Tag Archives: News of the World

Advice for Appearing Before The Parliamentary Committee

18 Jul

Remember when you were little and got into trouble? Maybe you were passing notes in class or were caught sneaking back into your bedroom window past your curfew. There’s that split second when the light goes on or the door opens and you hear that adult voice asking, “What are you doing?” and you know they know the answer to the question and that the whole world’s going to be crashing down on you momentarily and there’s not a single thing you can do to stop it. It may be one of the most horrible feelings in the universe.

Being “invited” to appear before a parliamentary committee investigating a  scandal of this magnitude is at least five or six times worse than that feeling. I can barely imagine it.

But then again I can barely imagine most of things this lot has done.

However, this has got to be a little nerve-wracking for them. Maybe not as nerve-wracking as getting your hopes up that your missing daughter is still alive because a journalist has deleted her voicemails, but still pretty worrying.

Although I have never been put into this position myself (it’s actually relatively easy to stay out of trouble like this), I do have some advice which Mssrs Murdoch and Mrs Brooks might want to take on board for tomorrow.

Don’t worry too much about how you look: everyone already hates you so you won’t be winning over any hearts by dressing “innocently.” Rebekah, the red hair—it is what it is; people might make jokes about it, but the truth is, it’s not your red hair but the moral vacuum behind your eyes which is your worst physical trait.

It appears that your primary concern is “avoiding self-incrimination.” This isn’t going to be as simple as it sounds. In America, they’ve got a little trick called “pleading the Fifth,” which means you can refuse to answer any question—this is because no one can be forced into giving self-incriminating evidence. It’s legal and I suppose there are cases where it’s probably a good thing: maybe a witness could put a drug dealer into jail, but because she once bought a joint off him and is therefore also guilty of a crime, she might refuse to incriminate herself. However, ask almost anyone who has seen a witness plead the Fifth and the first assumption that is made is that she is GUILTY—probably of even worse things than she is trying to hide.

Now the particular issues which are bound to be raised tomorrow are a bit heavier than a spliff or two. They’re actually rather mind-blowing (I would list them but I already know that you know), and appearing to be focused only on your own future is not going to make you smell too sweet. This isn’t just about Sienna Miller, you know? This is about big, bad, and horrible things. Sitting in a silence or refusing to answer or redirecting the questions is not advised.

At the same time, I would not suggest you do what’s been done in previous committee hearings, which is to deny and lie. The jig, as they say, is up. I don’t want to see a repeat of this tomorrow, and I bet you don’t either, because face it, it’s pretty humiliating:


So, what are you to do, you ask? You are indeed in a bit of a pickle. I’m afraid that there’s really only one option for you: say what you knew and when you knew it. If it makes you look bad, you are bad, and you deserve everything that you get.

What Rebekah Brooks Knows

8 Jul

Not too many people in the mood for bigging up ol’ Rebekah Brooks today, were there? A  staff member said, “For the sake of one person, 500 people at the News of the World have been sacrificed”; Nick Clegg has called for her to go; David Cameron claimed he would have taken her resignation and I confess I’ve never been too keen on her face since the whole Ross Kemp incident. Basically, she’s pretty much top of everybody’s shit list.

Except there’s one man who just can’t quit her. It’s the lovely Mister Murdoch. Why hasn’t he sacrificed her as many assumed he would and believe he should?

Today Rebekah Brooks reportedly told those News of the World staffers who could bear to listen:

I am a working journalist who has worked here since I was 19 years old. You are trying to say to me that because an allegation came in that we do not know if it is true, you think I should resign? If you think this is a bundle of laughs trying to fight and get this company’s reputation back, it isn’t.
We have more visibility perhaps with what we can see coming than you guys. I am tied by the criminal investigation but I think in a year’s time, every single one of you in this room might come up and say “I see what she saw now.”

Hmmm. . . is this just a typical journalist’s teaser to get us to tune in later? No. I’m afraid it’s the truth. She’s seen a few things; she indeed knows things that we do not know.

So what’s she on about? You may think that she’s just hinting at the fact that closing the News of the World was simply a gesture, and that it will be back to Sunday business as usual shortly (just with The Sun at the top of the page instead). Some speculate the real pay off of closing the newspaper will come when the BSkyB bid goes through.

The truth is Murdoch won’t axe her because she is privy to some sensational information about the man. Exactly what that sensational information is is what everyone wants to know. I’m afraid it’s far worse than anyone imagines. Here is just a taster of the things that I can’t tell you about Rupert Murdoch, his dastardly deeds and his wicked, wicked ways:

  • The first restraining order in Melbourne’s history was taken out against a young Rupert Murdoch by a neighbour who claimed she didn’t like the way the boy was looking at her dog (if you know what she means).
  • Rupert Murdoch suffers from automatonophobia.
  • Remember how we were all fine with there being nine planets in our solar system? Well, Rupert Murdoch wasn’t. Now all of a sudden, Pluto doesn’t count. You do the math.
  • Rupert Murdoch doesn’t know how to read.
  • Rupert Murdoch has never taken a one-stroke penalty when his ball is in an unplayable lie.
  • Murdoch started the rumour that centrifugal force is “fictitious” and today that’s what we teach our children.
  • Have you ever seen Rupert Murdoch and DB Cooper in the same room? Think about it.

So Rebekah does indeed have a few things on the man.  However, despite her red hair, she seems to have forgotten the Golden Rule of Evil: you deal with the devil, you’re going to get burned. The truth is that Rupert Murdoch is more powerful than any of us realise. It won’t be long until Rebekah Brooks, too, gets what’s coming.