After almost 26 years have passed since his death, an Inquiry has been announced into the unsolved killing of private investigator Daniel Morgan, found with an axe in his skull in the car park of a South London pub after having declared he was about to expose widespread corruption in the Police force. His family and supporters have welcomed the move. Many newspaper readers will not even hear about it.
Daniel who? Never heard of him, sport!
And there is the immediate problem: Morgan worked with Jonathan Rees at Southern Investigations (SI), and Rees has been a useful information source for much of the Fourth Estate for many, many years. It is widely believed that much of that information was secured by means of corrupt payments, or gathered by illegal means. Many papers are keeping their heads down over the matter.
Typical of Rees’ nice little earners was his joint venture with the Murdoch Screws, where it was found that SI had hired the vans being used to spy on Detective Chief Superintendent David Cook and his wife, WPC Jacqui Hames, who were part of the investigation into Morgan’s death. The thought that the Screws may have been part of an attempt to pervert the course of justice was inescapable.
Indeed, Rebekah Wade (as she then was) was summoned to New Scotland Yard and confronted with the evidence, although the Met still managed, no doubt by sheer coincidence, not to protect Cook and Hames and hang the pair of them out to dry. Zelo Street regulars will not be at all surprised to learn that the Murdoch press has thus far been silent on the new Inquiry.
Also keeping schtum is the Mail, although the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre has protested long and loud that his paper wouldn’t get involved in such conduct, even though it topped the Operation Motorman charts. The Express is also silent on the matter, but then, it could be just waiting for someone else to do the hard work so its hacks can cheaply and easily lift and churn over the copy.
Past efforts to expose Rees’ corruption have been restricted to broadcasters and a very few papers, notably the Guardian, for which Nick Davies did a characteristically thorough job in detailing the casual illegality practiced by SI. Police, HMRC, Passport Office, Bank officials, Royal Family employees, all were tapped for information. And Andy Coulson swore blind he knew nothing about it.
And that, folks, is why the new Inquiry, to be headed by former Appeal Court judge Stanley Burnton, will not be readily covered by so many papers. But this blog will be looking in. Because a lot of information that far too many who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet would rather did not see the light of day will be published, and the ugliest side of the press will once again be exposed.
Hopefully, though, Daniel Morgan’s family will get justice first. Stay tuned.