Two years ago, when the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer, the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, went after Piers “Morgan” Moron – partly as a way of taking the heat off Rupe’s downmarket troops at the Sun and Screws – and alleged that he, too, had been involved in phone hacking, Zelo Street was deeply cynical about the whole exercise.
Insufferable - but for how much longer?
There was far too much nudge-nudgery about the Fawkes folks’ allegations, and as I pointed out at the time, the Sven and Ulrika-ka-ka-ka-ka exclusive that the Daily Mirror ran had not only not been obtained as a result of Moron’s team hacking, but the way that the paper got the story, and scooped the Screws to the intense annoyance of Rebekah Wade, was well known and documented.
My conclusion, and advice to the Fawkes rabble, was that there had to be evidence for there to be any chance of nailing the Mirror and its then editor. Staines and Cole had not produced any. And in the intervening time, that line has not changed – until today. This is because the Mirror has failed in its bid to have four phone hacking cases thrown out: they will now proceed to trial.
So what has changed things? “On 22 October 2012, Shobna Gulati, the Coronation Street actress, Sven Goran-Eriksson, the former England manager, Abbie Gibson, former nanny to Victoria and David Beckham, and Garry Flitcroft, the former Captain of Blackburn Rovers, brought claims against MGN Ltd” to quote the excellent INFORRM blog (read the full post HERE).
So do we have a date when the alleged hacking may have taken place? Press Gazette can help us with that: “Garry Flitcroft’s legal team claims in April 2001 he was having an affair with a woman called Helen Hammonds ... Flitcroft’s lawyers said it was ‘too much of a coincidence’ that the People’s lap-dancing correspondent Miss Cock could have tracked down the woman the footballer was having an affair with ‘without the aid of data obtained by phone-hacking’”.
So at least one of those cases can be traced to 2001. Piers Morgan admitted to Charlotte Church – herself a victim of phone hacking, this time by the Screws, that he was well aware of the practice two years later. And his tenure as editor of the Daily Mirror lasted from 1996 to 2004, which covers the period of the Flitcroft allegations. So he may have some explaining to do.
What do the Fawkes rabble have to say about this latest development? Oh, just the usual dishonesty and spin. They attribute these words to Moron: “I have never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, or published any stories based on the hacking of a phone”. The word “knowingly” is conveniently omitted.
But Rupe will be pleased that they’re doing his bidding. Another fine mess.