News of the World Saga- The Big Boys & the Media

By Majed Iqbal- The verdict finally came. Rebekah Brooks was acquitted of all charges and on Andy Coulson, he was convicted of phone hacking in his time at the NOTW but the jury failed to reach verdicts in two other counts. In addition many other who have worked for the News of the World were found guilty of phone hacking and intercepting communications of people.

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Whilst the Opposition wrangled with PM David Cameron on his selection of Coulson in Government circles, it was the families of victims hounded by the ‘Phone-hacking’ who were out there making a stance with  a voice of reason in the midst of the sleaze and propaganda.

Commenting  in a video shared with Media, she slammed both Cameron and Blair for failing her family. She said:

“Most important and damaging of all is the incestuous relationship between our top politicians and the press. Tony Blair, the prime minister when Milly disappeared, didn’t phone us when he heard that Milly’s phone had been hacked. But when he heard that the police were investigating Rebekah Brooks, he phoned her to offer his support.”

Milly Dowler case

Her comments reflected a clear sentiment of peoples disillusionment with the Political process to address issues of concern. This, in the worlds maturest Democracy speaks volumes of how much people value a System which is not by the people, and not for the people, but simply a ruling elite in bed with powerful figures to rule over the people.

 

Intrusion

The whole episode has allowed people to view the inner workings of not just the News of the world , but also of other papers where morals and ethics are thrown to the side and where “the any means necessary” maxim is followed to bag that news Story. Hacking the phones of murder victims and their families was beyond distasteful and continues to pen the debate on intrusion to privacy.

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Glen Mulcare, the private investigator hired by the NOTW who did the phone hacking, said at the start of the trial “Working for the News of the World was never easy. There was relentless pressure. There was a constant demand for results. I knew what we did pushed the limits ethically. But, at the time, I didn’t understand that I had broken the law at all.”

 

The Big Boys

The saga also highlights how Politicians are perfectly comfortable in forging relationships with large corporations and leading Capitalist business figures to further their party or their own Political ambitions.

These business relationships have therefore come to the forefront more leaving a huge question mark on

“If people vote parties into power as well as these big boy businesses paying hundred of thousands of pounds as ‘donations’ to these parties, whose voice does the government follow- The people’s or the big businesses?

The funding from business partners to these parties is a big issue as Governments in power bend and amend rules to fufill the plans of the Murdochs of today.

Tony Blair - Newspaper Press Fund 40th Anniversary

In 2001, 20% of Labour’s funding came from large donor. The Conservatives called for an inquiry into a £32m smallpox vaccine contract awarded to a Labour donor without being put out to tender. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has admitted that allegations of sleaze relating to large business donations are “a problem” for the government.

In 2002, According to the Electoral Commission’s register of donations to political parties, they all contributed substantial amounts of cash to Labour Party coffers at around election time last year.

  • Amstrad boss Sir Alan Sugar gave £200,000
  • Funnyman Eddie Izzard contributed £10,000
  • Adventurer Christopher Ondaatje, brother of award winning novelist Michael Ondaatje, wrote a cheque for £100,000

Mr Mittal is the Indian industrialist who donated £125,000 to the Labour Party and received a personal endorsement from Tony Blair during his attempt to buy the Romanian national steelworks.

In 2008, Then shadow Chancellor, George Osbourne was  accused of receiving donations from Russian Olig Deripaska a.ka. the aluminum King on the queen Yacht when it was clearly illegal to take  or negotiate foreign funds. Peter Mandelson, who was the then Business Secreatry,  who had a role in setting rates for aluminum was also sat in the same meetings with George Osbourne with Olig deripaska who is worth around £10bn in wealth. Allegations made in The times by  Natahniel Rothschild, Deripaska’s friend, reported “Osborne found the opportunity of meeting Mr Deripaska so good that he invited the Conservatives fund raiser Andrew Feldman to accompany him on the boat to solicit a donation”. There was even a conversation on how to get the payment?

Capitalism endorses this ‘Incestuous relationship’

Without a shadow o doubt, this will continue and more people will be exposed in the process. More politicians will come to the aid f those that helped them into power. It doesn’t matter whether its in Britain, Italy, France, the US or any other country for that sake. Fundamentally, democracy as a process will always be marred by relationships with big players. Thats how it was before, thats how it is now and thats how it will remain.

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