Let the light shine upon them

Hackgate and the public servants.

James Anderton, the original celebrity cop.James Anderton, the original celebrity cop.
Yet more on the story now called Hackgate. This is not an unimportant story but is, as suggested HERE , a media storm. Clearly the MSM assume their readers can't get enough. In the case of the BBC and the Guardian the line is 'watch out for that evil Rupert Murdoch'. Yet the facts show the liberal-left section of the MSM get things wrong too. Hence the Guardian was forced to apologise to the Sun for getting their facts seriously wrong.

However, other sections of the MSM fight their own battles. Wise people are looking long term on this; what restrictions on press freedom may follow Hackgate? David Cameron has said he wants a free press but then he says all sorts of things which never come to pass. His other problem is the Deputy PM Nick Clegg. The Liberal Democrats are ill named and can be expected to join with Ed Milband and the Labour party in calling for measures to 'stop Murdoch'. A liberal, in the real sense, and free press is not what they want.

So an alternative take on all of this comes via the blogosphere. A round-up posting from EUReferendum HERE makes valid points but concentrates on the MSM and the MPs, traditional occupants of the Westminster based 'bubble' that so skews political life in the UK. The fact is the quagmire, Hackgate, in which the MSM and MPs find themselves in, is triangular - the other occupant being the police.

It would be wrong to criticise EUReferendum for this omission. In fact herein is one salient fact about the difference between the MSM and the blogs. EUReferendum is run by Richard North who for 99% of the time works alone. Compare this with the closure of the News of the World, that act cost 200 people their jobs. But help is at hand, for the best take on the role of the police in Hackgate comes from another blog!

Melanie Phillips left The Spectator to write her own blog after a gentle but 'no going back' fallout with them on editorial policy. Her take on Hackgate, including the police, in date order - HERE - HERE - HERE - HERE - HERE and HERE.

The world of the public servant is a very odd place. And right now all public servants would, no doubt, prefer the public to concentrate on the behaviour of the MSM and the MPs. The latter are not public servants in the traditional sense. Typically public servants relish their behind the scenes role in contrast to the MPs who seem to be forever dancing in the limelight. But like we have the 'high profile' MP there is also the senior policeman addicted to publicity.

This all began as long ago as 1975 with the truly awful James Anderton who was Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester police from 1975 until 1991. Since then one goon after another has stepped forward to fill the role of 'celebrity cop'. Some of the recent statements from Sir Hugh Orde, see HERE are risible.The ineptitude of these public servants in uniform knows no bounds.

Remember that in March 2003 Rebekah Brooks gave evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport. This was part of an inquiry into privacy issues. On that occasion Brooks freely admitted that her newspaper had paid police officers for information. So the question must be why with the information GIVEN as opposed to found stemming from a police investigation, did it take so long for anything to happen?

This is not the only case where the authorities have the information but fail to act. The inquiry following the 1994 Chinook helicopter crash that killed 29 people gave a verdict of 'pilot error'. Yet in 2009 evidence was 'discovered' that in time led to a revised verdict. But the documents that set the new inquiry in motion were held by the authorities all the time.

We live in a society where the public are snooped upon to an astonishing degree. This information is kept, shared, lost, misinterpreted and vitally, suppressed by public servants who are never called to account for their actions. They never lose their pensions or have their lives ruined. That's for the little people, the ordinary public.