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Friday 4 September 2015

Murdoch Man Spills The Beans

After the Lord Mayor’s parade, so the saying goes, comes the man who sweeps the streets. Right now, Mark Hanna will know all about that: as head of security to the twinkle-toed yet domestically combative Rebekah Brooks, he was part of the team that cleared up after Creepy Uncle Rupe’s favourite. But after he got involved in the Hacking Trial, it stopped just being a job - suddenly and literally.
Mark Hanna

Because he was put on trial along with Ms Brooks and husband Charlie, Hanna was taken off his duties to go through the whole process of organising his defence, then undergoing all that time in the dock. Then he was told to take some leave. Followed by more leave. And then he was summoned to an ominously formal meeting at which he was told he was “at risk of redundancy”. He was paid just £30,000 when made redundant.

That might not have been such a bad thing had it not been for two later events, the first of which was that he discovered having the Hacking Trial on his CV made potential employers treat him as a pariah. Hanna made scores of job applications; he secured not one job. Now he is living on benefits. And then came the second of those two events, the reappointment of Ms Brooks as News UK’s CEO.

For Hanna, who had already decided to take his former employers to an employment tribunal, this was the last straw. Ms Brooks had resigned - nobody pushed her - and was gifted £14 million to ease her journey into a world of comfortable leisure. Now she was being re-hired after basing her defence on being so incompetent that she did not know her top selling title was being run as a borderline criminal enterprise.

The shallow hypocrisy of the Murdoch press would be hilarious, were it not so real in Hanna’s case: here he was, a former soldier, thrown on the scrapheap by a media empire so ready to dress itself up in the flag and pretend that it’s the Armed Forces’ Friend. Some friend it has been to him. He owed them nothing; they had cut him loose. And so it has come to pass that Mark Hanna announced he would tell all.

In a YouTube video (watch it HERE), he gives a flavour of what kinds of beans he will be spilling. Notes were taken of conversations in the dock at the trial. From the start of his time at News International, there had been intrusive surveillance operations, “unclear payments”, and other potentially illegal activity. News UK, he concludes, “must be one of the most hated organisations in the UK”.

The Murdochs and their inner circle can initially shrug this off: Ms Brooks was found Not Guilty, they will say. The problem here is the implicit assumption that Hanna will be the only one spilling the beans. After all those hacks that got sent down the road with the closure of the Screws, the informants who got shopped and therefore screwed over, and anyone else the Murdoch empire shat on, that’s a mightily risky assumption.

Murdoch and his empire in its pomp was for a time, but not for all time.


rob said...

Given the amount of hostility towards Brooks I'm surprised she couldn't invest in a little peace and quiet by re employing him herself as a "go for".

Or did the pizzas and porn, reinforced by quantities of alcohol, become incompatible post trial?

Let's hope he survives the inevitable Murdoch's Mindless Minions onslaught.

Anonymous said...

So one cockney canary decides to sing.

Watch now as the implications of whistle blowing details become obvious: It will be mostly ignored, and where not ignored quickly buried. Just like the hacking racket and other corruptions.

Nothing will change until journalists organise themselves and summon the guts to take on Murdoch, Dacre, MacKenzie, Kavanagh and all the broadcast news editors who perform the same establishment function.

Do you see that on the horizon?

No. Me neither.

Anonymous said...

Will this be like the certain doom The Leveson Enquiry brought on the media, you know all the stories they print are now fully fact checked, there are no more sensationalist and bashing of groups headlines.
David Cameron was so damaged by links to Brooks and Coulson that he had to resign as PM.
We now have Ed Milliband.
Also, a new press complaints system really is independant and holds the press to account.


rob said...

@ Anon 13.59

Most probably not. But the rot of downmarket news started in the late 1890s with the "sensationalist" Newnes and Tit Bits and continued with Lord Northcliffe (as was Alfred Harmsworth) when he stated the Daily Mail and their "cooked" stories i.e the whole idea was to sell newspapers to unquestioning readers rather than pass on news whether "interesting" or not. It is likely to take some time for that culture to change overnight. Murdoch just combined the two approaches with technological change. I suspect the bullying culture within and without the organisation has always been there but now in a more concentrated form because of the domination by one man.

But you never know - small steps for mankind and all that.

rob said...

Of course the cynic in me suggests he could be taking advice from The Tremeloes - Silence is Golden.

Having seen how much gold or the market value that was placed on RB's silence.