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Saturday 13 June 2015

Rebekah Brooks Career Exhumed

And so we go once again beyond the looking-glass, into the alternate reality of Creepy Uncle Rupe, to see the imminent re-appointment of the twinkle-toed yet domestically combative Rebekah Brooks. Those that think Jane Martinson’s Media Guardian piece less than serious should remember that, in the world of the Murdoch mafiosi, there is only one opinion that matters, and that is the opinion of KRM Himself.
No wonder she looks so happy

So it is that, in defence of her making the kind of comeback that would put Lazarus in the shade, supporters of Ms Brooks will tell that she was exonerated at the Hacking Trial by a jury of her peers. Those same voices will not be so keen to acknowledge that she presided over the last days of the now-defunct Screws, officially a newspaper, but an enterprise that would more accurately be described as adjacent to forthright criminality.

Then there are all the hacks who have not yet been given back their jobs after the News International (as was) Management and Standards Committee (MSC) shopped them to the Police, causing many to end up in court. Almost all have been acquitted of making payments to public officials, but many of their contacts were jailed, and the prospect of cultivating similar contacts to replace them is remote.

Although, as Ms Martinson points out, “Under the terms of the exit agreement reached when she left the company, in which she received £16.1m in compensation for future loss of earnings, Brooks is understood to have been promised a role that was ‘commensurate’ with her former job as chief executive if she were to be found innocent”, James Murdoch, whose star is once more in the ascendant, does not like her.

But his brother Lachlan is a different proposition: he and Rebekah are thought to be close friends. While he remains in the building, she will be fine. But Graham Johnson’s description of her as “a bully and a bullshitter” will be hard to shake off, along with the thought that she would only be there because of her closeness to Creepy Uncle Rupe. And News UK will have to face a number of upcoming problems very soon.

One, as Ms Martinson notes, is the recent poor performance of the Sun, especially its Sunday edition, a pale shadow of the Screws. Another is the ghost of misbehaviour past, in the shape of “Fake Sheikh” Mazher Mahmood, about whom the CPS must make a charging decision soon, following all those collapsed trials and the thought that Maz’ economy with the actualité may have tainted a whole lot more.

There is also the new investigation into the murder of Daniel Morgan, which gives every appearance of being tied in with other potential Murdoch empire problems: for instance, Peter Jukes has observed the allegation that one of Mahmood’s minders was the prime suspect for the killing. All of this is likely to land on the desk of whoever is CEO of the Murdoch UK tabloids. And that someone could be Rebekah Brooks.

That’s a most interesting prospect. Unless your name happens to be Rebekah Brooks.

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