Phone hacking scandal – a new Watergate?

I’ve been meaning to comment on the whole Murdoch phone hacking show case (my past post on it here). Last week we saw Rupert “Palpatine” Murdoch come across as something midway between Mr Maggoo and Mr Burns, while his spawn came across as a Waylon Smithers type. One can best sum up Rebekah “Sideshow” Brooks performance as follows.

Either way it now seems that they may have been telling porkies, as this Beeb report (widely reported in other papers including the Evening standard here) suggests. It appears he was made fully aware of the whole saga a lot earlier than he says, was paying the legal costs of so-called “rogue” staff and had agreed to pay hush money to alleged phone hacking victims. Meanwhile “Sideshow” Brooks is embroiled in a mini-fraca with plod over a pair of computers recovered from a rubbish bin which she (or at least her husband) are claiming ownership of. The Keystone cops are for once actually taking the matter seriously and examining the laptops.

Clearly they need to get the Murdochs and “Sideshow” Brooks back in for a proper grilling. And I mean put em in a corner with a spot light on them and sweat them down. The MP’s could try good cop/bad cop on them. Some slimy Tory tries to butter them up, then John “Slugger” Prescott comes in and tries to jump on one of them, only for Gordon Brown to have to pull him off saying “I can hold’em off forever”…course this tactic might backfire if Wendi “couching tiger (not-so) hidden goldigger” is allowed in the room as she’d likely kick the $hite out of both of em. Alternatively we could pull in Robby Coltrane and have him reprise his role of Cracker on em…or maybe I watch too many cop shows!

Either way all the indicators seem to say there is something seriously amiss here. Murdoch would not willingly make himself come off looking like the grandfather from the Worthier’s Original ads (without the candy) unless he had good reason to play dumb. The decision to close the (don’t laugh) News of the World was clearly one taken in panic for some reason. That they were willing to sacrifice the cherished BSB deal, after going to all that trouble to stitch up Vince Cable suggests something is seriously amiss. The failure to sack “sideshow” Brooks until a few days prior to her arrest suggests they had reasons to protect her…and its suspicious how she resigned right before being arrested…almost as if she knew it was going to happen…is this a brown envelope I see before me?

But will the story run out of steam? Well I was away most of he weekend but while the events in Norway and Amy (too much) Wine-house’s death knocked it off the top story slot it still got a mention. So I don’t think its going to die just yet. Like Watergate we could have a story that will run and run.

And what of the Tory’s in all of this? We’ll if we’re comparing everyone here to Simpson characters then David C is probably Cletus the slack-jawed yokel. I mean he hires Andy Coulson despite advice to the contrary and even allegations are now emerging about how he was vetted for security clearance. And his likely successor, George “slimy” Osborne has met with News International staff 16 times since the election. This whole saga ain’t over by a long shot! But I wouldn’t hold out much hope for an election. Nick Clegg doesn’t want one due to the fear he’ll wind up the Liberal Democrat (note lack of plural) and I’m not convinced Ed “I-can’t-believe-its-not-David” Miliband can exploit the situation and win an election any time soon.

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