NO NEWS: Last edition of NOTW published yesterday
FINALLY SOME great economic news for me – with the News of the World out of business it looks like I now have an excuse to upgrade to Andrex.
The day the News of the World closed is a day I will celebrate forever – in fact it has partially redeemed July 7. (7/7 2005 - the day home-grown terrorists decided to attack us by ending their own lives.
The News of the World is not a publication that provided any noteworthy public service whatsoever. They helped mainstream misogyny, racism, homophobia, islamophobia, xenophobia and mass hysteria. Page after page of filth and poison pumped into five million minds week after week for decades.
This is a paper with a staff who would think up crimes and then go out and look for people who were either poor, desperate, greedy or eager enough (but certainly always stupid enough) to commit them. Then they would sensationally expose them in their paper and sell it on to other poor, desperate, greedy, eager and, yes, stupid people.
The saddest part of it all is that the people often torn to shreds in the paper and the people buying the paper were one and the same: imperfect and vulnerable people making a very rich man even richer.
My sympathy for the now unemployed staff of the News of the World is about as abundant as their paper’s sympathy was for the unemployed in this country. My sympathy for those within the company that may go to jail is nonexistent. Both parties will now have to run though minefields that they themselves have painted to be harmless and enjoyable.
This phone hacking scandal is a God-send. It lifts the skirt of the ludicrously hypocritical concept of corruption-free Britain. The scandal doesn’t damage the News of the World reputation as most discerning people expect this from them (sans hacking a murdered girl's phone). From the Police, the politicians and the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) however I expected, perhaps foolishly, better.
Policemen received large bribes. A senior policeman tasked with investigating the NOTW was threatened and then given a job at the Times. Despite the paper’s disgusting output the man at the helm of the NOTW when the phone-hacking took place was hired as the Prime minister’s right hand man (context: this is the equivalent of Obama hiring Hugh Hefner as his Press Secretary).
In the face of the NOTW and the rest of the Murdoch Familia (to be fair to the mafia - no family has ever been this powerful, rich etc, etc) successive governments turned a blind eye to the very purpose of government: protecting the people, and then formed policy to garner favourable headlines. And as Ed Miliband correctly pointed out “the PCC are nothing but toothless poodles”.
You could replace the letters “PCC” in that sentence with “the last Labour government” (of which Ed Miliband was at the heart) and the sentence would ring even more true.
So in retrospect, Andy Coulson, the media 'bad' guy he may be but he is our 'bad' guy. Thanks in part to him, or the media attention on him, he has inadvertently helped rid us of one of the worst newspapers ever and exposed our many national fallacies.
Most importantly, for now, he has probably helped scupper a deal that would have increased Rupert Murdoch’s hegemony over our lives and way of living.
For this Coulson should be knighted for services to democracy, decency, journalism, dignity and humanity.