FIVE journalists at the Sun newspaper have been arrested by detectives investigating allegations of corrupt payments to the police and other ‘public servants’.
A Surrey Police officer, a member of the armed forces and a Ministry of Defence employee were also arrested.
The arrests come after News Corporation, the American parent company of News International which owns the Sun and the Times, released three hundred million News International e-mails to the police, effectively shopping a large number of its UK employees.
The Sun employees arrested as part of the Operation Elveden probe into payments to police are picture editor John Edwards, chief reporter John Kay, chief foreign correspondent Nick Parker, reporter John Sturgis and associate editor Geoff Webster.
What is being forced out into the open by the News of the World-Sun saga is the interlinking of, and interpenetration between big business, the state, and the bourgeois political parties. News International was seeking to bend the other two to its will.
We have already seen how the police refused to properly survey the evidence about phone hacking.
The Met in fact refused to continue with the investigation, and had to be forced to proceed. At least two police chiefs were forced to resign in this process.
The Parliamentary Committee sessions revealed that the Met media office contained 12 former News International employees, and was in fact run by one of them.
The same News International also supplied the Tory Party with its Downing Street media chief, Coulson, who had been at the heart of News of the World’s phone hacking. He was made to resign despite a valiant defence of his integrity by Prime Minister Cameron who was determined to retain his services.
It was also revealed that News International chiefs were regularly entertained at Chequers by the PM and were able to have a large number of meetings with the Tory leader. Now it is being alleged that police officers and other state officials were being bought and sold by News International.
Tom Watson, the Labour MP who has played a leading role in the unmasking of the Murdoch-Tory alliance, said yesterday that Murdoch and other senior News International staff could be recalled for further questioning in the light of the new arrests. He added: ‘If they’ve got evidence of a reasonable suspicion that the police were paid by News International then Parliament needs to know. . .’
A little more than that is required to deal with this situation. In fact, there is a history to it. The alliance between Murdoch, the state and the Tory Party began with the Sun’s promotion of Thatcher during the 1982 imperialist war with Argentina.
It continued with the Sun’s attacks on the miners in 1984-85. The Sun lashed the miners on behalf of the bosses, while the police clubbed them, with Thatcher applauding the good work.
The alliance was further strengthened when Thatcher and the police used every resource at their disposal in 1986-87 to smash the Fleet Street printers, set up a scab plant in Wapping and sack 6,000 printers.
These are no accidental friends. This is the modern capitalist state in operation, with the mailed fist, the propaganda machine and the government at the disposal of the ruling class. However, in this case News International thought that while governments changed it would not only remain, but would be the real power, with its propaganda machine deciding who the government would be. Like some banana republic – it was to be ‘The Sun what done it’ at election time, putting the politicians in its grip!
There is only one cure for this very diseased version of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and that is a socialist revolution to replace capitalism with socialism, and in the process breaking up the media empires and putting them at the disposal of the people.