Leading article: Another layer is stripped away

 

Share
Related Topics

When he appeared before MPs last July to face questions over phone hacking, Rupert Murdoch described it as "the most humble day of my life". It would be interesting to know how the veteran media tycoon regarded 19 April 2012. By even his standards, yesterday was grim.

The Labour MP Tom Watson and The Independent journalist Martin Hickman called a press conference to disclose the contents of the book they have co-authored, Dial M for Murdoch. Among the revelations was how Murdoch's News International targeted members of the Commons select committee who were investigating it. Reporters were ordered to find out everything they could about every member: who was gay, who had affairs, anything they could use. "Each reporter was given two members and there were six reporters."

The graphic picture the book paints is of a state within a state, of a company that spun its web of influence throughout the British media, politics, police and public life. But make no mistake: that hegemony is crushed. Indeed, the authors showed that by publishing their work.

To emphasise the collapse, there were more arrests yesterday in the police inquiries now under way, among them The Sun's royal editor on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt and conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office.

Then came the announcement from solicitor Mark Lewis that he would be launching proceedings in the US, in Murdoch's backyard, on behalf of people whose phones were hacked there. And the Leveson Inquiry said that James Murdoch would be giving evidence on Tuesday of next week, and that the following day-and-a-half had been set aside for the questioning of his father.

Any sense of Murdoch Snr exercising control over events has long since disappeared. Surely, MPs cannot let Dial M for Murdoch pass. They must launch another inquiry, this time into their attempted smearing.

On it goes. Next week, before Leveson, promises more of the same. If quizzing by MPs was humbling, what will a very public cross-examination before a senior judge be like? These are dark days for Rupert Murdoch – but brighter ones for a Britain shaking off his pervasive power.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Assistant

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently  

Shia LaBeouf to Luis Suárez: Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Ellen E Jones
Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay's Chris Martin “consciously uncoupled” in March  

My best and worst stories of 2014

Simmy Richman
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015