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Thursday 28 June 2018

Former Murdoch Blagger Bites Back

[Update at end of post]

The current issue of Private Eye Magazine (issue 1473, available at all good news outlets) confirms what Zelo Street told earlier this month about the launch of former Murdoch water carrier Les Hinton’s book launch at Waterstone’s on Gower Street. Hinton’s attempted media love-in, hosted by Sky News stalwart Kay Burley, did not go to plan after the audience was infiltrated by several bringers of severely adverse comment.
John Ford

As the Eye notes, “They included Hacked Off director Evan Harris, John Alford, the actor who served time in prison as a result of a Mazher Mahmood sting, tabloid phone hacker turned whistleblower Graham Johnson, and Alastair Morgan, who has spent decades investigating the links between the News of the World and the murder of his brother, private detective Daniel Morgan”. And there was one more surprise for Hinton.

This was “a mild-mannered Welshman who … complimented Hinton on his ‘lovely white suit’ and asked about the methods he had used to enjoy such an impressive ‘career trajectory’” However, Hinton and Ms Burley then found “when the man dropped his Welsh accent and revealed that he was actually John Ford, the gifted impersonator and trained actor employed by the Sunday Times … to ‘blag’ personal information”.

After Ford announced to the gathering “I broke the law continuously for 15 years for the Sunday Times”, Ms Burley “cut him off and begged for another question” (there is a video of proceedings on the way, too). And Hinton is not the only one to find John Ford turning up unexpectedly at a media event, as Zelo Street can now reveal.

The Guardian’s offices hosted a panel discussion on whistleblowing, which included Jonathan Calvert from the Murdoch Sunday Times. Calvert was introduced with customary fanfare: “John is the longest serving editor of the Insight zine of the Sunday Times having been in the role for a decade … Jonathan was awarded Press Gazette journalist for the year 2016”. And he admitted he couldn’t manage without whistleblowers.
Jonathan Calvert

Then came questions. And, yes, the first question was from John Ford. “Hello, my name is John Ford and I’m a whistleblower and … I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation. It’s a great pleasure to see Jonathan Calvert with whom I’ve worked closely actually on the FIFA enquiry and with whom I must say I hold particular respect”.

What might have been going through Calvert’s mind can only be imagined as Ford confirmed “I was on Jonathan’s watch through one of his deputies”, and his question was put directly. “My question to the panel is why is my story - and [to] Jonathan in particular – why has my story been hushed up”. What say The Great Man to that?

I can’t talk for the Guardian” ventured Calvert. Ford didn’t buy that one. “No no, [the Sunday] Times, yourself , why haven’t I had a phone call from you?” By this time, Calvert was floundering. “I don’t know, I honestly don’t know, it’s not something I cover obviously”.

After the chair intervened, Ford gave a parting shot: “OK. Well I’ll see you in court Jonathan, it’ll be great”. Calvert later excused his action, or lack of it, with “It’s kind of old history. It happened all those years ago”. But that’s the problem with whistleblowers - they keep on blowing the whistle. And John Ford ain’t for going away just yet.

[UPDATE 1740 hours: a bizarre intervention has come from Kay Burley, following Tweeter John Hill's comments on this post.
She snapped at Hill "Have you heard of or does it not fit your dialogue? Hush now, you silly moo". Whatever can The Great Woman mean? All answers gratefully received]


Anonymous said...

I think what it might mean is that she knows about the video, which will be broadcast not on tv but on web. I think she may have forgotten to tell her bosses at Sky, who are in the bidding process, that she was hugamuggering with Les Hinton. Moonlightling becomes you Kay, it goes with your hair!

Anonymous said...

That would be Kay "A Bit Dim"* Burley, Murdoch puppet and all round empty headed far right msm divvy.

Despite severe competition she managed to get all the way to the bottom of the Sky TV barrel.

*Copyright Chris Bryant MP.