To my eye, the oddest feature of the hacking scandal now roiling UK politics is that all the attention focuses on Murdoch. But it’s no news that he’s a crook or that he runs a crooked enterprise.
It is news – or at least it ought to be news – that the Metropolitan police were crooked, both in detail (at the level of individual officers illegally selling personal information on citizens) and in bulk (the cover-up that passed for an initial Scotland Yard inquiry: perhaps because of fears of disclosing police corruption?).
Heads – more than just one head, I think – really need to roll. Not just resignations, either: some people ought to switch from police uniforms to prison stripes. Who, for example decided to hire the former News of the World executive editor (arrested today) as a “consultant” at Scotland Yard? The police, like the press, have an invaluable role in unearthing the wrongdoing of others. When they start to go bad – in this case, when they go bad together – the potential for social damage is extreme.