Thursday, July 09, 2009

Andy Coulson and the Law

Much fuss about the yellow press listening to voicemail through knowing the default passwords. I'm rather more worried about their network of private detectives who had access, according to the print version, to police databases and to BT's billing system. And I'm depressed about a group of journos who, given the keys to the 650 terabyte BSS/OSS database at BT Martlesham Heath, couldn't think of anyone more interesting to spy on than Gordon Taylor. He's not even the most interesting person in football I'd want to pull a STELLAR WIND call detail record/social network plot on.

But I'm really keen to know why nobody wants to mention that Andy Coulson, News of the Screws editor, and Rupert Murdoch's ambassador to David Cameron, isn't just mixed up in this. He is. But he's also involved - according to the courts - in a dispute at the paper which ended with him and other execs trying to bully one of their employees' doctor into changing his mind over whether they had bullied the employee into quitting. They further tried to force the guy to see a company doc - a Dickensian mine-owner's trick - and two of Coulson's direct reports (his deputy and the sports ed) were named by the court as having lied about the affair.

You want names? The liars are Paul Nicholas and Mike Dunn. But Coulson was in charge, just as he was during the spy operation. Now, if I was a pol looking to sink the Tory spin-control ship, I'd want to pull this story in as much as possible. A fit and proper person? Well...

But who, being fit and proper, would take on the job of a Tory Ali-C clone?


Fellow Traveller said...

Andy Coulson reminds me of Tex Colson, one of Nixon's most thuggish henchmen, jailed over Watergate, whom Hunter Thompson once imagined lashing by rope to the bumper of his car and dragging down the road behind it.

Will analogues of Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy materialize?

Joerg Wenck said...

Reuters asked a guy from the Reuters institute at Oxford:

"What we're arguing for is that there shouldn't be fishing expeditions. That is the surveillance state gone mad," Whittle told Reuters.

The opposite of madness is sanity, right? Clearly the surveillance state has become the default in many people's minds.

(Regarding development - have to put it off until fall.)

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