The dastardly deliverables of Lord Leveson
The odd business of the Leveson Enquiry’s unwillingness to call Boris Johnson and give his pork sword a bit of a grilling is highlighted by this clip of Asst. Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick giving evidence to it on 12th March 2012.
In that evidence, she makes it clear that BoJo’s deputy Kit Malthouse asked her three times, from January 2011 onwards, about whether it was a good idea to devote “so many resources” to the Newscorp phone-hacking investigation. Again we have to ask ourselves here whyTF it might not be a good idea, given these were serious and blatant breaches of every privacy law in Britain.(For what it’s worth, Cressida’s allegations were fully confirmed when Sir Paul Stephenson gave evidence at the Leveson Inquiry.)
A little more on Mr Kit Malthouse. He helped found (and is the finance director of) an investment outfit called Alpha. Or rather, he was until 15 days ago, at which point it was offered a cash acquisition by Northhill Holdings. Kit has got an early Christmas present: if the deal goes through, he will be a very rich man indeed. He also Chairs two other companies, and is a director of his wife’s online music company.
He is in turn Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority, Director of the Association of Police Authorities, and a member of the Thames Estuary Airport Steering Committee. The last of these, you will probably know by now, is not going to be an onerous task, as his boss’s Big Idea was frozen out of the airport expansion shortlist.
Maltscouse is in fact the original trailblazer of the rather stupid and inherently dangerous policy of having an elected police comissioner everywhere. It’s stupid because it will raise costs and make no difference to anything, but also dangerous because it paves the way for the further politicisation of Plod. As you can see from the above history, Kit seems to be all for this. Asked about the pestering of Ms Dick to stop investigating the criminal activities of the Mayor’s mate Rupert Murdoch (and Boris’s “friend” Rebekah Brooks), Shithouse said, “It is a question really of balancing resources across the various crime types that the Met has to deal with” and then went on to add that he thought “media hysteria” was driving the hacking investigation, and he would prefer the police to devote more to time “to serious crimes like rape and paedophilia”. Especially at the BBC, presumably. But not at Fernbridge, as it were.
By 27th June 2012, Johnson was facing calls for an independent enquiry into his relationships with Rebekah Brooks, James Murdoch, and Rupert Murdoch. But Leveson – there to probe the overly-close and unhealthy cop/media/politicians links – chose not to call him to the stand.
There can be no excuse for this, because the issue of the Mayor and Newscorp cuddle had been bubbling under for some time.
The consistency with which BoJo either left Newscorp meetings off his official duties schedule (or didn’t record the contents) has been covered elsewhere. But his own diaries show that he had a phone conversation with Rebekah Brooks on 28 April 2011, a previously undisclosed telephone conversation with News International executive chairman James Murdoch on 6 May 2011, and then a session with Newscorp lobbyist Frederick Michel at City Hall on 11 May 2011. Overall, the release of the mayor’s full official diary showed an obvious pattern (in a list of key engagements presented to the London Assembly at the monthly Mayor’s Question Time) of hiding, not disclosing or not recording appointments in 2011 with top Murdoch executives. In the end, the BBC had to haul in the UK Information Commissioner to prise the diaries from Johnson’s white-knuckled grasp.
So here was a golden opportunity for the Enquiry to call Boris Johnson, and ask him to explain this very obvious attempt to leave no trace of his regular contact with Rupert’s men and women. Leveson chose not to do so. Why is nobody – still – asking how this pompous man Leveson avoided having a prime witness give evidence?
Is this old story relevant? People need to start joining up the dots here. Of late, I’m starting to get emails and threaders and quite a few general online trolls consistently using the phrase “relentless attack on London Mayor Boris Johnson”. In fact, I’ve been saying for nearly six years now that Johnson is the most dangerous male politician in Britain, because his past shows signs of a bullying and dodgey behavioural nature, his friends all seem to be sh*ts, and he very clearly has an agenda involving less democracy, more development for the rich, fewer services for the poor, and access to control of the Justice System.
I’m not relentlessly attacking anyone for the point of it: I’m carrying out a dogged defence against relentless attacks upon the Rule of Law, Equality before the Law, and Might is Right.
Both Boris and Kit work closely with the City, push their viewpoints to the limit in police and legal cases, and have close links to Newscorp. Think about it: they’re moving into position with a ready access to all the things you need for a socio-political revolution: big munneeee, powerful media owners, and a police force steadily being ordered more and more to do their bidding – not society’s.
The ‘deliverables’ from the Leveson Enquiry have been as follows:
1. The malign influence of Newscorp in Government has remained exactly as it was: hidden from view, and yet thinly veiled on issues such as Plebgate, the promotion of Jeremy Hunt, and the growing influence of Michael Gove.
2. The Barclay Brothers support the aims of the London Mayor’s career objectives in any way they can.
3. The further enquiries about alleged hacking activities at the Daily Mail and Trinity Mirror have fizzled out.
4. The pro-Murdoch attack on the BBC by the Government continues unabated, under the leadership of Grant Shapps whose job (hint-hint) is to get the Conservatives reelected. The BBC Seven DJ acusations in particular have all the hallmarks of shared information and damaging leaks concocted by ‘old friends’ in Wapping and The Met.
5. The environment necessary to frighten whistle-blowers becomes more aggressive with every week, and the Government has tried at least one attempt to make libel litigation cost-free for the subject of media accusations.
6. The invasive behaviour of tabloid journalists has not changed a jot.
7. A legally-binding code of journalistic behaviour has been formulated and passed. All the decisions took place in secret, by people whose names remained secret, in locations that were secret.
So well done, your Lordship. You are a fine fellow, and no mistake.