As the Old Bailey trial of seven former faithful Murdoch retainers, along with Rebekah Brooks’ husband Charlie, goes through the legal arguments and jury selection is completed, reporting restrictions mean that what can be said about the case – without prejudicing the right of the defendants to a fair trial – is limited. So some are looking for other ways to get attention out of the proceedings.
Another edition of Let's Blame Brian
Most inventive of today’s efforts, and singularly dishonest, is that from the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his obedient rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who have cobbled together a story titled “Cops Trying to Remove Private Eye From Shops”, which they are not. This is then associated with the Hacked Off campaign group, demonstrating the creative fraudulence of the Fawkes folks.
So what is actually happening? Well, the Police, seeing that the latest issue of the Eye features a photo of Rebekah Brooks, who after all is one of the defendants, have approached a vendor at the kiosk outside Farringdon Station – close to the Old Bailey – and asked him to take down (note form of words) the several copies of the Eye he had on display.
So the Fawkes rabble has one shop, and an attempt not to remove the magazine, but not to display its cover to passers-by. That is not the same thing. But it is interesting that Staines and his gofers are happy to garner interest by discussing a publication whose very existence induces such anguish in them. Then, in closing, they ask “Anyone a little hacked off by all this?”
It clearly still rankles with them that their effort to gatecrash the Hacked Off party at Steve Coogan’s house near Brighton – which took place on the Monday of the Labour Party conference – was such a spectacular flop, and that they were therefore unable to find out just who had turned up. So there were no names for them to report back to their new bosses in the press.
Hacked Off had nothing to do with what happened at the news kiosk outside Farringdon Station. That has not stopped Staines’ tame gofer, the flannelled fool Henry Cole, from taking to Twitter to assert “Journos in bail limbo, state smashing up laptops, plain clothes coppers saying you can’t sell mags. Welcome to Cathcart’s brave new world”. Hacked Off had nothing to do with any of that, either.
What Hacked Off does have something to do with is representing the victims of press misbehaviour. Staines and Cole know this. So it’s good of them to confirm that they are all in favour of the cruel and vicious treatment of the McCanns, the Dowlers, Christopher Jefferies and all the others. Seeing a campaign group battling against such callous cruelty must cause the Fawkes folks intense discomfort.
About time The Great Guido felt a little discomfort. Another fine mess, once more.