What's wrong with spying?

The Tory party, Coulson and Djanogly.

Spymaster DjanoglySpymaster Djanogly
The basis of the News of the World/Andy Coulson story is that the newspaper hacked into mobile phone traffic and this is illegal. Also we can assume that the people who had their phones hacked wished the data to remain private. Ignoring the, 'did-he-know' question hovering over Coulson, that he works for David Cameron plus that the NotW is owned by Murdoch and that all of these things are bound to inflame passions on the left, we could describe this activity as spying. But the state would rather we did not. For they spy all the time on us and upon what they would like us to think of as threats to our way of life. But in reality they see us as a threat to their way of life and it's this that they use to justify their actions. And if the state can spy why not newspapers? After all the former likes to use the latter, but only on its terms. But we are also told a free press is essential to our way of life, so the definition might include free to spy.

However, in the case of the NotW that's pushing it a bit far. The important revelations brought to us by the NotW are, well very often, not important at all. The fact that a celebrity has visited a prostitute might well have a place in the public domain as the celebrity is already in the public domain and earns a decent living because of it. Also there are some people who give the staff of the NotW the impression they cannot live their lives without this information. But then there are many more who can, they regard all this level of disclosure as trivial. Their goal might be to roll back all forms of spying, these would have been the people who wanted to be rid of ID cards and the database state. These people might have even voted Conservative at the last election.

So these people might have been interested to see the reaction of the Tory party to the Jonathan Djanogly case, see HERE. In short they stand by their man. So it's OK to spy on not just employees but those whom you would trust as political aides, that should help you get re-elected! Djanogly faces questions about his expenses and of his reaction to these questions in hiring private detectives from Morris Chase International -

The detectives, from Morris Chase International, tricked associates into talking about Mr Djanogly by posing as journalists, then warned the MP that there might be a “conspiracy” to undermine him. Their private report also alleged that another senior aide was too “scared” to speak out over “the whole inside story” of his expense claims.

The allegation is likely to lead to pressure on the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to investigate more than £13,000 of claims Mr Djanogly made for “cleaning” by a series of foreign language students who also worked as au pairs for the family.

I suggest that if MPs can spy then why not newspapers? There is here a point of principle and trust that are subtle by nature. I would also suggest that the finer points here are way beyond the reach of Djanogly's understanding.

The disclosure of his use of private detectives caused outrage among senior figures in his constituency party in Huntingdon, Cam­bridgeshire.

Derek Holley, the former leader of Huntingdon Council who was the Conservative association’s honorary treasurer at the time, said the MP should now “consider his position” as a justice minister. Mr Holley was among those targeted by the detectives.

Tory MPs privately voiced concern over the minister’s judgment. One said: “No one really understands why he has even been given this job as a minister apart from the fact that he shadowed the department in opposition.”

Sir John Major, the former prime minister who preceded Mr Djanogly as MP, declined to back his successor. He refused to comment on any aspect of his conduct.

Those voters who hoped the Tory party would sort out the Stalinesque excesses of Nulabour on ID cards and the database state may well be worried. Reports suggest that the same civil servants Nulabour was using to implement their grand plan are still in post. Looking at the actions of the Tory Justice Minister there's much to worry about.

Another report of this story HERE.