Appalled, shocked and doing nothing…
It would be a profoundly odd, and indeed very unwise, politician who was anything but publicly appalled at the Milly Dowler – News of the World phone-hacking allegations. Let’s given them all the benefit of the doubt and assume they are, as fellow human beings. Nonetheless be prepared for alot of this over the next few days – leading politicians telling us what we already know, that these are appalling and disgraceful acts. You see, being appalled and shocked is a smokescreen concealed behind which is the brazen inaction of people who in the pockets of the leading perpetrators.
Tom Watson, who most definitely isnt and has courageously taken a stand on this knows this, this is why on Newsnight he laid the blame for the scandal on all the major Party leaders – Ed Miliband included. Mr Miliband called for a police inquiry to find who was responsible. Notice the syntax – he is obviously not going to take on News International and has decided instead to play the ‘guilty individual’ card. Sure, he will insinuate about Rebecca Brooks especially as she has the added bonus of maybe making some of the muck stick to the Prime Minister; but if he was going to take on News International and the whole rotten edifice he would have publicly questioned the BSkyB bid already.
Sunny Hundal claimed on Twitter last night that Ed couldn’t do this because it was ‘sensitive’ and he may look opportunist. However, it is the line Ed is taking that is actually opportunist because it perpetuates the great lie that its guilty individuals that are to blame and ignores totally the true and wider issue of the overweening and undemocratic power News International holds over our political system through dint of its media monopoly. It acts with impunity and like it is above the law and censure because it is; because only a few brave politicians like Tom Watson are prepared to take on its power. It is this situation that has created the culture and context for the News of the Worlds outrages and, until this situation is ended, until political leaders take a stand, you can prosecute Rebecca Brooks and as many as you like the fact is that these outrages will continue. It’s time News International was dismantled; its time regulation was put in place so nobody was allowed to monopolise our media and its time leading politicians – Ed Miliband, David Cameron and all took a stand over this and stopped mouthing platitudes and started doing something.