Saturday 7 March 2015

One rule for one, one rule for another

Except for the Guardian, the remarkable under-reporting of the phone hacking scandal at Mirror Group Newspapers is really striking - especially in comparison to the massive coverage of the News of the World scandal. 

The current Labour leadership, and all those Labour MPs who kicked up about the News of the World’s misbehaviour, should have issued statements and spoken out loudly in public about similar activities having occurred at the Daily and Sunday Mirror and Sunday People.
I’ve searched the Twitter file of Tom Watson, for example, and can’t find any condemnation from him following the statement at the high court about hacking being “rife” at Mirror group.
I did the same search for comments about the Mirror by another Labour MP who used to speak so often about the disgrace of the News of the World hackers, Chris Bryant. Silence, a deafening silence, on the subject once again.
By ignoring the Mirror’s hacking Labour is tending to indicate that it was, after all, playing politics when it was so critical of David Cameron in 2011.
Why should the party let Trinity Mirror off the hook? Because its papers support Labour and there’s an election coming up? Because its papers aren’t owned by Murdoch? Because the Mirror’s hackers didn’t intercept the voicemails of John Prescott (a Sunday Mirror columnist)? Because hacking is yesterday’s news? 
None of these excuses stands up. Labour should show some principle by treating the Mirror the way it did Murdoch.

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