Wednesday, 6 July 2011

MPs pot calling the Press kettle black

Sanctimonious MPs who seek to tar all journalists with the News of the World brush would do well to remember the British public have long memories.
The phone hacking scandal is gathering speed and there is every likelihood that the few media bad apples will have to answer for their crimes.
But their numbers will be slight compared to the small army of politicians – many still sitting in the House of Commons – who cheated on their expenses.
Sir Thomas Legg’s investigation sparked by the Daily Telegraph's exposé saw £1.46 million of taxpayers’ money repaid by almost half of all MPs.
The 2010 General Election witnessed a record number of 149 MPs stand down – many who feared being de-selected or else being booted out by their angry constituents.
I predict that more former politicians will do time because of their fiddled expenses than phone-hacking, police-bribing hacks – and that includes the one who has already been banged up.
On the subject of holier-than-thou figures in public life, they don’t come much smugger than Alastair Campbell, No. 10’s director of communications under Tony Blair’s premiership.
He’s popping up all over the BBC dumping on those sections of the Press that have “no moral boundaries.” Campbell’s enjoying so many plugs for his re-hashed diaries it would be a travesty to pay him appearance fees.
Perhaps the Corporation is still punchy from the days when Campbell was becoming the inspiration for Malcolm Tucker in The Thick Of It. Or maybe there’s nobody left on the Left who can speak up for Ed Miliband now that Lord Prescott has completed his transformation into Les Dawson.
I hope Campbell makes himself as available when the Iraq Inquiry report is published later this year. It will be interesting to see what Sir John Chilcot makes of the September 2002 dossier where Campbell’s insistence on its impartiality has been challenged by Major-General Michael Laurie who contends its intent was “precisely to make a case for war.”


  1. Your attempts to take the heat off journalists [in the round], is misplaced and premature. This is not revenge of the MPs but rather revenge of the public which has had its intelligence insulted, far too long, by the cavalier culture of the 'gutter press'. These elements in one of our national institutions [the press] has sought for years to corrupt an element within another of our national institutions [the police]. You talk of £1.46 million to dodgy MPs. At £10,000 a time per mobile phone number, that is already £1 million for 100 mobile numbers. But the phone hacks run into the thousands. Huge £ sums have passed between the press and the police. So, come off it! GC.

  2. You're the one jumping to conclusions. The ownership of thousands of mobile numbers by one man isn't proof they were hacked. £10,000 bungs wd have to have to produce front page stories; papers don't have limitless budgets. Police corruption in Britain isn't even on the radar. As for MPs, we elect them to represent us not line their own pockets. And don't insult the intelligence of millions of loyal red top readers. GC

  3. Sorry GC, as an ex-journalist you are far too hastily defending the indefensible. You totally gloss over the seriousness of the situation. It is the press which is in the dock, this time, not the MPs. Your suggestion that "police corruption in Britain isn't even on the radar", is laughable, when in this instance it so patently is. Also this Sunday will be the testing time for the 'loyal' readers. And yes, Murdoch does have a limitless budget.

  4. Oh yer ! So Max Clifford did not receive £1 million as COMPENSATION for having his phone hacked. The money certainly is available. Your head is in the sand !

  5. Calm down dear. You make my case by confusing Murdoch with the British press in general. GC


What do you think? GC