Friday, 1 June 2012
The Great Unknown! Did News International Try to Blackmail Select Committee?
According to the former News of the World journalist Neville Thurlbeck, when the Independent reported that the Met. has been asked to investigate whether News International attempted to blackmail the MPs on the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee in 2009, News International ordered the Sunday paper’s reporters to scour the private lives of these MPs.
Mr Thurlbeck alleges that reporters were told by those in ‘deepcarpetland’ to obtain evidence of affairs or gay relationships. The aim, he claimed, was to “to find as much embarrassing sleaze on as many members as possible in order to blackmail them into backing off from its highly forensic inquiry into phone hacking”. In a letter – a copy of which has been obtained by The Independent – to the Deputy Assistant Commissioner leading the Met’s inquiries into News International, Sue Akers, Mr Watson wrote: “If these allegations are found to be true, it suggests there was a conspiracy to blackmail.”
Whether this claim proves to be true or not it does demonstrate how vulnerable our system of democracy is since affairs and gay relationships are probably not that uncommon amongst those who rule us.
In former times the sheer cost of mounting such investigations on more than 700 MPs would have been prohibitive. However, now there are so many multi billionaires throughout the world, for whom the cost would be easily afforded, and communication systems have become so advanced – the danger of massive corruption is ever present.
Clearly – there is no way back for representative democracy in its present form.