It seems a very quiet day for “police” related news but a couple of connected items from yesterday and todays press are, I feel, worth reviewing. They relate to the Murdoch empire and Levison.
Now is it just me, if concerns about my honesty and integrity were under consideration I would be as open as possible in order to refute the claims. On the other hand, if I did have something to hide – well I might be giving Robin a tug about deleting stuff without trace. Two problems with that, one is Robin is not bent and would smell a rat and secondly, if it involved emails the others sender or recipients of said emails, would have to take part too. If for example they had already been arrested, computers seized/found in a skip after they knew the police were on to them then that might be difficult.
The Independent today, see here, enlighten us with “Pressure grows on David Cameron to release ‘secret’ Rebekah Brooks emails”. It would appear that Mr Cameron took legal advice from government lawyers which claimed the electronic exchanges with Mrs Brooks, and others to Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor and former Downing Street communications chief, were not “relevant” to the remit given to Lord Justice Leveson and therefore did not need to be handed over to the inquiry.
If you find that rather naive like I do then add into this mix the fact that the Telegraph, see here, yesterday disclosed that Rebekah Brooks walked away with Â£7 million following her split from News International where she was the chief exec. Nice one Rebecca and good luck to anyone who deserves such a handsome pay-off. Well ok I am being sarcastic. What intrigued me even further was the revelation that they will also pay her an allowance (?) for legal fees, on top of access to a chauffeur driven limo and a nice leg up with her pension to help her in her old age if she blows the Â£7 million. This payout came on the eve of the News Corp AGM and is considerably higher than the cash Â£1.7 million cash pay off previously reported. Better still, in the printed version of the Telegraph (it is my father-in-laws honest!), it states that there were “clawback clauses attached to the payment” which NI could invoke later. Well, I wonder what they would be for? NI and Rebekah were not available for comment so no surprise there then?
Now I am sure there could be an innocent explanation, I am sure my previous life as a police officer has left me incredibly suspicious of things like this and I really should be outside in the early Autumn sunshine but something just does not sit well with me on this. Has our PM got something to hide? Does the pay off to Rebekah contain a gagging agreement and would the clawback be invoked if she were to spill the beans should there be any to spill?
Lastly, then I must go outside and calm down, some good news. Rupert Murdoch told the AGM shareholders they should invest elsewhere if they didn’t like his style of chairmanship. He told them they knew what they were investing in when the bought the shares and that included him. Nice advice from Mr Murdoch and although not an shareholder that is exactly why I dropped Sky TV, sky telephone and broadband. Well many shareholders did not like that, that Mr M’s advice and not me dropping Sky, and the Telegraph, see here, with “Rupert Murdoch’s iron grip on News Corp dealt a blow” tells us they came close to changing his position. The Murdoch family and Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, a staunch supporter of Murdoch and a major shareholder, together control almost 50pc of the voting rights at the company – so with a few others the vote was lost.
Sorry, why does the cynic in me keep thinking Â£7 million might be money well spent?