The door that Nick Davies and the folks at the Guardian laboured so long to prise open has come off its hinges: following on from yesterday’s revelations that the families of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman may have had their phones hacked came the bizarre splash by Channel 4 News on the Screws trying to show that two police officers were having an affair when they were in fact married – to one another.
Then, as the rotten edifice finally came crashing down, came yet more claims, that phones of 7/7 families had been hacked. On top of this, Andy Coulson was linked directly to the authorising of payments, and Rebekah Brooks to one of the private investigators. The prospect of both soon finding themselves rather closer to Operation Weeting is intensifying.
As the inevitable moment of Brooks jumping – or being gently pushed by dear old Rupe – comes ever closer, many of those who for so long scoffed at the Guardian for pursuing Phonehackgate have experienced a Damascene conversion: I believe that even Benedict Brogan at the Maily Telegraph, who called Coulson’s departure from Downing Street so horrendously wrong, is one of them.
Also on side after so much dismissal of the whole saga as some kind of left versus right spat are Iain Dale, a compliant and reliable conduit for Tory propaganda, and of course Paul Staines and his tame gofer Henry Cole at the Guido Fawkes blog. Staines memorably left a comment at this blog last April suggesting that Coulson would not have left the means to enable him to be implicated.
On the basis of there being more joy in heaven at one sinner that repenteth, it is good to have these august pillars of the right leaning blogosphere finally on board. But one cannot let Cole off without recalling his laughably bad call from July 2009, just as I had called Phonehackgate correctly.
Cole’s then home, Tory Bear, told that this was “clearly poorly sourced, venomous, desperate pap ... no new revelations ... already old story ... the left have been desperately trying to paint this minor embarrassment from a new years back to the serious moral failings of McBride”. Thus came together blind partisan loyalty and a crashing ignorance of how the press works.
But, amateur hour aside, the focus is now on Brooks. For a serving CEO to be arrested would be hugely embarrassing for Murdoch, and arrested she may well be very soon. As I told yesterday, it’s time to go.