Amol Rajan: A thought experiment on 'absolutely illegal' activities

FreeView from the editors at i

Share

Today we are going to conduct a thought experiment. Let's imagine a giant multinational company in the field of, say, aviation – let's call it British Airways – has spent years thieving private information from people in the public domain. Somehow unnoticed by the police, whose top officers BA happens to be granting favours to, the company starts to illegally invade the privacy of the Royal Family, a serving Prime Minister of Great Britain, terrorist informers, the Governor of the Bank of England, and footballers aplenty.

Some other things the company is doing are also illegal. For instance, they are making illegal payments to police officers, and shamelessly threatening MPs who dare to speak out against the company, by employing lackeys to make private threats about the horrors that will be unleashed on them.

Meanwhile, in another branch of BA, they've been preparing a takeover bid. It's the biggest commercial manoeuvre in the company's history. Unfortunately, some people fear that it will be bad for competition, what with monopolies generally being bad for competition, so a battle ensues to approve the takeover. The Government is on the company's side. The Opposition is not.

So what follows is an astonishing volume of email correspondence, private meetings, drinks on expenses, and general hospitality from BA to the government. At a private dinner in Oxfordshire, two of the most senior members of the company discuss the bid with the Prime Minister, a neighbour in the county, though he tells parliament "no inappropriate conversations" were had.

One of those senior figures at BA is put in charge of the internal investigation into that whole illegal thieving thing. At some point hundreds of emails are deleted as part of a blatant, vast cover-up. Incidentally, the Prime Minister was also lent a police horse named after Mikhail Gorbachev's wife, itself on loan from the Metropolitan Police.

Whole divisions of lobbyists are employed to cajole members of the government, that if the government should help this takeover happen, BA will generously support them, for instance with unlimited free international flights around election time, just when help is most needed.

In one email exchange, confidential government information is passed to a BA lobbyist, who passes it onto his boss boasting that doing so is "absolutely illegal".

That concludes our thought experiment for today. British Airways never did any of the above. News Corporation did. Who the hell is stupid or corrupt enough to argue that this company is fit to own a Broadcasting Licence? Only most of the Tory Party in power today.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

For all his faults, Russell Brand is utterly sincere, something politicians should emulate

Janet Street-Porter
 

Never underestimate the power of the National Trust

Boyd Tonkin
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss