The Plastic Hippo

December 13, 2015

A controlling mind

Filed under: Law,Media,Politics — theplastichippo @ 3:03 am
Tags: , ,
Via Jason Reed/AFP/Getty Images

Via Jason Reed/AFP/Getty Images

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, perhaps the wisest judge ever to preside in the US Supreme Court, once reacted to an inexperienced lawyer demanding justice for his client by saying:
“Young man, let me remind you that this is a court of law and not a court of justice.”

In the four years since the depth and scale of phone hacking by British tabloid newspapers was revealed, there have been criminal investigations, court cases, convictions and the Leveson Inquiry. It was announced on Friday that the criminal investigation had ended and that no corporate prosecutions would be brought against the news organisations or other individuals accused of illegality. The Director of Public Prosecutions stated that there was “insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction”. The Director, a certain Alison Saunders who has more gaffes to her name than a dodgy slum landlord, concluded that Murdoch`s News Group Newspapers and 10 individuals employed by the Mirror Group including the odious Piers Morgan are not required to face charges in a court of law.

The announcement was greeted with rejoicing in the Street of Shame with Murdoch hack Neil Wallace clocking up appearance fees in various radio and TV studios to express his relief that, at long last, four years of enduring a living hell was finally over. He complained about the cost of the investigation and the waste of police time claiming that phone hacking was not murder or rape or drug dealing or terrorism. He seemed to suggest that hacking a dead girl`s phone was more of a right than a misdemeanour and casually ignored the millions paid in compensation to victims in the hope of keeping the crimes out of court. Murdoch`s chequebook, and that of the Mirror Group, talk and with the charges have being dropped, it`s business as usual.

The conviction of eight hacks and a bin-rummaging low-life is in no way conclusive evidence of conspiracy and the decision by the Met to “raid” News International by asking nicely if they could pop round a week next Tuesday just after lunch resulted in the discovery of a number of still warm shredding machines. However, the fragrant Rebekah Brooks went on garden leave, Murdoch`s idiot son James was placed on the naughty step and poor old Andy Coulson, by then Cameron`s press secretary, was banged up at Her Majesty`s pleasure.

Mercifully, Rebekah is back in post, James is head honcho of 21st Century Fox again sniffing the bins of a BSkyB monopoly and Andy will be back soon with a draft of his autobiography to be serialised in the Sunday Times. The working title for the first volume could be;
“Andy Coulson: my life serving time with murderers, rapists, drug dealers and terrorists”.
The second volume will chronicle the time he spent in prison.

The decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute News UK, as it now styles itself, or the individuals at Mirror Group Newspapers is based on precedent rather than justice. The CPS stated that the law on corporate liability for crime “makes it difficult to prove that a company is criminally liable if it benefits from the criminal activity of an employee, conducted during their employment.” The CPS went on to say that the conviction of Coulson was not evidence of guilt within the Murdoch Empire because Coulson “was not a controlling mind of the company”.

If the old bastard manages to live that long, then the next US President, the next UK Prime Minister, the next Chair of the Independent Press Complaints Commission and the next Director of Public Prosecutions will be chosen by Rupert Murdoch.

Before he died at a fine old age, Oliver Wendell Holmes summed up the essential difference between law and justice. He said;
“The young man knows the rules but the old man knows the exceptions.”
Old man Murdoch will go to his grave knowing that he is above the law.



  1. I didn’t know Coulson had worked for Corbyn.

    Comment by Rob — December 13, 2015 @ 2:07 pm | Reply

  2. If I were ever to engage in crime, I would first set up a complicated ‘company’ structure. Then I would spend some time recruiting and training criminals. They would be engaged on substantial wages or retained on a fee.

    That way, when they inevitably got nicked, there would be no way to hold me responsible. Unless Holmes was able to convince Lestrade, the chances of being caught would be minimal.

    Even in this eventuality, I suspect that I might be able to recall sufficient favours to avoid pursuit.


    Comment by The Realist — December 14, 2015 @ 11:47 am | Reply

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