What did he know and when did he know it? Cameron, Coulson and those pesky emails By William Bowles

20 July 2011

The political/corporate class must be rueing the day email arrived, it is proving to be the undoing of many a powerful individual and perhaps even the downfall of the government? But only if the media do the job they claim to be doing, investigating malfeasance at every level.

For anybody with enough patience to sit through the televised committee hearings on the l’affaire Murdoch, at the end of it all, you would have learnt very little about the relationship between the political class, the police and the media, aside that is from the fact that they stick together like glue.

Craig Murray put it this way:

“I find it hard to believe that anybody can watch today’s clutch of Select Committee hearings without coming away with one overwhelming impression; the extraordinarily low quality of the UK’s Members of Parliament.

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The Murdochs could bat away these pompous blunderers all day. Even the dull transatlantic management speak of James Murdoch baffles them. It is humiliating for this country that these dullards are our representatives. — ‘Murdoch Circus‘ by Craig Murray, 19 July 2011

In fact the entire proceedings came across like a carefully orchestrated dance. At one point during its coverage the BBC asked whether it was now time ‘to draw a line under [it] and move on’? Move on, or is it a call for a move back to business as usual? After all why would the BBC ask this question in the first place? It’s outrageous that with only the surface of Murdoch’s criminal empire’s connection to political power scratched that the BBC thought it worthwhile to ask this question.

What it reveals of course is that the BBC’s relationship with corporate power is just as corrupt as that of the political class and desperate to get back to the traditional relationship between the rulers and the ruled. The BBC is well aware that this is yet another scandal that further undermines the legitimacy of government.

Those pesky Downing Street emails

Timing is everything with these events, spread as they are over a period of at least nine years and made all the more complex by the revolving door relationship between the media and the political class. Thus who knew what and when is critical to assigning responsibility/culpability for this scandal.

Specifically, did David Cameron know about Andy Coulson’s involvement with the hacking/bribery scandal when he hired him?

One event did emerge yesterday that potentially shone a light on the hidden relationship between News Corp, via Andy Coulson and the Met police’s commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and 10 Downing Street. Thus every effort had to be expended to make sure that there was no connection between Cameron and News Corp, though in doing so, they have revealed a direct connection to Downing Street and Cameron’s posse of advisors:

“The Met had hired the paper’s former deputy editor Wallis for PR work but the home affairs select committee was told of the plan to keep it secret from Mr Cameron. An email exchange released by Downing Street reveals how Mr Yates offered to ‘have a conversation in the margins’ before Mr Llewellyn replied: ‘I don’t think it would really be appropriate for the PM, or anyone else at No.10, to discuss this issue with you and would be grateful if it were not raised please.’ — ‘John Yates was told to keep Neil Wallis secret from David Cameron‘, Metro 19 July 2011

In fact, within the emails released by 10 Downing Street, the issue is not actually mentioned at all, it’s all ‘nudge-nudge, wink-wink’. What emerges is that the ‘issue’ itself should not be committed to print as it would reveal a direct connection between Cameron and News Corp’s criminal activities. But why keep it secret? This from the Guardian:

Sir Paul Stephenson, the outgoing Metropolitan police commissioner, has told MPs he was advised by a senior Downing Street official not to risk “compromising” the prime minister by disclosing to him information related to the phone-hacking scandal.

“Stephenson said he was unable to name the No 10 aide but that outgoing Met assistant commissioner, John Yates, who also resigned over the phone-hacking scandal, would know. Yates later told the same home affairs select committee that it was No 10 chief of staff Ed Llewellyn who turned down his offer to brief Downing Street on the “nuances” of the hacking investigation after the New York Times story in September 2010.

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To the surprise of MPs, he [Sir Paul Stephenson] added: “Actually a senior official at No 10 guided us that actually we should not compromise the prime minister, and it seems to me to be entirely sensible.” — ‘Paul Stephenson: No 10 aide warned me not to compromise Cameron‘, The Guardian , 19 July 2011.

‘Nuances’? ‘Guided us’? You see what I’m getting at here, it’s ‘plausible deniability’ all round. 10 Downing Street knew that News Corp was conducting criminal activities and colluding with the Met police and employing people with a direct connection to News Corp’s criminal enterprise and yet did nothing about it, more concerned with ‘protecting the pm’ (because of his hiring of Andy Coulson) than with investigating the criminal actions of News Corp and the police, even colluding with the man in charge of the investigation, John Yates to make sure the scandal was hidden, at least in recorded form from Cameron.

It gets worse. At yesterday’s committee meeting with Stephenson it was revealed that Stephenson tried to get the Guardian to halt its investigations into the scandal two years ago:

Stephenson was also asked about a meeting he had with the Guardian in December 2009 to try to persuade the newspaper that its coverage of phone hacking was exaggerated and incorrect.

Asked whether he had looked back “over the evidence and over the case” before going to see them and tell them they were getting it wrong, he said: “I am the commissioner of the Met, I have many people assisting me and I have senior grade chief constables like Mr Yates. Mr Yates gave me assurances there was nothing new to the Guardian article. I think I have a right to rely on those assurances.”

He went to the Guardian because the paper continued to run the campaign, he said – something for which he has now acknowledged “we should be grateful”.

He denied he had taken advice from Wallis – who he said had not worked directly for him as an adviser – before the Guardian meeting. — (ibid)

It’s a self-referential system with Yates backing Stephenson and Stephenson backing Yates, there is no independent evidence except perhaps these crucial Downing street emails that indicate the complete opposite, namely that at the highest levels there was collusion between Downing Street and Commissioner Stephenson and deputy Commissioner Yates to cover up Coulson’s involvement in criminal activities.

And remember that this relationship between transnational corporate power and the political class is not new, it extends back thirty-two years, to 1979 and the election of the Thatcher government, the Dirty Digger’s first triumph in shaping the British political process, a process consummated with the eventual election of the Labour government in 1997 when Murdoch switched sides and backed Labour and its corporatist agenda.

The question is: will this story be pursued to its conclusion by a corporate/state press that seems more concerned with ‘drawing a line’ under the events and  is most definitely not interested in pursuing the incestuous and utterly corrupt relationship between the media, the police and the state.

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10 thoughts on “What did he know and when did he know it? Cameron, Coulson and those pesky emails By William Bowles

  1. Bill Chapman says:

    As this story unfolds, and we are only at the beginning of it, I’m quietly confident that David Cameron has to go.

    There is, as you say, corruption, but not everyone is “utterly corrupt”. A number of heads will roll, and the general public will become more aware of probity.

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  2. InI says:

    And if he goes, then what? An election, a change of leadership only? Corrupt, utterly or otherwise, makes little difference, it’s the institution that’s corrupt and entirely self-serving, as this scandal exposes so vividly. The only saving grace is that perhaps it’s one obstacle removed in redressing the total imbalance between the state/media control of events.

    Like

  3. Gerry Hiles says:

    Good article William – saw it in Global Research.

    I was born in England (1943) but migrated to Australia during 1971 and so got to know Murdoch before he span a global web.

    He was instrumental in destroyng the Whitlam government here in the mid-70s, in league with the CIA … I kid you not.

    A docu-movie got made: “The Falcon and the Snowman.”

    Sorry I cannot provide more details right now, because I am quite ill and disabled … only able to type one finger and slowly … however if you want to follow-up, I will do my best to provide you with more detail.

    Yes I have a vendetta against this bastard, though latent until now.

    Anyhow feel free to contact me, if you wish: ghilesc@hotmail.com

    Though I cannot write at length, I can provide links.

    Regards, Gerry.

    PS I have added your site to my favourites.

    Like

  4. paddy says:

    could you incorporate the following into your analysis, as the only media which will touch this story is an Archant Publishing (owned by Richard Jewson (Pro-Chancellor of the Uni of East Anglia) local paper, a link for which you will find in the Climate Audit comments at the links below. CA is the blog of canadian statistician, Steve McIntyre who, with Ross McKitrick, uncovered the falsity of the now infamous global warming “hockey stick” of michael mann:

    14 July: “Covert” Operations by East Anglia’s CRU
    http://climateaudit.org/2011/07/14/covert-operations-by-east-anglias-cru/

    20 July: East Anglia’s Toxic Reputation Manager
    http://climateaudit.org/2011/07/20/east-anglias-toxic-reputation-manager/#comments

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  5. paddy says:

    lnl –
    neil wallis, ex-NotW, was employed by UEA to do “reputation management”/damage control when Climategate broke in November 2009, while he was still working for Scotland Yard and advising Andy Coulson and running back to Murdoch.
    lots of info in the comments by the informed people who post at CA, many of whom were contacted by the Norfolk Police CounterTerrorism Unit post-Climategate. best way to understand is to read the two threads.

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  6. Gerry Hiles says:

    Sorry Paddy.

    Whilst I also have questions about “climate change”, this has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    Like

  7. Gerry Hiles says:

    Hey Paddy, how about dealing with one thing at a time (albeit that the Murdcoch affair is hydra-headed, for sure).

    What are you trying to achieve? China, etc. steams ahead and mocks at your (presumably) CO2 concerns, about which you can do nothing.

    At least you have a tiny chance of influencing things in your own country … the politicians of which would dearly love to concentrate on your pet beef, so as to distract “the masses” … as is happening here in Australia with Jooliar Gillard pushing a “carbon tax”, whilst avoiding endemic corruption, mounting economic problems and sending Australian troops to die in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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  8. Geltmeister says:

    I watched all through it and was struck by the blatant lying. One example, Sir Paul claimed he had no knowledge of the recruitment process that led to the employment of Wallis but later made a contemporaneous reference to details contained in the letter that was sent to three companies, including Wallis’s, during the tender process – he can’t have it both ways.

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