The Phone Hacking Scandal
Anyone want to discuss the current phone hacking scandal that's so dominant in the headlines here? I can't promise that the GOP are involved at all.
What we know:
1) It emerges that a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, had been employed by News Of The World journalists to hack the voicemail of a number of standard tabloid targets: royals, actors, sportsmen, Labour MPs. News International tried to pay them off, and The Met don't try very hard to avoid angering the powers that be. The public don't care very much, but Andy Coulson, the ex-editor of the NOTW and Cameron's current PR maven (on whom Tom Hollander's character of "The f*cker" in The Thick Of It was based, apparently) ends up taking the fall when some victims refuse to trouser the bung. Rebekah Brooks, also ex-editor of the NOTW, Murdoch golden girl and current boss at News International, is protected.
2) It subsequently emerges that ordinary people, like a murdered girl, war widows, and 7/7 bombing victims were also hacked. People start getting upset. They are alleged to have deleted messages from the murder victim, Milly Dowler's phone, making the police and relatives think that she was still alive. Brooks is now very much in the firing line.
3) In the background of this is News International's desire and machinations to buy a majority share in BSkyB, that is due to go through on Friday. The previous minister in charge of this, Vince Cable, (who was against it) was gotcha'd by the newspapers, and his replacement, Jeremy Hunt is much more sympathetic to the deal.
4) Brooks is still denying she had anything to do with it (she was on holiday at the time), chortlingly saying it was 'inconceivable' that she knew about it. Vizzini, much?
5) Many advertisers are pulling out of the NOTW, as is the British Legion, an armed forces charity.
My personal predictions:
(a) Brooks will end up falling to protect the Dirty Digger Murdoch
(b) The deal will go through since there's no direct link to that side of the business except through Murdoch himself
(c) Cameron won't directly fall because of this (see the Spectator link) but I think it'll tarnish his image a bit until people forget about it, tabloids are good at distracting people with tits or targets who aren't them.
(d) The News of the World will not close, but there'll be a Night of the Long Knives clearing out everyone who looks linked to clean their image (relatively).