Hacked Off

Is it just me, or is anyone else, fed up with the relentless coverage over the phone-hacking scandal?

Twitter and the mainstream media have become a boring echo-chamber with events being reported and poured over with glee; speculation is rife about who will be the next major figure to fall.

Nobody comes out well and of course we need our media to clean up its act, but we need to remember that the story about MPs expenses came about through illegally obtained information. Journalists have always pushed the boundaries and clearly certain practices and cultures need to be stamped out. Of more pressing concern than phone-hacking is the degree to which the metropolitan police were involved in bribery and corruption. Even more than that is the issue of politicians from all sides courting of the media – acting in the media’s best interests and not ours, the people who voted for them.

The press coverage is simply a mirror image of what has been going on for years, it is in the journalists’ and political commentators best interests to keep pushing this story in order to up their own personal profiles, “look, I got the scoop first” and to be able to offer their expert or informed opinions.

Here’s mine. Murdoch was not the first. Anyone remember the relationship between Maxwell and the Labour party? The Trinity Mirror Group and Associated Newspapers have as much to answer for in terms of bad practice, and the BBC has a case to answer in terms of their relationship with politicians.

I am not going to speculate on David Cameron’s guilt or innocence in this affair, because I believe there is information that is yet to come into the public domain; the way events are moving and political chess figures shifting, it really wouldn’t surprise me to wake up tomorrow to find Tony Blair back in charge. Whatever it is that David Cameron may have done, or not done, whatever he may have known or didn’t know, was it really as bad as Blair and Campbell leading us into an illegal war via lies and media manipulation? A decision that has resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths of soldiers and civilians and has done little to advance our reputation overseas. There was a much stronger case for Blair to be deposed, than it seems that there is for Cameron.

Right now it feels like we are in the throes of our own personal French Revolution with tweeters casting themselves into the role of tricoteuses. And look what happened after the French slaughtered all those associated with the nobility regardless of guilt in a bloody massacre. Just like with the Russian revolution of 1917, they replaced one form of tyranny with another and their press is now highly regulated and controlled by a rich and powerful elite. Is that really what we want?

In the meantime the European debt crises escalates, the price of gold is at an all time high, Greece is about to default, Italy and Spain are teetering on the brink and the US is two weeks away from running out of money to service its debts, both the dollar and the Euro are looking precariously weak. Is the collapse of the government really in everyone’s best interests in the middle of such financial tumult?

Is Ed Milliband, a man who cannot exercise any effective leadership over the squabbling members of his party the man for the job? If Labour had been able to demonstrate any sort of alternative and any indication that they are in touch with the concerns of the ordinary people in this country, then many would have been open to persuasion. But what is Ed Milliband’s finest hour to date? Being able to spin some half-way decent PR by attacking the PM for a media scandal, which he and his party were every bit as embroiled in as the Conservative Party. The only reason that the Lib Dems have remained untainted is because the media knew they had no chance of a whiff of power and didn’t waste their time.

Bread and circuses. Media folk – stop spinning this and show you are in touch by reporting on stories that are not simply in your own interests. The politicians, media and police work for us, not the other way around.

Still who cares, there’s a lynching to be seen later. I wonder what Rebekah Brooks will be wearing. Best get knitting.

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