Saturday, 4 September 2010

Stop being so naive Iain...

As Mrs Dale is showing just how easy it is to take things at face value again as he rushes to defend Andy Coulson, I thought I'd give this little posting from Five Chinese Crackers a little more audience:

You might not have noticed because most of the British press seems curiously reluctant to cover it, but earlier in the week, the New York Times produced some new evidence that the Conservative party's chief spin doctor Andy Coulson knew much more about the phone hacking scandal of 2006 than he was letting on. Maybe they were too busy covering allegations regarding William Hague's sexuality, and his emotional revelations about not being gay that came out at the same time, handily and totally coincidentally for the Conservatives' spin doctor. Ahem. The New York Times' full investigation is due to appear on Sunday. Maybe the press haven't covered it because they're waiting for that. (Hat tip - TabloidWatch). Perhaps the most disturbing revelation in the New York Times Story, as Tom watson says in this post at Jack of Kent, is this:
The New York Times also suggests, for the first time, direct police collusion with a commercial media organisation, an unnamed senior investigator alleging that a Scotland Yard press officer stressed the department’s “long-term relationship with News International”.
A Scotland Yard press officer allegedly urging the police to go easy on the News of the World because of an alleged "long-term relationship with News International"? Whatever could he have meant? In June 2006, the Metropolitan Police carried out a disatrously bungled raid on the home of two brothers, Abdul Koyair and Abdul Kahar, alleged to be in posession of chemical weapons. They actually weren't. The 250 police involved in the raid found no explosives or chemical weapons, but did manage to shoot one of the brothers, Abdul Kahar, in the process of turning up nothing. The BBC reported at the time:
One report suggests his brother Abul Koyair shot him. Both are under arrest and deny involvement in terrorism.
Guess which paper reported that the police didn't shoot Kahar in the raid, but his own brother did - an allegation that turned out to be totally false, by the way. Later, after the police bungling was revealed for what it was, allegations that Abdul Kahar had been found with child porn on his mobile phone was leaked to the press. Guess which paper broke the story. Another allegation that appeared in the press that had the handy effect of making the brothers look a bit dodgy was the revelation that they were found with large amounts of cash - not so odd when you realise that devout Muslims often avoid banks as interest is seen as forbidden. Which paper broke this news I wonder? A week after the raid, one paper alleged, falsely, that one brother had a criminal record, while another alleged, falesly, that one committed an offence as a juvenile. Guess which company owns these papers. The Forest Gate raid was not the only bungled operation by police in 2005 and 2006. Jean Charles de Menesez was infamously shot dead by armed police who mistook him for an attempted suicide bomber in 2005. In 2006, while the News of the World was being investigated for the phone hacking scandal, completely false allegations that de Menezes had raped a woman appeared in the press. Which part of the press broke that story? The first two stories appeared first in the News of the World. The third appeared first in News of the World sister paper, the Sun. The fourth appeared first in News International's the Times, and the fifth in the Sun. The sixth seems to have been broken by the Sun. The Scotland Yard press officer involved denies attempting to repress information and says he cannot recall the events in the New York Times article, of course. But if there was a "long-term relationship" between the Metropolitan Police and News International that led to the police perhaps not investigating phone hacking at the News of the World quite as hard as they could, what sort of thing could the Met expect in return, do you think?

Iain, in the deep and murky waters of Politics, things are rarely as they seem and the public are rarely as stupid as you take them for. Especially when it comes to London's Finest

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