“If spying on the prime minister, the deputy prime minister, the monarch, families of murder victims, families of dead soldiers and a child's medical records as well as bribing police officers and concealing evidence doesn't make an organisation not 'fit and proper' to hold a broadcasting licence I don't know what conceivable crime could.”
The whole thing is like a hydra in reverse: no sooner is a new head born than it sprouts another ten. Take yesterday evening’s story on a royal protection officer – a policeman - selling royal family contact details to NI – details that would allow location to be identified. It’s easy to over-use “terrorism”, but that really is serious security-at-the-heart-of-the-realm failure, because of course, once you’ve sold to one person you are (a) vulnerable to future target, and (b) have no control who will sell stuff on. Being a republican doesn’t actually mean I want the head of state’s security staff to be merrily selling their safety to anyone who comes up with the cash. And guess who the emails show was asked for the money to buy the stuff – that’s right, Andy Coulson. At this point, whether Coulson handed over the money is irrelevant; what matters is that he didn’t report an extraordinary security breach. And then he ended up in Number 10 because David Cameron decided he “deserved a second chance.”
That’s one tiny hydra head, but there’s more. And more. And more and more and more. The Met claim “cock-up, not conspiracy”. To borrow a well-known phrase, any sufficiently wide-spread cock-up becomes indistinguishable from conspiracy. Time for some independent oversight, methinks. I am sure that Hull and Birmingham would be willing. Come to that, NI is still acting directly to impede the investigation.
And there’s more. And more and more and more. “Worse to come” said Brooks (God, that woman is brilliant in her own way. It is hard to say “respect where it is due”, but perhaps “due acknowledgement that a genius found its field”). You bet there is. This one’s been building for years and it's going to run and run. The only question is, so many people having been trampled in the past, who is going down now?
I refer you again to Steve Bell's masterly cartoon. (SFW insofar as it is in the Guardian, but not if your workplace objects to cartoon nudity in broadsheet papers.)