Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Any questions for the Culture Media and Sports Committee?

Tue 19 July 2011, 9:26am

Two Westminster committees will face down key players in the #hackgate scandal… Two policemen at the heart of the scandal face the Home Affairs Committee whilst the Messers Murdoch and Ms Brooks face the culture committee… Can we have your sharpest, most surgical questions please?

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Comments (24)

  1. Shy Talk (profile) says:

    Q. Are there any further incidents of alleged law braking that you are aware of now but have not entered the public domain?

    Although I suppose they could use the not wanting to prejudice the police’s enquiry line to bat it away.

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  2. Nunoftheabove (profile) says:

    For News Int:

    (i) Provide to the committee the entirety of the legal advice provided to you in respect of these activities, both before, during and subsequent to their undertaking and in relation to the publication of any materials secured as a direct result of these activities.

    (ii) Kindly define your understanding of the distinction between matters which are of potential/actual interest to the public and the public interest with regard to your decision-making on what to publish and what to not publish.

    (iii) Kindly provide details of all direct and indirect, personal and commercial, social or political, contacts between the current and former Prime Ministers of the UK and their respective entourages, with News Int, Murdoch, Brooks et al, specifying any cash or non-cash benefits, gratuities etc provided to them in the course of this contact.

    (iv) Undertake to provide sworn affidavits detailing any undertakings sought, whether granted or declined (in either direction), whether personal, political, editorial or commercial etc in the course of the contacts between the parties as per (iii) above since, say, 1990.

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  3. Drumlins Rock (profile) says:

    Ask Murdock how important do you think you are.

    Ask the Ex. cops, who is now looking after the security of the country?

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  4. pippakin (profile) says:

    Surely they will decline to answer the most relevant and important questions on the grounds that it might incriminate them (American taking the fifth)?

    If they do answer questions how about:

    1) How many emails relating to the criminal charges were deleted?
    2) On whose instructions were the emails deleted?

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  5. Nunoftheabove (profile) says:

    Mine can be readily converted into question form if you like.

    (i) Mr Murdoch, can you please tell us what legal advice was provided to you in respect of these alleged/proven activities, both before, during and subsequent to their undertaking and in relation to the publication of any materials secured as a direct result of these activities please ?

    (ii) Mr Murdoch/Ms Brooks, can you succinctly define for us the distinction between matters which are of potential/actual interest to the public and the public interest with regard to your decision-making on what to publish and what to not publish please ?

    (iii) Mr Murdoch, can you tell us about all direct and indirect, personal and commercial, social or political, contacts between the current and former Prime Ministers of the UK and their respective entourages, with yourself, your corporation’s representatives, Ms Brooks and your more senior associates and employees, specifying any cash or non-cash benefits, gratuities etc provided to them in the course of this contact please ?

    (iv) Mr Murdoch, can you confirm for us the detail of all undertakings sought, whether granted or declined (in either direction), whether personal, political, editorial or commercial etc in the course of the contacts between the parties as per (iii) above since, say, 1990 please ?

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  6. Drumlins Rock (profile) says:

    Ask when do you believe things started going wrong, its always good to give them a line to trip over later.

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  7. pippakin (profile) says:

    They could ask the Met

    How common nepotism is?
    How do such applicants get past the system?
    How many senior/junior police officers took bribes
    Who gave the media private details of victims of crimes
    How much were they paid

    You see this is, like the committee meetings, a pointless exercise they can’t answer the questions except to deny, anything else further incriminates them.

    The committee are indulging themselves but it will be really annoying if it later transpires that criminal proceedings can’t go ahead because of what may become known as trial by committee.

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  8. michael-mcivor (profile) black spot says:

    Q- where is lord lucan
    A- don’t know Gov

    It will be the same answer for all the more difficult Questions-

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  9. The Raven (profile) says:

    “At what point did any one out of the three of you think: “y’know, what we’re doing is just plain wrong…”"

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  10. Drumlins Rock (profile) says:

    Have to say I was quite impressed with Sir Paul, he came across as honest and honourable on the whole. Fedorico seems a much more slippery character.

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  11. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Mick: I have pains in my fingers from the number of times that I have regularly posted information here on the fact that most of ‘Security Correspondences’ if not all, of Irish Newspapers and other media have a regular monthly ‘ behind closed doors’ dinner and booze up at Garda Expense ( well the taxpayers actually !) where senior Garda GHQ officers and the invited press ‘insiders’ in addition to good grub and booze, have a fine old off the record gossip about the remainder of society.

    The former editor of the Sunday Tribune was challenged on this during the last seminar that she gave to Media students in Limerick University. She confirmed the practice and defended ‘having to work within the constraints imposed by the Garda Siochana’ on the ‘Security Correspondence’ to the extent that any story broken on a news paper negative to Garda views or interests have to be broken by a journalist other than the Security Cors.

    This practice is detrimental to good investigative ( or indeed any other type) of journalism. Situations arise where a ‘Security Correspondent’ on a paper far from assisting a rigorous investigation critical of the Gardai, is actually desperately attempting to modify, soften if not bury stories negative or accusatory to the Gardai, as the Gardai simply rescind the monthly invite to the ‘misbehaving’ newspaper concerned.

    Given the all encompassing nature of this Garda control and influence on Irish Media, what is happening ‘across the water’ with the police and some press people is kindergarden stuff by comparison. It is hardly re-assuring to hear Journalists who are part of this cozy ‘Hack & Garda’ cartel come on National media to assure the Irish Public that ‘there is no Press/Garda,
    corruption / Collusion here.

    ( Those of us who worked closely with the Press in a political PRO capacity over the years know all too well that the Intel for the story and how it could stand up was all that concerns the vast majority of journalists and editors, not how this Intel was acquired to begin with. Indeed the information Billy used to burst the Donegall Garda Scandal wide open was unlawfully obtained, illegally in his possession and unlawfully used, if albeit in a necessary way to in turn prove Garda illegal practices and wrongdoing ! )

    Yes indeed and there almost was No Donegall Garda Scandal ( or at least one that reached the public arena) !

    For at least whole two years before Sam Smith broke ranks and broke sufficient of the story that went from a trickle to the stream and then the torrent that broke the dam. Billy Flynn, Private Investigator, was at that time was facing a plethora of Garda prosecutions, with full co-operation of the Department Of Justice and Judiciary, may I add, that were an abuse of due process to stymie the investigation and silence his complaints.

    A few days before Sam broke the story Billy Flynn almost cracked up under strain and indeed had not the story broken when it did, Billy was not mentally fit to continue and what became known as the ‘Donegall Garda Scandal’ would have been ‘case managed’ like so many others by burying the messenger without ever having come to public notice !

    These practices outlined have far more profound implications for democracy and accountability in this Island than anything happening ‘across the water’ especially now given the co-operation between both police forces in both jurisdictions, the Northern service may take some of these Gardai mal practices onboard and they have enough of their own already!

    So Mick how about a few calls to the various Newspapers and the Gardai on this Island and enlightening us on how prevalent this practice is as the Southern Media are determined to keep stumm on the matter for the reasons given. It surely has as profound implications for policing, accountability, the public right to know etc on this Island as anything happening in the Police / Journalistic interfaces across the water!

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  12. Drumlins Rock (profile) says:

    Could ask Rupert, to whom do you count yourself accountable.

    Ask Jnr & Snr. to give assurances their media companies will not target those who have helped expose this scandal.

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  13. John Ó Néill (profile) says:

    [MET}

    1. Please list all requests that were given to demonstrate the range of issues and individuals that News Int sought access to.

    [Brooks]
    2. Did you sign off on the decision to change e-mail platform in the midst of the #hackgate crisis, including restricting access to mails less than a year old. Can you support that decision with the business case that was prepared including procurement strategy and other supporting documentation?

    [Murdoch]
    3. Would you like to apply for asylum?

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  14. “Are you a Freemason…….and how many other people of interest to this Inquiry (journalists, police officers, senior politicians) are you aware are members of a Freemason Lodge?”

    (To Senior Police Officers)
    “I have here a list of names of crime correspondents on all of the major newspapers and media outlets. I will now read this list. Please state the number of times/places et you have met this person and who paid for lunch dinner or other freebie”?

    (To all senior crime correspondents).
    “I have a list of senior police officers…….”

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  15. John Ó Néill (profile) says:

    FJH – were you watching Where Eagles Dare by any chance?

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  16. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    ‘Do any of you own a white cat that you continually stroke while it sits on your lap?’

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  17. No. (I dont see the context…..is that the one with Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton?).
    I dont watch movies.
    I just watch Life.

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  18. Nunoftheabove (profile) says:

    The Raven

    I think we know that already; surely it was the moment they started getting calls from key advertisers cancelling their placements in the NoTW and one call became two and then four and then sixty four. That’s the only form of wrongness I fancy that they’d recognize. Probably even now.

    Drumlins Rock

    His answer there would/will be the shareholders of News Corporation (i.e. the 71% of NewsCorp that neither he nor his own family own).

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  19. John Ó Néill (profile) says:

    FJH – a scene near the end has Burton wandering around a table getting the SS guys to give up the names of all their agents in London and at the heart of British Intelligence so he can check it against a list he has.

    At the end it turns out his was a blank page.

    I might have ruined the film for the two people who haven’t seen it yet…

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  20. Oh yes Peter Barkworth was sitting round the table too.
    I only watch movies if Mary Tyler Moore is in them.

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  21. Pigeon Toes (profile) says:

    To James Murdoch. Did you know that one of the signs of a person lying, is that their ears turn purple? :-D

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  22. his fingernails seem very odd.

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  23. pippakin (profile) says:

    Its all gone a bit custard pieish. Someone thinks he is a comedian, Twat…

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  24. JR (profile) says:

    Q- Why does he suppose he was able to secure so many meetings with David Cameron when the first ministers of Northern Ireland not get one?

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