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: Shift Supervisor

£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to recent expansion and gro...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Support Worker

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A rewarding opportunity to work with an easy-...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ice skating in George Square, Glasgow  

How many Christmas cards have you sent this year?

Simon Kelner
 

Al-Sweady Inquiry: An exercise in greed that blights the lives of brave soldiers

Richard Kemp
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum