreement in place that News would pay Coulson’s legal costs.

Even the good news is bad news for News. Now, ex-deputy editor of NotW Neville Thurlbeck has written to the Commons committee (media, privacy gambling, the Orkneys and badgers, or something) to claim that there was active withholding of evidence from the police. Thurlbeck was the intended recipient of the ‘for Neville’ email, which covered the transfer of transcripts in the NotW office, thus indicating that the practice was standard.

He claims that his superiors, Colin Myler, and News UK newspapers’ legal supremo Tom Crone withheld evidence from both the committee and News Corp’s top executives.

Thurlbeck’s claims are good for the Murdochs – Myler and Crone claim he was shown the email – but they ultimately put both of the latter in a corner they will have to fight their way out of. And what ammunition do they have?

No doubt there is no chance that Thurlbeck is angling for a bit of protection – he claims that there is ‘no chance’ that Murdoch, pere or fils, would not have created an internal inquiry had they known of the shocking extent of hacking.

Well, maybe. It is quite possible that the Murdochs did not know that this practice – a legitimate journalistic tactic of last resort, and when directed at the powerful – had become the standard process of ‘news’ gathering for the storyettes that NotW appended to its pics. But it beggars belief that close to 2 million in payouts were authorised to super-agents and the head of the Footballers Association/union without anyone high up asking to see the smoking pistol.

What’s next? Paul McMullan claims that he had kicked the whole inquiry back into touch by mounting his own surveillance operation on Brooks, the Murdochs, etc, and the whole Cotswalds gang (and seemed to direct some contempt at journos from ‘quality’ papers, who were gaining all the credit for breaking the story).

The Murdochs should have expected that – if they didn’t, then they were victims of their own blinkered familial elitism. Doubtless that has now been punctured and they are wondering: what else is out there? What is on tape that they don’t know about? And what is out there that they do know of, and that is already shaping their activity?

One day you’re a great power, and the next the ocean is your mass grave. It’s an ill wind from heaven …

Previous articleC&E Structures boss bankrupt
Next articleLetters

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Tweed Council staff’s delegated powers debated

The question of what staff and councillors get to decide in relation to development applications was raised by Tweed Councillor Ron Cooper at the last Tweed Shire Council meeting.

Supporting independent news or making fat cats fatter?

The recent skirmish between Facebook and the government is hard to miss, even if you rely on Facebook for your news. But what does it all mean?

Koala groups lobby Tweed MP Geoff Provest for action

Local koala groups have been taking action to protect NSW koalas by meeting with Tweed State Member of Parliament, Geoff Provest seeking his support for action on koala protections and asking him not to support the koala killing legislation his government are putting forward.

Leadership lost

Paul Leitch, Ewingsdale Thanks to Hans Lovejoy for commenting on the proposed Ewingsdale Development (24 February). It is worthwhile noting that with the absence of clear...