[Updates, two so far, at end of post]
The latest attempt by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, who styles himself Guido Fawkes, to try and get some of the dirt of Phonehackgate to stick to those rotten lefties he so despises has involved a suitably creative retelling of the revelation of the brief affair between then England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and Ulrika-ka-ka-ka. And it’s complete and utter crap.
Staines’ story has some factual elements to it, such as the crediting of the Mirror’s apparent scoop to the otherwise originality free zone of the “3am girls”, rather than the paper’s sleb hack James Scott. But this could easily have been discovered by reading the account in Issue 1053 of Private Eye, where the affair is lead item in the Street Of Shame feature on Page 4.
And reading all of the Eye’s coverage should have sounded a caution to anyone trying to pin phone hacking on the Mirror, then edited by Piers “Morgan” Moron. Because, as the Eye suggests, and the Guardian later corroborated, the paper that had all the dirt on the two Swedes was not the Mirror, but the Screws, then edited by the twinkle-toed yet domestically combative Rebekah Wade.
Moreover, the Screws had planned to devote the first eight pages of its next edition to the affair, and as the Guardian tells, had “records of text messages and voicemail messages ... the Mirror, which did not have any photographs of Eriksson and Jonsson together, ran its own version in an apparent spoiling operation”.
That is consistent with the Eye column, telling of the fall-out when the Screws found itself scooped: “Internal investigations failed to establish whether the Mirror was tipped off by a disgruntled Screws hack, or whether the story was leaked by Ulrika’s publicity agent Melanie Cantor in return for more ‘sympathetic’ coverage than she could expect from Rebekah’s mob”.
And finally ... Ulrika Jonsson is taking action against one of the red-tops over phone hacking. It might be expected that she and her legal team would be going after the title that dug all that dirt on her and Sven, so what is the name in the frame? Er, it’s the Screws, that’s what.
So when Paul Staines exclaims “Piers Morgan Knew Award Winning Scoop Was Hacked”, he could be right. The problem for him is that he appears to have wrongly identified the paper doing the hacking.
[UPDATE: Staines has now posted a follow up of impressive lameness - that is, impressive even by his standards. He suggests that, because Piers "Morgan" Moron knew how hackers could get at voice messages, this means that the Mirror under his editorship was indulging in the practice. He does not, apparently, stop to consider that he, and hundreds of thousands of others, know how it's done, but don't indulge.
Staines also asserts that the Mirror hacked into Ulrika Jonsson's voicemail. If he is so convinced of this, he should contact Mishcon de Reya, Jonsson's solicitors, and present his evidence to them, as right now their action is against the Screws. Because it was the Screws who actually did the hacking. And Staines' equally lame attempt to get his "story" traction in the USA is getting precisely nowhere]
[UPDATE 2: Staines has now managed to con five MPs into talking up the idea of getting Piers "Morgan" Moron to appear before the Commons culture committee. But he has not produced one jot of evidence to back up his assertion that the Mirror's Sven'n'Ulrika scoop involved the use of phone hacking.
As was reported at the time - all referenced above - the paper that did the hacking of Ulrika's phone was the Screws, and that is why she is taking action against the publishers of that paper, rather than the Mirror. If Staines had any evidence - which he doesn't - then he should have made it available to Mishcon de Reya, Ms Jonsson's solicitors. That won't be happening this side of hell freezing over]