Goodness! They are dropping like flies…..

“This can’t be the first resignation…,” Ken Livingstone talking to BBC News 24 about the shock resignation of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson.

Mr Livingstone also indicated that others within the met should be off too.

Sir Paul could not have predicted that a few weeks of “R and R” at the glamorous Champneys would leave his glittering police career in tatters on one miserable, wet Sunday evening in July 2011.

How the mighty are being wiped out by the NotW scandal.

I have to admit when this whole saga began unravelling at alarming speed almost two weeks ago, I could never have predicted the whirlwind would have swept up so many high-profile figures.

It is no longer a question of what will happen next but whose head will be next on the chopping block.

Anyone else either directly involved or connected in any way to this saga must now be viewing this as a reign of terror.

Maximilien Marie Isidore de Robespierre would have been proud…..


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Plurality call over the NotW fallout

No doubt buoyed by the latest developments which have seen Rupert Murdoch fly to the UK and apologise in person to the Dowler family and Rebekah Brooks arrested, Ed Miliband is now calling for plurality in the media.

Interestingly, he has the firm backing of Nick Clegg who outlined the need for it, along with “diversity” and “accountability” in the media, on Andrew Marr this morning.

Hang on a minute!

Anybody would think the close relationship between the press and politicians is something that has recently occurred in this country.

Neither is it unusual for one man to own a substantial amount of the press.

William Maxwell Aitken (1879-1964) the first Lord Beaverbrook, made his mark in newspapers, politics and finance.

Apart from having a successful parliamentary career – he was one of only three men to serve in the cabinet – he acquired the majority shareholding in the Daily Express and the Evening Standard.

Lord Beaverbrook also courted his fair share of controversy.

The point I am trying to make, if you had not already realised, is that I doubt that there has ever been a time when parliamentarians did not rub shoulders with journalists and their editors.

After all, at least half of them would have attended the same schools and universities – Oxford and Cambridge.

I am all for more transparency but we must be realistic about what is actually possible without going to extremes to make a point, especially a political one.

NotW Fallout continued…

In the wee hours of Sunday morning an old corroded filling fell out on to my pillow.

I know, rather more information than you needed and what does it jolly well have to do with News Corp?

Well, be patient and I will reveal all.

I hot-footed it to my dentist on Monday. After poking and prodding around for a few minutes he began to mutter something inaudible under his breath.

He then leaned back on his black leather swivel chair and shook his head. I have a sweet-tooth so I knew it would be bad.

Sorry, I am digressing again….

He told me off for missing so many appointments in the past year and I explained that I am a journalist who was doing shift work at the time.

It was then a light came into his eyes as if he were possessed by an evil spirit and he began to talk about the NOTW and all the revelations and allegations.

You see, I told you I would get to the point eventually.

His accent suggested he was Eastern European but he was a little reticent about mentioning where he was born.

He would only refer to his homeland as “my country”.

My country has problems…..the state…… Britain is democratic….. we look to [Britain]..”.

He was genuinely disconcerted by the unfolding News of the World drama.

He went on to say that if “we” could not get it right what chance did his country have.

I have to admit I was surprised. I had forgotten that other countries still see the UK as a shining beacon for democracy, ethics and morals.

My dentist’s perspective was in stark contrast to my nonchalant taxi driver a few days earlier who was not remotely surprised by the news headlines.

I have taught myself not to get bothered with all that stuff otherwise I would be pulling my hair out,” he stated.