Once again, they all knew years ago. If only it hadn’t been for those pesky lawyers – the ones that managed not to get in the way of the assault on the McCann family, Christopher Jefferies, the Dowler family and the Soham families – they would all have nailed Chris Rennard. They knew he done it. Yet they all flunked the exam, handing the scoop to the broadcasters once more.
Yes, while the free and fearless press said and did not a jot, along came Channel 4 News – that’s the channel that unscrambled the mystery of Plebgate that those same papers couldn’t be arsed doing – and aired the allegations. And the hated BBC was not far behind them. Then, those hacks and pundits who had kept schtum suddenly gained great courage and said they knew all along.
See no evil ...
So who dutifully sat on their knowledge of what Rennard was allegedly up to, until the party they despised looked like it might win a by-election? Well, there’s Patrick “Lunchtime” O’Flynn of the Express, for starters, castigating the Lib Dems “for being so sly and slow on this issue”. The Express, as usual, has been last out of the traps, so has no room to call out anyone for being slow.
... speak no evil ...
Maybe the more heavyweight press got closer? Here, we find Tony Gallagher, editor of the Maily Telegraph, asserting “Quite hard to see how Clegg did not know. We have proof his chief of staff knew in April 2010”. So the Tel’s editor is proud that his paper has had this “proof” for almost three years and done sweet jack with it. And this is the man being touted to replace Paul Dacre at the Mail.
... hear no evil ...
Talking of the Mail, deputy political editor Tim Shipman has also been the bearer of significant hindsight, declaring “Cable says he ‘absolutely’ did not know of Rennard rumours. In which case he knows less about the Lib Dems than every hack in Wesminster”. So Shipman also knew. Presumably his legendarily foul mouthed editor also knew. But they, too, did nothing.
... not even a little evil
And most jaw-dropping of all in this field of rank cowardice is the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, who has asserted that “Guido has been on his case for years”, and then claimed that the Screws had been about to get Rennard – see, Guardian types, you should never have made it close down – before conceding that neither he nor Rupe’s downmarket troops could get anyone to go on the record.
Getting complainants to go on the record is the only way that any progress was going to be made. All the hacks who claimed to know didn’t bother, so were left with the occasional mutual bout of nudge-nudgery, with their readership effectively told “we don’t care”, thus demonstrating that they are, as Terry-Thomas might have put it, an absolute shower.
And, once again, they show themselves incapable of doing investigative jounnalism.
It would be strange if the NOTW (if not others), given their connections (legal and illegal), did not have a dossier on most of these sudden (activity pre Leveson but post chilling Leveson) revelations.
The bigger question could be what or how they made use of it?
if the women involved wished to remain anonymous and did not want to make a formal complaint, what exactly could the press do?
i agree with your general point on the hypocrisy/cowardice of the press, but I think you've misread the Tony Gallagher tweet. It's clearly saying they currently have proof Clegg's Chief of staff knew in April 2010. Not they they themselves have had that proof since then and chosen not to reveal it.
Although I have no idea what the story the tweet linked to says (i.e. what the alleged proof is, what it proved or who knew about it when), so maybe I'm the one not fully understanding things?
so, the waving of a few lawyers at fleet st. and the blogosphere was enough to ensure silence was it, guido? then along comes C4 to do all the tedious, time-consuming stuff like proper investigatory journalism, believes the story strong enough and goes to broadcast.
cue guido and assorted fleet st. worms to crawl out of the woodwork to tell us all 'we knew all along'.
I ask,in all honesty: how the fuck is guido the UK's no.1 political blog?
Another question that doesn't appear to have been raised so far is that with all these revelations of paedophile rings,phone & PC hacking and unsolved murders (Morgan), most involving corrupt politicos and police forces (and at top level) what have our secret services known and what have they done if anything?
If they didn't know about these events occurring are they incompetent? If they did know, who are they working for? The good of individual Ministers, the Government as a whole or the general populace? Or someone else?
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