Paying whistleblowers is sometimes in the public interest…

What’s interesting about this conversation with Tom Watson and Kelvin McKenzie is the latter’s mostly sober (until we get to his ‘shut up Tom Watson’ outburst) point when he argues that paying whistle-blowers is sometimes in the public interest. Well worth spending 10 minutes listening to it:

Mackenzie and Watson on The Sun (mp3)

In the meantime, the News of the Screws is coming back, or at least that’s what the advertising agencies are hoping for


  • On the subject of whistleblowing a little closer to home, I’m surprised no one is picking up on this very curious incident:

    You would think it a ripe story for some budding investigative hack to get their teeth into…

  • cynic2

    If they are civil servants its also a criminal offence. Thats what Parliament has decided. And why should a genuine whistleblower want money?

  • alan56

    MacKenzie is a bully

  • aquifer

    I would like to see the outcome of the story where the Legionella inspection company seems to be preparing to sue the whistleblowing former employee.

    Will they sue in the end, and will we get that update?

  • Mark

    Mackenzie is old school and will never change . There will always be that ” bottle of Whiskey at Xmas for the best customer ” tradition whether it’s in the form of match / Opera / concert tickets Only problems was all the customers were the best .

    What do they say – information is power and powerful imformation always cost big money. Re the interview – Watson shows his inexperience with the Hillsborough comment , a cheap shot .

  • As always it is a matter of balance.
    A whistle blower should be “pure of heart” or like Caesars wife in some respects.
    At best they provide a public service.
    But I think to blow a whistle for profit is a little different from whistle blowing.
    Clearly whistle blowers need protecting…in order to provide the public service.
    But clearly it taints their position if money changes hands.

    In my view……the MPs expenses scandal did involve the handing over of money.
    In this specific case, Id totally accept that the most important consideration was making the public aware.

    Thats in the public interest but also Id argue that it is in the public interest to have a “civil service” which can be trusted and the notion that some would be mercenary enough to look for a main chance or that newspapers would exploit that under the guise of “public interest” is stretching things.

    Can we really take moral guidance from Kelvin Mackenzie?

  • Mark

    Doesn’t look like Murdoch plans for early retirement after yesterdays news so the game starts all over again ……….

  • socaire

    Don’t forget that the anti-treaty forces are mobilising at Clonoe tomorrow Sun at 2.00pm

  • Pigeon Toes

    Surely the whole point of whistle blowing, is that it is a matter of conscience?

    Payment means personal gain and and ulterior motive, and that at least is enshrined in law.
    However, as Ulick points out the authorities are too often involved in finding the source of the damning information rather than whether there is any truth to the allegations….
    “It is in the process of issuing legal proceedings against a former employee….The council received an anonymous letter last week which made allegations about the testing of Legionella in our swimming pools.”

    I hope the whistle was blown before the “former employee” lost their job….