Let’s honour the hacking victims. A monument on Fleet Street perhaps? | Hacking inquiry – Hacked off
Back in 2010 when many of these cases began life, every politician knew that the Sun and the News of the World could wreck their reputations, and that these papers had more access to the Prime Minister (and his two predecessors) than any backbencher and most ministers. Suing probably looked like political suicide to most MPs.
Across television, cinema and sport, from Hollywood to India, New International owns or controls far more than any other company, so if you were an actress, a sportsman, a football agent or a PR person you risked much more than your time and money by suing — you risked your livelihood.
As for ordinary people whose phones had been hacked, you might think they had nothing to lose by suing, but think again: this is a company that employed private investigators on an industrial scale. Would you be happy to have every aspect of your private life secretly investigated, and if the slightest blemish was found — perhaps involving a vulnerable relative — to have that exposed in the press?
So it took courage for these people to sue, and collectively they made the difference between News International escaping scot free and what we have now: substantial police investigations, a couple of dozen arrests, and the historic and far-reaching Leveson Inquiry.