Tag Archives: News of the World

Lies, Hobnobs, and Huhne

Chris Huhne MPChris Huhne in the Guardian yesterday:

First, none of this would have been possible without my own mistakes. I am no saint (but nor did I claim to be).

Chris Huhne was one of the Tory/LibDem Cabinet’s millionaires. He was Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change: he is now European manager of Zilkha Biomass Energy, a transition from government minister to employee in the same field that is now so familiar its corruption wouldn’t make the headlines – except that Huhne spent some time in between in court and in jail.

Besides his wealth from his pre-Parliament career as a City of London economist, Huhne owned seven houses: the one he officially lived in, in London: his official second home, in Eastleigh: and five more rental properties.

As revealed in the MP expenses scandal in 2009:

He owns his second home in his Eastleigh constituency in Hampshire outright but regularly claims for its renovation. In August 2006 he was reimbursed for a £5,066 builder’s invoice that included having two coats of “red rustic timber care” applied to garden items, and two coats of green preservative for fences. On another occasion Mr Huhne submitted a handyman’s bill for £77.31, covering odd jobs such as “replacing rope on swinging chair”. Continue reading

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Filed under Corruption, Politics

Leveson proposes, Cameron disposes

Whenever anyone claims that the British press has moved into a new ethical period because of Leveson and so no new legislation is required, remember David Rose of the Daily Mail and the ugly, libellous, hatchet-job he did on Steven Messham.

Tomorrow's chip paper - Cameron dismisses LevesonI wish Leveson had published his report at eight in the morning rather than lunchtime – I could have written this blog before Question Time. But Question Time was illuminating – the BBC chose four grey men in grey suits, and Michael Rosen for the BBC Extra Guest, and the only one who could speak about media sexism from her personal experience on the panel was Charlotte Church: and while better MPs had evidently fled in terror, Church shone. She was easily the most articulate and most intelligent panellist tonight: if the BBC don’t ask her back, sexism has trumped sense. (As it so often does.)

Of the other panellists, Patrick McLoughlin had reason to object to an inquisitive press: his MP expenses were exposed in 2009. Chris Bryant is another of the home-flipping MPs who decides which place is his “second home” depending on how much he can claim in expenses. Simon Jenkins used to edit the Times and the London Standard as well as write for the Guardian. And Neil Wallis used to be executive editor of News of the World, leaving a comfortable two years before Rupert Murdoch tried to shut down all the bad talk about phone hacking by sacking everyone except Rebekah Wade. Neil Wallis and Rebekah Wade were arrested in July 2011.
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Filed under In The Media, Rudyard Kipling, Women

Naked Harry in the Sun

So many years ago that I can’t find it on Youtube or on IMDB, Jasper Carrott, who invented the “Sun readers” jokes, did a sketch on Carrott’s Lib of himself and another stand-up putting on huge Australian accents and talking about the bloody Poms, sex, and the Royal Family.

This was about Kathleen Dee-Anne Stark, actress and photographer, stage name Koo Stark, who appeared at the age of 20 in Emily, soundtrack by Rod McKuen:

Evocative of the Roaring Twenties, “Emily” is an erotic coming-of-age film featuring meticulous period detail and music. The sharp class distinctions of British society are blurred by the universal nature of sexual desire.

You may also remember her as Lady Sabrina Mulholland-Jjones from Red Dwarf.

Emily includes full-frontal nude scenes. So when, a few years later, Prince Andrew and Stark had an affair, the British newspapers had a huge ethical decision before them. Not whether or not to report on the affair – the British have always regarded the sex lives of the British Royal Family as our own personal reality show – but whether to use stills from Emily when running stories about Prince Andrew’s latest girlfriend, headlined “Randy Andy”.

For The Sun, I suppose the ethical dilemma consisted of whether or not to use the Stark naked pics on the front page.

One of the exchanges from that Carrott sketch was “Is that what they’ll put on the stamps?”- “You never can tell with the bloody Poms!”
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Filed under In The Media

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”.
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Filed under In The Media, John Grisham