The will to govern shows signs of life | Politics | The Guardian
What is the Leveson inquiry and assorted related police investigations but a belated attempt to stand up to over-mighty media groups (Rupert, I’m talking about you) who thought they were above the law and acted accordingly.
The surprise is genuine among some of my News International colleagues that the police should come after them in the kind of flashy dawn raids the tabloids relish for others. Yet it is beyond dispute that their bosses engaged in a serious high-level cover-up over phone hacking and much else over a long period of time.
We learned from ex-Met copper Bob Quick at the Leveson inquiry on Wednesday that bribing coppers for information had been known about at Scotland Yard since at least 2000, though I cannot be alone in having known about it for rather longer. It was just one of those things that reporters from papers which did not flourish a chequebook had to live with.
Yet only the other day, Kit Malthouse, Boris Johnson’s deputy London mayor, was reported as dismissing the whole Leveson-related investigation as “media driven hysteria” which was wasting valuable police resources. He’s certainly right about police time, but surely wrong about the implied frivolity of the affair. It’s serious and it’s about corruption involving major institutions of the state, the police, the media and a cowed political elite. Malthouse sounded like an authentic voice of the quiet-life crowd who don’t want the light let in.
We also learned on Wednesday that the Tories had frightened off the Met’s 2008 inquiry into relations between Damian Green, then the Conservative’s immigration spokesman, and Chris Galley, a civil servant who was leaking damaging data about Labour’s performance in office. Bob Quick, formerly counter-terrorism chief, felt he was turned over by the Daily Mail and its Sunday sister. He was, though he fell through a mistake of his own: allowing secret papers to be filmed in the street.