Scum and Times-watch: Leaks and lackeys.
The more down-market end of the Murdoch empire doesn't want to be outdone. The Sun today claims that "murder videos" were found at one of the houses being searched in Aston, Birmingham, which if true, are likely to have been copies of the type of jihadist propaganda which turns up on radical websites and then later on sites such as LiveLeak (formerly Ogrish).
I wouldn't have so much of a problem with such information being put into the public domain as long as it was done so by a police spokesman, but instead, as has happened in previous cases, we're seeing a media free-for-all in which police and security sources leak information which may or may not be true, and then let the media potentially embellish it even further.
According to the BBC:
At an afternoon press conference, ACC Shaw told reporters the searches so far had yielded a "significant quantity of exhibits" but would give no further details.
No, they'll just leak them to the newspapers instead.
Today's Sun leader focuses instead on the loans for peerages affair, and would you believe it, it takes a line so similar to the one which 10 Downing Street has given in private that you wonder whether the two are indistinguishable:
This was apparently to make sure they were no differences between the information that Blair had given them and that also provided by Lord Levy, who was then again arrested, this time under suspicion of perverting the course of justice. The reason why they wanted Downing Street to keep quiet seems to have been to make sure that Levy was not potentially tipped off. For a newspaper that prides itself on always supporting the police and often gets plenty of juicy information back in return, this seems a rather willfully ignorant way to talk about such a ploy.
In his year-long marathon, Mr Yates has TWICE interrogated the Prime Minister, TWICE arrested Lord Levy and TWICE grilled Downing Street supremo Jonathan Powell.
He has also arrested Downing Street “gatekeeper” Ruth Turner TWICE for possible conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
No he hasn't. She may have been questioned twice, but she's only been arrested once, which even then provoked gnashing of teeth from the Blairite-ultras and government loyalists.
Now the Deputy Assistant Police Commissioner has two options . . .
To PUT UP or SHUT UP.
He’s had ample time to assess whether there is a case to answer or not. His inquiries have created a cloud of suspicion over the Blair government which will not disperse, even if nobody ends up in court.
How very different the Sun's attitude to this investigation is to those suspected of involvement in terrorism. Then 90 days detention without charge is not just common sense, it's an absolute necessity. When it comes to investigating a scandal at the top of government, where there now seems to be evidence of a possible cover-up, just as the inquiry appears to be reaching its conclusion the government's only remaining loyal ally in Fleet Street comes out demanding that a police officer either put up or shut up. If this didn't involve the prime minister or the Murdoch empire itself, when else would the Sun ever tell a police officer investigating a crime to put up or shut up?
Nor can he simply dump responsibility by handing his dossier to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Err, he's gathering the evidence, it's up to the CPS to decide whether there's enough to go through with a prosecution. The Sun loves to act stupid when it's to its advantage.
Whatever others may think of the characters involved, this is either much ado about nothing or serious wrongdoing.
After almost a year, Mr Yates has enough evidence to reach a professional judgment . . .
Either wrap it — or scrap it.
Either way, the loans were hidden through a loophole of this Labour government's own creation. The secrecy surrounding them, with the loans kept hidden from nearly everyone who should have known about them, means that there's the stink of corruption around this for a good reason. Blair and his acolytes have no one but themselves to blame for getting into the situation at the last election where they were forced to rely on rich businessmen, and then to attempt to cover-up just who was bankrolling the party ought to be enough to show that there was serious wrongdoing from the beginning. The only question is whether what happened was actual selling of peerages or just a happy coincidence for the men who loaned their millions. Either way, the whole political system has become tainted, and until Blair does the decent thing, it will only increase the cynicism of the general public. As for the Sun, in its attempts to exert pressure on the police when otherwise it would do the exact opposite, it's shown again just how deep the unwritten pact with the current occupant of Downing Street is.