YESTERDAY’S parliamentary committee sessions saw News International stand brazenly in denial of any knowledge of the phone hacking that took place at the News of the World, while the just-resigned Police Commissioner Stephenson and his deputy Yates, now both under investigation, remained in a state of denial.
Stephenson said that he had decided not to ‘compromise’ the Prime Minister by informing him that while he was employing Coulson the ex-editor of the News of the World as his key PR man, the Metropolitan Police had taken on Coulson’s NoW deputy editor, Wallis, as its media consultant.
Stephenson, who proclaimed that leaders should be shielded from compromising information, said that he had asked his deputy Yates to inform the PM.
Yates said that he had approached Cameron’s Chief of Staff, Llewellyn, with the information but he too decided that there was no need to inform Cameron. Cameron, in fact, needed no shielding from compromising with News International since he regularly met with members of the Murdoch family and News International chief, Rebekah Brooks.
Yates, the police officer who decided that there was nothing to investigate as far as phone hacking was concerned and ignored the many thousands of items of evidence that were bagged and never looked at, admitted yesterday that he was a good friend of Wallis’ for over 12 years, and that he was asked by Dick Fedorcio, who was in charge of the Metropolitan Police’s public relations department (and who had known Wallis for over a decade), to give Wallis clearance to work for the Met.
Yates did this after asking Wallis for assurances that he was not involved in any actions that would compromise the police. This was enough to place two News International ex-employees into key positions, one in the police establishment, and one in the government’s apparatus.
It was revealed that Wallis’ hiring brought the number of ex-News of the World employees in the Metropolitan police’s PR department to 10 out of 44 operatives. Yates then assisted Wallis’ daughter in the matter of getting a job working for the police.
Stephenson, the ex-police chief, who does not believe in disturbing or compromising politicians, then compromised himself by accepting free treatment worth thousands of pounds at a medical centre for which Wallis acted in public relations.
The picture that has been reinforced at the parliamentary committee meetings is one of a Murdoch empire that was in a well cemented alliance with the Tory Party and the police, which phone hacking and much else was not going to be allowed to disturb.
They were so well integrated that where the Murdoch empire ended and where the police and the government began was blurred, with many of the personnel interchangeable.
The historic links of News International with the Tory Party, and the police were built up over the last 30 years after Murdoch backed Thatcher to the hilt in the Malvinas War, and the miners strike, and in return Thatcher gave Murdoch full support in his battle to smash the Fleet Street unions in 1986-87. When the Tory Party returned to government after 13 years in opposition, the three parties got back into the closest possible embrace in record time.
It was the growing determination of the working class to defend its Welfare State and its rights against the Tory-led coalition, that prepared the way for the explosion under the government after the Milly Dowler hacking was discovered.
This has now developed into a massive crisis for the government, Murdoch and the police. This edifice, built out of the class war in the 1980s, is now crumbling.
The ruling class is now in a major economic and political crisis.
The working class and the trade unions must take full advantage of it and take general strike action to bring it down, to go forward to a workers government and socialism.