'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Friday, 15 July 2011

Oh. This phone hacking business. Apparently it's my fault.

Needless to say the news that all the phone hacking business may well be down up me has come as something of a surprise. Fortunately, there's someone I can share the blame with. Apparently it's your fault too.

Have you noticed? There's a thread beginning to emerge in the media. I'm starting to see or hear it every day. Patience Wheatcroft referred to it again in last nights (generally excellent) Newsnight discussion (at 34 minutes in). It generally goes along the lines of ' well of course if only people weren't interest in salacious gossip, the papers wouldn't chase it, but that's what people want to read'.

So it's all down to you and me.

If we weren't desperate for celebrity gossip, the poor darlings in newsrooms up and down the country wouldn't, in an equally desperate attempt to keep a roof over their families heads, have been forced to hack celebrities phones.

And if they hadn't learnt how to listen in to celebrity voicemail, they wouldn't have known how to hack other people's. Like murder victims, families people killed in terrorist attrocities, or dead soldiers relatives.

They certainly wouldn't have ended up allegedly paying police officers for information.

Or persuading people to give them the medical information about the sick children of politicians.

No. They did it all for us. And this is how we repay them.

But you know the worst thing?

I've a horrible feeling some of them actually believe it.

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