Toby Young joins the Firm

This is Toby Young, writing of Milly Dowler, in anticipation of his new job writing a weekly column of crap in the Sun on Sunday, the new News of the World:

This is the old News of the World, back when News International believed themselves to be untouchable:

The papers state that from 2008 on, the News of the World had a legal obligation to “preserve all relevant evidence” of phone hacking because it had been notified of civil claims that were pending.

But in Nov 2009 it created the “Email Deletion Policy” to “eliminate in a consistent manner across News International (subject to compliance with legal and regulatory requirements) emails that could be unhelpful in the context of future litigation in which an NI company is a defendant”.

The document includes emails sent from a senior executive which says that all emails prior to January 2010 would be deleted.


Tom Watson tells James Murdoch that he must be the first Mafia boss in history who didn’t know he was running a criminal enterprise.

Toby Young says

I’m a fan of Rupert Murdoch and his British papers – including the late News of the World – and always have been. That puts me in the fortunate position of not having to do some furious back-pedaling, unlike so many of my Fleet Street colleagues.

In John Grisham’s first novel The Firm, Mitch McDeere is a recent Harvard Law graduate with towering law-school debts who is offered a dream job as a new associate with a law firm. They hire one associate a year and virtually promise that every associate hired will someday become a partner in the firm. The firm offers immediate financial security, high wages, comfortable living, and eventual wealth. The only hitch – the Firm is owned and operated by the Mafia, and the FBI know it, they just can’t prove it.

Grisham’s story is what the phrase gripping read was invented to describe. McDeere is presented as a guy who just wanted to climb out of poverty, for him and his wife – with hard work – to have a good life and financial security. He didn’t know he would be working for the Mafia. He doesn’t know how he’s going to survive to the end of the novel.

What would we make of a McDeere who knew the boss was Mafia, who knew nine arrests had already been made and the police are still investigating – and who took the job anyway?

“That murdered girl thing”?

The disappearance of Milly Dowler in March 2002 was a time of excruciating anguish for her family, as Surrey police hunted for clues to her fate. But according to detailed evidence now pieced together by the Guardian, the behaviour of the News of the World at the time helped neither the Dowlers nor the police.

A senior NoW executive, who later denied to a parliamentary committee all knowledge of illegality, wrote to Surrey police at the time specifically admitting Milly’s phone had been hacked.

The senior executive, who the Guardian is not yet naming for legal reasons, demanded on 20 April 2002 that police co-operate with the tabloid’s theory that Milly was still alive.

The theory, gleaned from a hacked message misunderstood by the paper, proved to be a waste of police time. (The Guardian, 13th December 2011)

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Filed under In The Media, John Grisham

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