Letters: Closure of The News of the World

Good riddance to a shameful, salacious paper
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The Independent Online

The "loss" of 200 jobs? Before it began phone hacking the victims of serial killers and terrorist outrages, the "Nudes of the World" used to specialise in the salacious reporting of rape trials where the victim's sexual history would be paraded for all the world to see.

If the local brothel closed it would be a victory for public decency; if the factory that belched cancerous fumes into the atmosphere ceased operating I'd raise a cheer. "Save the NOTW 200"? It won't go viral on Facebook.

Richard Knights

Liverpool

The usual redtop defence for the filth they feed their greedy readers is that they're only giving the public what the public wants.

That being so, News of the World readers bear some of the blame for what has happened. It's a bit rich for those who've just been enthusiastically drinking sewage to complain that they're surprised to find the sewers inhabited by sewer rats. It's not just the newspapers who need to clean up their act. It's us too. It's British democracy itself. We're a nation of trash addicts. We need tough love and cold turkey to wean us off the habit. Sadly, this will, of course, never happen. No government would dare risk losing votes.

Kevin Maynard

St Albans, Hertfordshire

It is all very well for various big names to have withdrawn their advertising from the now defunct News of the World, but this killing off of one of his newspapers simply indicates what a wily businessman Murdoch is. The boycott of his brand should be extended to the rest of his newpapers as this step has quite obviously been taken simply so that he can look as if he is doing something decisive.

This latest move has simply killed the jobs of some of the ordinary workers on the NOTW, while the people who were in charge when these shenanigans were in process sit tight and pretend ignorance of any wrongdoing. It is an absolute disgrace and an insult to our intelligence.

Angela Peyton

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

When I read of a teenager who is accused of hacking from his bedroom, the police have taken away his computer, mobile phone and almost every other piece of electronic gear he owns.

Now that News International has been accused of hacking, its spokesman says that they will give the police copies of emails and other information that is requested.

How can the police know in detail what they want access to? Why do I not read that the police have impounded all the computers and mobile phones of News International?

Ken Austin

Chesham, Buckinghamshire

James Murdoch came over as a smarmy, uncaring, unrepentant individual who went out of his way to praise and support Ms Brooks and other senior executives while throwing the entire staff of the NOTW – hitherto loyal and not engaged in wrongdoing – to the wolves.

Iain Ellis

Muxton, Shropshire

Greater love hath no Murdoch than this, that he lays down his title for his friend.

Philip Goldenberg

Woking, Surrey

How can anyone take Ed Miliband's protestations concerning the NOTW seriously when he revealed that during a recent meeting with Rupert Murdoch he failed to raise the issue of phone hacking?

Steve Poole

Bristol

When Rupert Murdoch was shown being followed by journalists in America just before the NOTW announcement he was asked if he normally walks this fast. "Only when I am trying to get away from you guys" came the reply, obviously referring to journalists, the press, the media.

That being the case, Mr Murdoch, you were running away from yourself.

JP Bjork

Torquay

How stupid does the Murdoch family think the British public are? Most people seem to be deeply infuriated and bitterly contemptuous of the attempt to whitewash the deplorable phone-hacking episode by closing NOTW, a paper which had, in any case, lost all its advertising revenue.

The problem is not and was not NOTW. The problem remains the management ethic behind all this – and that goes right back to the Murdochs.

Perhaps now our pusillanimous politicians will do the right thing and prevent this unpleasant family from grabbing any more of the British media.

Pamela Manfield

Stotfold, Hertfordshire

The perfunctory way in which the Murdoch-controlled newspapers have reported the ongoing phone-hacking scandal up to now is surely the best evidence that plurality of media control is vital for a healthy free press. It is only today, after James Murdoch's statement, and presumably after editorial controls have been relaxed, that The Times has started to explore the issue in more depth.

This is a graphic illustration of how one company, and possibly even one man, can control the news that we read. The BSkyB takeover by News Corporation should be halted and referred to the monopolies commission forthwith.

Mike Betterton

Skelton, Cleveland

When I was a child, some 70 years ago, the News of the World was a regular feature of our Sundays. Its reporting of divorce proceedings was so coy that it was quite safe for children to read it – I never did understand what was meant by "intimacy took place on the sitting-room sofa". My mother, however, was always rather ashamed of reading it. When, later, my Oxford don fiancé and I were staying with her, she appeared in the kitchen on Sunday morning with the paper in her hand and a puzzled look on her face. "Someone has put this terrible paper through our door," she said. "I can't think why – it must be a mistake!"

Doraine Potts

Cheltenham

Last year Vince Cable was heavily criticised for unknowingly informing two undercover reporters of his intention to go to war against Rupert Murdoch and his media empire. It would now appear that his judgment was, once again, absolutely spot on and his only mistake was to say it privately rather than to shout it out.

Malcolm Sharpe

Liverpool

Gotcha! ("Andy Coulson and ex-royal reporter Clive Goodman arrested", 8 July).

Dr Pete Dorey

Cardiff University

Teens made to pay to volunteer

My 14-year-old daughter has volunteered to help at our local old people's home each week as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award and as such has to have a CRB check. (Yes, you would think that it was the adults in the home who ought to have the check, not the child, but let's ignore that absurdity at the moment).

I have just been informed that her time there is not regarded as volunteer activity and that the CRB fee of £41.60 will be payable, despite a letter from the care-home manager explaining what she would be doing (chatting to, and playing games with, the residents).

Could someone in Government please explain to me how we are going to achieve the Big Society when such obstacles to volunteering are thrown in the way?

Clare Beazley

Chippenham, Wiltshire

Almost famous

Guy Keleny (Errors & Omissions, 2 July), argues that "if people didn't know the [Man Booker] prize carried prestige then it wouldn't be prestigious – prestige being a matter of public perception. It follows that in all cases where 'prestigious' is true it is also redundant."

By this logic it follows that in all cases of the word "celebrity" being true it is also redundant. I can assure you that in that specific sense it is not redundant according to my perception or knowledge of the latest celebrities, although my young niece always seems to know all about them.

However, if by some unlikely chance she were to come across a mention of the Man Booker Prize, she might helpfully be made aware that it's a prestigious award by the use of the word prestigious.

Alex Noble

Belfast

Double agent?

If the Prince of Wales's "Communications Secretary" (Letter, 4 July) is not to be unmasked as a republican spy he would be wiser not to mention his master's two butlers and two valets: how many servants does it take to prepare a toothbrush and hold out a specimen bottle?

Professor Chris Barton

Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

I verb, you verb

R H J P Harvey (Letters, 6 July) should know that any noun can be verbed.

Alan Bunting

Harpenden, Hertfordshire

Perspectives on banking practices

The death of the cheque

For all their weasel words about keeping cheques until there is an alternative, the banks are killing them by withdrawing the cheque-guarantee scheme, which ended on 30 June (Letters, 5 July). Already the Post Office is refusing to accept cheques as payment for many services. Other businesses have gone down the path of cards or cash only; why would they accept cheques without a guarantee that they will be honoured?

But what about school PTA uniform shops, piano teachers, local charities, small independent traders, and the rest of us? Once again, the banks trample all over us.

Prue Bray

Wokingham, Berkshire

Des Senior (Letters, 5 July) says he doesn't want to give away his bank details to strangers. So he'd better not send cheques which, of course, show such details.

The easy alternative he omits to mention is non-internet telephone banking.

Mike Brayshaw

Worthing, West Sussex

Money movers, not money makers

David Prosser (6 July) believes that the British Banking Association is attempting to twist the arm of Sir John Vickers with the line that they are the wealth creators, and should not be fettered with regulation. In no sense are bankers wealth creators – they merely move money about.

David McKaigue

Thornton Hough, Wirral

Don't blame the euro for recent crises

Mary Ann Sieghart's contention that the UK avoided peripheral Europe's fate because "we have been able to set interest rates that were appropriate to our economic condition, unlike the members of the common currency" warrants scrutiny ("Where have all the europhiles gone?", 4 July). It was the availability of credit, rather than its price, that fuelled unsustainable consumption in these countries.

The US and UK both had monetary autonomy but this only served to complement the inadequate banking regulation that led to their credit booms, and busts.

A global flood of liquidity, a misplaced global bank capital adequacy regime, and a "misplaced reliance on sophisticated maths" (The Turner Review, 2009) led to a surge in the availability of credit. When credit is abundant, money is both borrowed and lent badly. The euro cannot be blamed for this, unless one looks to second-order effects of its introduction, such as monetary stability and increased inter-bank lending. To blame these would be to say that monetary instability and banking beyond national borders are undesirable, which eurosceptics were not saying.

Bad banking practices, bad governance and structural deficiencies have caused Greece's woes, not the euro.

It still remains to be seen just how well the UK's monetary independence allows it to recover from its own problems.

Peter Clarke

London NW6

Bumper bonus?

Antonio Horta-Osorio announces the loss of 15,000 jobs at Lloyds Banking Group (report, 1 July) to save £1.5bn and says that one-third of this sum will be reinvested in the business. And the other £1bn? For bonuses presumably.

Gordon Whitehead

Scarborough, N Yorkshire

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