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Saturday 11 June 2016

Mirror Hacking - Squeaky Bum Time

While many hacks, pundits and indeed their readers are distracted by the sound and fury of the EU referendum campaign, news has emerged that the hacking by those working in the service of the Mirror group titles - that’s the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People - has resulted in not only the payment of yet more damages to those hacked, but also some grim accounts of the circumstances in which the hacking was done.
Just how barrel-scraping the behaviour became comes clear from the Guardian’s report: “The actor Nigel Havers has accepted undisclosed damages from Mirror Group Newspapers after its journalists intercepted his voicemails for stories about his grief as he nursed his dying wife”. Can it get worse? It certainly can.

Mirror journalists and private detectives working on their behalf had targeted him between 2000 and 2004, but particularly between April and August 2004 … ‘[This] was the period when Mr Havers was nursing his late wife, who was then in her final stages of her battle with cancer, the time of her passing and her funeral,’ the statement, read out by his barrister, David Sherborne, said”. And which title did the hacking?

The hearing marked settlements reached between Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) and nearly two dozen claimants, including Davina McCall, Kym Marsh and Rhys Ifans, after the company admitted its journalists hacked their voicemails for stories … The claims concerned stories and investigations by reporters from the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror and the People” [my emphasis]. All three of them.

That is important: previously, it was believed that the late and not-at-all lamented Screws had been setting the hacking benchmark, and that the Sunday Mirror (plus perhaps the Sunday People) dabbled in this particular dark art in order to keep up with the Murdoch mafiosi. But it now seems the Daily Mirror was at it too, which undermines the defence of the Murdoch Sun that it was only their Sunday stablemate that was up to no good.

It also puts a number of editors from the Mirror group titles in the firing line: during the period from 2000 to 2004, the Daily Mirror was edited by Piers Morgan, who has testified before the Leveson Inquiry that he had no part in hacking phones, the Sunday Mirror was the domain of Colin Myler and then Tina Weaver, both of whom also testified before Leveson, and the Sunday People was edited by Mark Thomas and Neil Wallis.

Wallis, who likes to be knows asThe Wolfman”, but is more often referred to as “The Rasping Fuckwit”, has already effectively pleaded ineptitude, that he was there at the Screws, yet was unaware of the criminal enterprise going on all around him. Will any of these people find themselves in trouble as a result of their papers’ creativity? One thing is for sure - there is very little they can do about it now.

As for the Mirror’s owners, they face an uncertain future. And a lot more financial pain.


Unknown said...

You never see any mention of the Daily Mail in connection with phone tapping. No investigations and no prosecutions. I think that's very noble of them, don't you?

Anonymous said...

Whoever commits this crime should end up in jail with a bum that's more than squeaky.

How those scumbags can live with themselves after the treatment of Milly Dowling and Nigel Havers gawd alone only knows.

These "reporters" AND THEIR EDITORS AND OWNERS are marrow deep and corrupt, rotten-to-the-core, really evil people. Guilty individuals should be made to pay from their own pockets, not from the corporate profits - which really means those stupid enough to buy the "product" pay the fines and settlememnts.

British journalism, print and broadcast, is easily the worst in Europe. No wonder its hated by everybody with a sense of human decency.

MI55 C said...

It's not far away.

rob said...

@ Unknown

Yes, it was very noble of them to try and block Operation Motorman files from being disclosed @Leveson especially as they were top, or very nearly, of that Whittamore League (what a coup that would have been). Certainly kept Mr Caplan very busy on his feet as Mr Sherborne could testify.
Not really surprising that Lord D'Acres of Grouseland was not too keen on being interrogated @leveson.
The Nigel Havers story is reminiscent of the Hugh Grant hospital visit episode. It was not just the "luvvies" (as the press like to call them) that suffered under the old regime but their friends and family too. We should not forget that.
And we still need Leveson 2 so that answers can be found to avoid collusion between various almost monopoly groupings that can lead to the abuse of that power again.

Anonymous said...

Time and time again, the phone-hacking saga turns up evidence of snooping on hasbeen celebrities, disaster-struck families, and sportswo/men. Are we seriously meant to believe that no newspaper editor ever thought it might be worth the effort to hack the phone of somebody, you know, *important*? No politicians, judges, chief constables, captains of industry, etc, etc? It's particularly strange when you consider that it was the NOTW that kicked this whole thing off by hacking the Royal Family.Is it just me, or is this apparent lack of interest in important people conspicuously (and maybe suspiciously) odd?

rob said...

@ Anonymous 19:39

You missed the hacking of Labour Cabinet Ministers, eg Prescott, Jowell, Blunkett inter alia? Seriously? Those involved stories in the NOTW (as reported @Leveson and also @NOTWtrial of Brooks,Coulson & Co). Of course the bigger question is whether others were hacked and information not used for stories but held back for another use ie if they needed to ensure they kept their clout with the powers that were, are and to be.

You may have been misled by the media reporting, or lack of it especially by most of the tabloids, who wanted the public to believe it was all about "celebs". Not surprising really when allegations have been made that they the tabloids were all at it. It's just that evidence of hacking first came to light in a civil court case involving NOTW. (After The Met had tried to bury it in black plastic bags)

(Evidence to the Leveson Inquiry is still available online if required)