Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Rebekah Brooks and Milly Dowler: Simple, just apply the Sharon Shoesmith test

The matter of Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International's UK ops, and what as editor of The News of the World in 2002 she may or may not, or ought to, have known about the Milly Dowler phone hacking outrage, bears an uncanny resemblance to the matter of former Haringey boss Sharon Shoesmith and what she knew or ought to have known about Baby P.

Brooks, nee Wade as editor of The Sun in 2007, was merciless in her persecution of Shoesmith, holding her to account because she was a highly paid executive presiding over a tax-funded, dysfunctional children's service. Personal knowledge was an irrelevance. In a fateful twist that involves a child-victim, Brooks now finds herself in a not dissimilar situation, trying to save herself by making a virtue of her ignorance when she presided over what was plainly a dysfunctional newspaper.

Surely, in deciding whether Brooks go now, or when she's pregnant next year (see the current Private Eye for more), we should apply the principle she championed against Shoesmith: take personal responsibility because she was there. Like Shoesmith, Brooks was on a huge, perks-fattened salary, in return for her management skills. Indeed, Brooks' salary and perks far exceeded Shoesmith's.

Like Andy Coulson at the Screws, Brooks raised the stakes and imposed a bullying staff culture which made failure a no-option. Cheating was an inevitable consequence of her mindless careerism and pandering to Murdoch. She was happy to take the credit for her newspaper when promotion was dangled before her, but not the debit when disgrace is the alternative.

So Rebekah, practise what you preached against poor old Shazza.

12 comments:

the ghost of Robert Maxwell said...

chickens coming home to roost etc

Ex notw hack said...

She knew all about it.

Anonymous said...

Needle-sharp analysis, madame. Well done.

Anonymous said...

The Private Eye story is complete fiction and you are a cunt.

Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis, this is truly blood chilling stuff :(

Anonymous said...

Ignorance is no defence in the eyes of the law... and more importantly in the eyes of decent people. She was the boss, that's what you get paid the big bucks for. Take responsibility.

Fake Daniels said...

So, if we extend the analogy, she will hang on until the last minute before departing with a large payoff, gracelessly protesting her innocence all the while (and endlessly after)? You ARE a seer!

(Great stuff, Mme.).

The Countess of Gormenghast said...

Kill kill

Someone who knows you said...

There is nothing 'Madame' won't do in her tragic vendetta against all newspapers, no issue no matter how complex, that she won't exploit in venting her rage and disappointments. 'Her' genius for this suggests much latent talent now wasted on an ancient mystical tool widely discredited yet supportive of fantasy-logic. Dream on, 'Madame' before a terminal illness takes you away to a few tweeted obits.

The late Hugh Cudlipp said...

Inspired skewering of a prize hypocrite, liar and bully.

Anonymous said...

News International are filth,expect more of this crap now Dave Camerons best mate has won 100% of BskyB.Gotta pay these mega money businessmen back for funding your election campaign eh Dave?

Kyle said...

Who are you people defending Brooks and News International, and what is wrong with you??

The individual's right to privacy (which is what is at the heart of these allegations) goes above and beyond a journo's need for a story. Only govt/police, on some occasions, can justify phone hacking.

And if you can't see the wider issue, i.e. that Murdoch is cosying up to almost every western govt and is in the process of amalgamating western media under his control. This does not allow for a free press, and therefore no free society.

Brooks deserves everything she gets, which seeing as she plays tennis with Cameron regularly, is not going to be anywhere near enough.