Thursday, July 09, 2009

Guardian Targets Coulson in Bugging Story

I have just got in and read the Guardian story about the News of the World's bugging activities. They are doing their utmost to drag Andy Coulson into it. Clearly, we don't know the facts of the situation at the moment. Andy Coulson has already pointed out that he wasn't even editor of the paper when some of this happened. The second weakness in the Guardian's case against Coulson - and indeed for those Labour MPs who are apparently likening him to Damian McBride - is that none of this has happened during his employment by the Conservative Party.

However, let's get real and not pretend that this story isn't potentially damaging. Alastair Campbell has thrown in his twopennyworth of advice to Coulson and David Cameron. Like Tim Montgomerie, I think it is sound advice...
It is not my place to advise Cameron, or Coulson. But if it were, I would be saying to Cameron to find out very quickly whether Coulson did act in any way improperly, and to act accordingly if he thinks he did. And if I were Coulson, I would be totally honest with Cameron to help him make that decision. When the Damian McBride emails first surfaced, it was obvious where it was going to end. If Cameron thinks that this situation might also end in him having to lose his right-hand man, better to do it quickly.

Contrary to popular rumour, I don't know Andy Coulson well. I'm sure many of you think he gives me my marching orders on a daily basis, but I think I have met him three times and spoken to him a couple of times on the phone. But I know a good adviser when I see one. He's done a terrific job since he was appointed to the job two years ago and everyone I know will be hoping he comes through this. Everyone I know who knows him better than I do likes him. He's not a showy adviser. For someone who came into the job with a high media profile, he has done well to stay out of the limelight. He will be cringing at 'becoming the story' because he knows that there are sometimes dangerous consequences when that happens. Ask Alastair Campbell.

The key thing is for this story to be addressed head on. And fast. David Cameron is reported to be 'relaxed' about it. That may be because, like any responsible employer, he did his due diligence on Andy Coulson before he was appointed.


Anonymous said...

He did his due diligence on Coulson, and the Scrutiny Panel cleared Djanogly.

That makes it worse.

Anonymous said...

Coulson was at the head of a bugging operation targeting anyone and everybody.

This must be bigger than Watergate.

It's got shit written all over it.

He's gotta go.

You're making excuses again for a scumbag.

LM said...

Murdoch's cabal yet again.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"They are doing their utmost to drag Andy Coulson into it... Andy Coulson has already pointed out that he wasn't even editor of the paper when some of this happened. The second weakness in the Guardian's case against Coulson... is that none of this has happened during his employment by the Conservative Party."

Good try at spinning it but your argument is nonsense. Coulson was there when some of it happened - so, guilty. And the fact that he wasn't then employed by the Tories doesn't make him any less guilty. He would have to resign, and quickly. (And do you think Coulson would have admitted this during any "due diligence" - really?!)

Gordon Brown said...


As a lesser mortal, I don't entirely understand this story. Journalists? Bugging? is that news?

why is this story important?

Paulie said...


YOu just know that the consequence of your targeting of McBride means that your opponents won't rest until Coulson goes the same way. HE's the story now and will be. As a Labour supporter, I hope it takes you ages to read the writing on the wall. Go on - make my day! Stick up for the charlatan.

The Grim Reaper said...

What point is The Grauniad trying to actually make here?

Or is having a quick shot at Rupert Murdoch and those baby-eating Tories more important than high quality journalism?

Here me now said...

Batty batty bwoy! Booo ya

Iain Dale : media whore at large / rent-a-quote extraordinaire / token Tory fagboy

Tim said...


The Grim Reaper said...

I couldn't help but laugh when I went over to Liberal Conspiracy and read Sunny Hundal's take on this. Whenever I need a take on a story which bears no resemblance whatsoever to reality, he always provides.

Oh, and there appears to be some sockpuppet commenting above me.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

I'm going to make a prediction. This story is not going to feature on the front page of the Sun tomorrow and will subsequently die a death. Methinks the government and it's media cohorts have picked the wrong fight on this occasion and would have done better to let sleeping dogs lie.

There can be only one winner in this battle and it sure ain't going to be the Grauniad or the people that are backing it. I mean, how many people on the street are going to be concerned that the News of the World bugged politicians, sports personalites, and people like Max Clifford? Mmmm...

As far as they're concerned this is all sauce for the goose. Sorry chaps, but you really have picked the wrong fight.

Game, set and match to the Conservatives imho.

The Grim Reaper said...

Lord Elvis of Paisley said "This story is not going to feature on the front page of the Sun tomorrow..."

On looking at the front pages over at Sky News, The Sun's first edition doesn't appear in there - I wonder why. The Times does, and I don't see anything about this on there. It will appear on the second edition when pigs start flying.

Anonymous said...

"Whew!" Say the Labourlist trolls! "It's not just Labour who are at it! We can now say the Tories are just as bad as us!"

Hang on... So there's no difference between Labour and Tory?

Are you SURE that's the message you want to send out, Paulie and co? That you are no better than the Tories?

What a strange way to promote yourself.

Bill Quango MP said...

Not so sure lord Elvis.
Channel 4 have already run it and the BBC are beholden to Peter not Rupert. Plenty of airwave and Guardian newsprint to come.
Unless Murdoch has got some fine McBride info/yachtgate extra stories there could be a story brewing. Not looking very secure for Coulson at all.

jamie said...

This is a national security/counter-intelligence issue if senior politicians are being compromised by having their phone calls bugged. If Andy Coulson authorised or knew about this criminal matter on any level at all then he cannot possibly hope to keep his job.

golden_balls said...

at least ian has the balls to blog about it i actually thought you wouldn't so i congratulate you on that.

I wonder though whether we shall see as many posts on this subject as the mcbride story this could be the token blog so i'll enjoy it while i can.

Watch Free Online TV Unlimited said...

Hi Iain, I'm Ian. :) I find your site very interesting. Allow me to follow you on twitter and subscribe to your email.

Reuben said...

The stasi used to establish control over, say, American embassy personnel, by getting the scoop on their filthy secrets. If the news of the world have been hacking into the phones of elected politicians then this really is a basic issue for democracy.

Wireman said...

Hi Iain, I'm Wireman. :) I find your site very interesting. Allow me to help find your integrity.

Gracie said...

Your defence of Coulson seems to be that he was so bad at his job he had no idea that his staff were busy bugging anyone they wanted a bit of dirt on.

If that is true, then Cameron's due diligence must be all about only hiring someone when your checks have confirmed that s/he's the most stupid person in Christendom.

Coulson is either very stupid and grossly incompetent or complicit. Neither reflects particularly well on his current boss.

Liam said...

The problem with your argument is plain to see in your forth sentence:

"Andy Coulson has already pointed out that he wasn't even editor of the paper when some of this happened."

"Some of the activity". So an admittance that illegal phone tapping happened under his watch. Would you agree that being engaged in illegal activity of this kind disqualifies you to be the top advisor to Her Majesty's opposition?

If Damien McBride had been involved in an Watergate like operation you would have cried bloody murder.

Hypocrisy, Hypocrisy, Hypocrisy!!

What goes around comes around said...


You're deluding yourself if you think Coulson can survive this.

You'll be lucky if Cameron survives it!!

Then again, always an opportunity for my fave Tory, David Davis to get a look in again.

Andrew Neil is describing this as one of the biggest criminal scandals EVER in journalism, and he knows his stuff.

There's just no possibility Coulson didn't know what was going on, and the PPC are now known to have done a whitewash job.

There are many big names who've been shafted by this.

New privacy law at the very least!!

Funny the way that mischievous libertarian scamp, Guido, is steering well clear of this. Now where does he get all his leaks.


Newmania said...

This is not a new story though is it ,Cameron took a risk , it did not come off , and personally I would like to see Coulson out tommorow .
There is no comparison with the Mc Bride case which revealed the modus operandi of Browns cabal but perception is all.
Tough on him maybe ...but the stakes are too high.

Coulson has to go

Anonymous said...

The concern is that 'the heir to Blair' also takes his orders from Murdoch.
Coulson's employment was too convenient to Murdoch and Cameron.
And I hate it that Cameron has any dealings with Murdoch.
Clean out Coulson now, and put a million miles between the Conservatives and Murdoch.


Unknown said...

I've got to agree with Tony, Coulson has to go, the longer he stays the bigger the fire-fight becomes. If Cameron wants a reputation of taking out 'nasties' in his party, he has to do this sooner rather than later.

Of course Labour would love it if Coulson hangs on. They're hoping he does.

Anonymous said...

What a lot of rot.

Cameron is in the ascendant. He can get away with things that Brown can't. Anyone who thinks that Labour will profit from any Tory scandal now is an idiot.

Those with more than a goldfish's memory will recall that Blair too was subject to plenty of 'scandals' before the 1997 election, and after when he was popular with all. Yet nothing really touched him. David Cameron is in the same position now.

Flemingcrag said...

This story has as much danger in it for Labour as it has for the Conservatives. Labour in large part owe their initial election to office and subsequet re-elections to support from Rupert Murdoch's newspapers and sky tv.
If they are seen to be in cahoots with the Labour loving Gruinard on this affair the moves by the Murdoch Media group to distance itself from the mess that Labour has become may turn into a full scale stampede.
Invasion of privacy is not the sole provenance of the Murdoch Media group, the trendsetters since coming to power has been this Labour Government, you could say the NoTW was just being fashionable.

Sarge said...


I agree -Labour are playing this very clumsily. It has all the hallmarks of a Balls/Brown operation without Mandelson's 'expertise'

I also am amused by the levels of socialist outrage which were curiously absent during the McBride issue.This infers it's ok but only if Labour do it.

Tony_E said...

Just read the Guardian story, and it's poor, thin on facts, and little more than a smear piece.

However, that does not mean that Coulson is totally in the clear.

Did he come into the NOTW at a point where this was already happening? Journos will protect their sources, even inside an organisation and editors have to trust the judgement of their sub editors.

If Coulson came into the organisation at a time when this was already happening, it is quite realistic that the truth was kept very quiet, the investment in technology had already been made, and that individual journalists would claim to have a human source but were economical with the truth.

After all, if you had a new boss, would you tell him that you had been breaking the law for years, and that it was common practice in the firm?

The story regarding Coulson is nothing more than innuendo right now, the Guardian don't have the absolute truth or the truth is less damning, otherwise they would have printed it!

BTW, amazing how organised the trolls are at the moment, obviously the Labour party is in full election mode.

Martin S said...

Thursday Morning update. Brown like Nixon? Our soldiers, Lions lead by donkeys, Brown's dodgy bugger friend and Mandy winds up on top, somehow

Anonymous said...

To use Camerons own expression-----Why would Coulson have "fessed up" prior to appointment and isn't dangerous dave being a bit naive?

Simon Emmett said...

Coulson shouldn't have to resign.

After all, when he was at NotW he stated that he didn't know it happened. But he took responsibility for his actions and resigned. Why should he be made to resign a second time?

In parallel. Gordon Brown sort of took responsibility for the Damian McBride affair. As McBride's boss has Gordon Brown resigned? Of course not.

However, even though I don't think that he should resign, I can't see Coulson surviving.

Simon Emmett said...

sorry, should have read "But he took responsibility for his staff's actions and resigned."

Dave said...

I presume all these payments for "phone hacking", bugging and worse went through on expenses? Thousands of them? And the Editor didn't know?

Anonymous said...

Think Coulson will be gone by the end of the day

Gaelic Con said...

Understand what you're saying Iain.

Its a real shame though that the story is focusing around Coulson as what all this really exposes is the utter inadequacy of the media regulatory framework.

Following the treatment of the McCann family, Max Mosley and so many others, with no journalists brought to account, its time the useless Press Complaints Commission was replaced with a statutory regulator (funded by a levy on the papers).

Journalists regulating journalists simply isn't working.

Anonymous said...


Would this story have any legs if Coulson was not involved?

Toady Prog covered this, this morning. It took them less than a minute to bring Coulson into it and then had Charles Clarke on who immediately said Cameron should sack Coulson, immediately. So, sentence first, trial later, evidence - why bother?

Coulson said he knew nothing of the royal phone taps, but resigned anyway because it was "on his watch". Clarke is effectively saying he was lying.

Journalists are notoriously private about what they are doing and what their sources are. Editors are notoriously unconcerned about how stories are generated, unless money is involved.

Campbell is right though. Coulson must be able to confirm and back up that he knew absolutely nothing about this. If he cannot do that, then he has to go.

Tony_E said...

Having just heard the Today Program, I am starting to think that this is a well organised Labour smear campaign.

Toenails certainly got his digs in early. Charles Clarke, (one of the most hapless Homes Secretaries in history), finds Coulson guilty on air. No Conservative spokesman? What a surprise.

Coulson's biggest problem is that he's better at his job than McBride was at his, and Labour just can't stand that. Expect much more of this until May 2010.

Anonymous said...

I make Simon Emmett right on this one: Andy Coulson has already lost a job over what are ultimately the same allegations.

Anonymous said...

Iain, you edit a magazine. Do you think you'd know if someone on your staff was bugging 3,000 people. Do you think perhaps they'd sound you out in advance to see if you'd fund that kind of operation?

Anonymous said...

I don't want my future prime minister being advised by a criminal.

Ben said...

Iain, tell me why exactly you've tolerated the comment by "Here me now said..."?

Chris Paul said...

This is a a remarkable muddle from you Iain. Some of the disciplinary activity happened AFTER Coulson left is true. Though not the actual sleazery and alleged criminality. And if we're saying "he wasn't even editor when some of this happened" (i.e. the investigation and punishment as far as it went) AND that "none of this happened during his employment blah blah" (when some of it clearly did, thsat was the excuse above remember, he'd left the NOTW).

Clearly a newsroom does not have contracts out on 3,000 celebs and pols and their 'phones hacked without the editor knowing.

If he can deny that will that make everything his little muppets are up to in Tory briefings deniable too?

Have the Tories EVER but ever employed any private investigators?

Who was/is behind the patently ludicrous attempts to paint Lansley as a man smeared (or suicide bombed, thanks Donal) rather than a blabbermouth loon?

Nice to see the old "I don't know Andy Coulson well" line got in as soon as 12:07 AM. Brilliant! And as your first comment points out if Cameron did his "due diligence" then he is a clown and clearly not fit to be PM.

He either knew just how dodgy Coulson's condoned practices had been and still gave him the gig. Or he really didn't check properly.

Simon Lewis said...

He'll be gone by lunch

Alex said...

Of course Cameron is "relaxed" about it. He is hardly going to say his anything else.

The phone tapping happened while Coulson was the editor even if the payoffs happened later. Coulson does himself n favours by trying to insinuate that because he wasn't around when the payoffs were made he is less culpable.

The fact is that there has been a cover up of sorts and much of the information vailable to the police has been suppressed.

If all of the evidence is opened up, Coulson may be implicated so it is premature for Cameron to say he is relaxed.

Anonymous said...

go to and take a peek at "Dirty Politics Dirty Times" and you will see that News International was at it 10 years ago with their legal department in the thick of it.

golden_balls said...

during the mcbride story ian and guido made dozens of posts updates etc i sense that won't be the case now.

Victor, NW Kent said...

The allegation of 3,000 bugged telephones is ridiculous. A hundred or so is credible and equally criminal.

The Red Kite said...

Enjoying the squirming....keep it going ladies.

zeno said...

Well, the Labour trolls certainly are whipping themselves into a frenzy about this, aren't they? They must be truly desperate if this is the best line of attack on the Tories that they can find.

After 12 years almost no-one believes that Labour can lead the country to a bright new future; things aren't better. So Labour can only use negative campaigning. But Labour claims that the Tories have no policies, so they can't attack them on policies. They can't accuse the Tories of financial misconduct after the expenses furore, because their own has been worse. So I guess that only leaves personal attacks and 'baby-eating Tory toff' pish, and I'm not sure that either of those will run.

McBride was caught with his pants down; unless someone can do the same to Coulson this attack will - like so many others - fail.

Anonymous said...

Frustrating that Labour only seem to want to target Coulson. There are several stories here, that are more important than one person.
For a start, it seems that neither the police nor the information commissioner wanted to do their job in protecting the public.
The PCC was useless as usual - why do we give it any credence? And what about the various bodies, including the police who, again and again, happily handed over private information on the basis of a blagging phone call, or possibly in return for cash? Our supposedly private information has been proved to be freely available to anyone with money to buy it. And of course News International, always 'holier than thou', always chipping away at the BBC, has once again shown the depths to which they will go to get a competitive advantage.

Anonymous said...

So Labour are going to do to Coulson what we did to McBride are they?

Come and make my day you socialist tosspots!

Anyone gunning for Coulson can take the best bit of advice from me:

Go and take a running jump!

If Coulson was involved in tapping Prescott's phone then I commend him for it.

After all, we are talking about a fat lump who had no less than TWO private affairs whilst in PUBLIC OFFICE!

What I want to know is were they trying to get evidence at the time to prove he was at it with Rosie or were they trying to get evidence to prove he was at it with Tracey?

Whatever the case, Prezza was using PUBLIC OFFICE to make a mockery of himself and if he thinks otherwise then I suggest he makes my day and sends me a libel writ.

Guido has more but for the timebeing here's a sample of what MAY have been said on his answerphone:

"Hello John. It's Tracey here. Give me a call when all your staff have gone home sweetheart. That leather sofa in your office is very comfey. Shall I bring a bottle?"

"Hello John. It's Rosie here. Got the soundproofing sorted in the bedroom so none of that horrible press pack outside can hear anything. And guess what? I put it all on me expenses!"

Anonymous said...

McLabour scum, where does Lord Amanda fit in!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't care less about the Coulson/Cameron angle here. The real story seems to be (if the allegations are correct) that a newspaper group has eavesdropped on 3000 public figures, including the deputy PM. I want to see people jailed for this, if the allegations are proved right. This is 100% outrageous and unacceptable. Journalists are NOT above the law.

golden_balls said...

at this stage of the story ian and guido had made dozens of blogs about mcbride and yet now when its a tory spin doctor its silence.

I now hear that the media actually knew other people ie coulson knew more than orignally thought but nothing was said.

Lobbydog said...

Anyone who has worked at a newspaper will find it hard to believe that Coulson knew nothing of this if it was a widespread as it seems to be.

Anonymous said...

My challenge to whomever has calculated the 3,000 figure is simple.

Name them.

jafo said...

Surely the real story is that throwaway remark made by Charles Clarke on the Today prog. this morning. When Rupert Murdoch's name was brought into the discussion, Clarke said Murdoch was "moving on" with his life and business.

Guess he really meant "moving on" from supporting Labour to supporting the Conservatives........

That's the story, surely. You don't think Labour would be trying to have a go at Murdoch's organisation if they thought he was still on their side?

Disco Biscuit said...

Well, considering it's a story about something that was well-known anyway, some of which happened when he wasn't working there, what did happen while he was there he accepted responsibility for and resigned from the job at the time, I rather suspect it's what you call, "old news".
Of course, another difference with the McBride affair is that McBride made up lies to smear people whereas the Screws used questionable methods to obtain factual information.

Cjamesk said...

There is no direct evidence that Coulson knew about phone hacking, to label this in the same bracket as McBride is pure and utter desperation from the Left.

I think the Guardian has bitten off more than it can chew the next few days should be interesting.

Gloves off perhaps?!

More Tories Please said...

1. I see that the Labour dirty tricks methodology is alive and well at Labour Home.

Camerons friend and Tory Media Director Coulson does some tap dancing by Red Rag"

In particular this passage;

” I wonder how long it will take before evidence to prove Coulson is also lying will appear… and will his friend Cameron give him the money to silence others? Maybe he can put the pay offs down on his expenses? They say you can tell the character of a man by the friends he keeps, add Coulson to the some of the nutters Cameron has joined with in Europe and you can draw your own conclusions.”

1) Serious – Implying David Cameron would pay bribes.
2) Laughable – Making comments about the “company he keeps” when McMental is still in town.

Mark Senior said...

Cameron's defence of Coulson as with his whitewashing of the shadow cabinet expense troughers is the clearest signal possible that a Cameron led government would be exactly the same sort of corrupt and rotten administration we have had to put up with for the last 10 years .

James Higham said...

No matter how nice, all buggers need investigating.

Anonymous said...

Cameron should have got rid of Maude and Duncan and that nice Mr Gove. He didn't and it will come back to haunt him. Poor judgement so no doubt something similar will happen with Coulson

Unsworth said...

Is Coulson working in Downing Street? Does he have daily and routine contact with the Prime Minister?

Let's see the evidence, eh?

As for that clown Prescott, well, it made me laugh, anyway. All that incoherence and faux outrage - as if he's never heard of such a thing. How credible is that in an ex-minister?

Patrick said...

Simple, name the 3000.

The list must include every celeb in Britain!

Anonymous said...

So, let me get this straight. The leader of the opposition works with somebody who once worked with somebody who might have listened to a couple of voicemails left for people where were too stupid to change the default passcode?


Hardly Watergate, is it?

The sight of the disgraced John Prescott and the useless Charles Clarke running around trying to make something out of this is pretty pathetic. “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear”, right, boys?

neil craig said...

"Andy Coulson has already pointed out that he wasn't even editor of the paper when some of this happened"

Which is another way of saying he was when most of it was. Coulson was known to be pretty dodgy, even by the undemanding standards of British journalism, & has been cought with his habnd in a jar of shit. Cameron simply must dump him.

I would also like to see this prosecuted & that may include police & MI5 officers alleged to have known all about this & covered up on the grounds that the press are unprosecutable. Nobody should be above the law.

Anonymous said...

Cameron and Coulson will do a good job in power.hehehe

Anonymous said...

If Coulson did not know what was going on i am the best looking bloke in the world.G.Clooney

Anonymous said...

Mindful of the treatment meted to Damien Green and his family - A Zanu style raid on his Parliamentary office coupled with a (reported) terrorizing raid on his home and family was, according to subsequent public outrage, unjustifiable, akin to a police state. Mr Green, reportedly, simply spoke his mind on the contentious issue of immigration 'in the face of Nulabor ideaology.

Mr Coulson, closely associated with the Leader of the Opposition Party is subjected to media 'hype and frenzy' - X Factor Style - in each and every quarter - he's been 'targetted' as was Mr Green before him. Same thinking, different tactic.

I'm losing count of the storms breaking over our once peaceful nation which have become almost weekly occurrences since Mandleson's return.

Anonymous said...

Neoconservative hants:

McBride was (reportedly) a 'dirty tricks' trooper working under 'politcal' command - made a convenient media scapegoat.

Anonymous said...

"Lobbydog said... Anyone who has worked at a newspaper will find it hard to believe that Coulson knew nothing of this if it was as widespread as it seems to be."

If that is true, and in light of the fact that Coulson is employed to guide the Conservatives in their dealings with the press, then Cameron should never have employed Coulson in the first place.

What was Cameron thinking?

More and more it seems Cameron is truly 'the heir of Blair' and not the man to lead the Conservatives.
Was Cameron thinking Coulson will be his Campbell?

It's time Iain re-engaged, and addressed these serious concerns.
Otherwise he and Guido will resemble Macavity.


Anonymous said...

So the Labour wonks (yes wonks), having nothing better to do at the moment, decide to try for a bit of revenge. So consumed by the need to throw some mud around, they fail to consider the consequences of upsetting Murdoch, which cant help their (slim) chances of re-election. The talking heads are popping up all over the place trying to be sanctimonious about this, which is highly amusing, given the flea ridden dogs Labour have been lying down with... has the self destruct button finally succumbed to the deluge of WD40 and made contact?
And McCafity is away.. again...

Gonk said...

If it happened on Coulson`s " watch ", even if only for part , then there can be no argument.
He must have known. And needs to be removed before the Party is affected . said...

boo hoo

golden_balls said...

it does amaze me how hyprocritical
the rightwing blogesphere are.

At this stage of the mcbride story countless blogs by both guido nelson and indeed dale and what do we get when its a tory spin doctor silence and comment approval by dale.

Most are taking a handsoff approach as if not blogging about this will end the story. Your all deluded if you think that game will work.

already we have gideon distancing himself from DC support of coulson this morning.

Anonymous said...

For once I agree with John Prescott on the radio today......Coulson needs investigation.

Osama the Nazarene said...

Can't see what the problem is here. If these idiotic celebs do not know how to put a pin number on their mobile phone messages they should not be surprised that someone has a go at retrieving them.

There was no telephone tapping involved.

Anonymous said...

Whenever something "tricky" happens out comes the statement that dave is "relaxed".Did we get a relaxed after the Lansley truth statement?

Desperate Dan said...

The Guardian and Prescott and Mandelson and Bercow's puppetmaster are going round making slanderous allegations about Coulson and Cameron. If the Labour Party expect these smears to to be believed they'll really have to do better than that. But we should be thankful that in making them they've managed to alienate Rupert Murdoch.

talwin said...

I don't know anything about this type of phone 'tapping' but, reading Guido, it looks like a piece of piss and not something a journo would need to approach an editor for in respect of funding.

It also occurs to me that if said journo were going to do something extremely iffy, if not unlawful, he/she would be unlikely to advise the editor first.

The fact that an editor might quietly suspect shenanigans would be a bit tricky to prove and without good evidence no cause for him to be traduced, sacked or prosecuted.

Unless it can be shown that Coulson was actually 'tapping' phones, conspiring to do so, or aiding and abetting in some way the comparison of him with McBride is bollocks as McBride was doing the planning/emailing (and admitted everything).

This looks more like a Guardian/New Labour axis intent on mischief-making.

zeno said...

Oh well, Labour don't want to win the next election anyway: no policies, an unelectable leader, a viperine First Secretary, duff ministers, and so on. All they're doing is to make certain of the defeat by crossing Murdoch.

Incidentally, has anyone noticed this variant of Godwin's Law: that whenever Rupert Murdoch is mentioned in a blog then rational conversation comes to an end?

jailhouselawyer said...

Andy Coulson claims his mobilephone is being hacked

Anonymous said...


"I don't know Mr McBride all that well.." and..


"I have met Mr Coulson about three times.."

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha, plod of the Yard has sunk another left wing smear story ha f'''ing ha, you could hear the huge deflated breaths all over the BBC when Yates holed HMS Leftwingmedia beneath the liberal waterline.

Anonymous said...

OK, Yates of the yard has said there is no further investigation needed. So the collusion of the BBC, Telegraph and those MPs in the commons who used parliamentary privileged to slander Coulson should now resign.

Anonymous said...

Although Yates has ruled out any more investigation, that highly politicised mob the CPS makes it linger on by saying "they will review the evidence".

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, the Labour spin machine and associated Labourlist trolls are getting very desperate now (why do they like it round here so much?), clinging onto any bit of flotsam that passes their way. This is an old story concerning journalists calling up remote answerphones of a few celebrities and using the network provider's default pin to listen to them (provided said celebs were stupid enough not to change it). Hardly bugging, and the perpetrators were punished.

So how, in any sense, is this analogous to a political smear operation planned by the Prime Minister's special advisor?

This in itself is yet another feeble smear operation by the Labour party machine (seemingly headed by Alistair 'Dodgy Dossier' Campbell) making full use of their media sympathisers, both public and commercial. Once again it will backfire when the full story comes out.

Joe Public said...

The question is, what are Two-Jags / Two-Bog-Seats great fears of the public finding out about the messages in his voice-mail??

The Shadow said...

Coulson is still going to go folks.

He is now the story, not David Conman.

It's only a matter of time!

Just hang on to him for a little while longer.

His card is marked!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @18:44,

Are you sure about that? I've just checked the Guardian website, and the top three stories are:

CPS to 'urgently review' News of the World case

(Five sub-stories, including "Max Clifford: phone hacking is horrible")

PM: phone hacking 'very serious'

(Another five sub-stories, including "Vanessa Feltz: A horrifying apology for journalism". A bit harsh - I don't think she's that bad)

Cameron better be sure he's right [sic]
(Only three sub-stories this time - running out of enthusiasm?)

No mention of the police anywhere.

Should we conclude that the Guardian's reporting is of a similar standard to its command of the English language?

wolvreen said...

Some of the stories in the Guardian are incredibly badly written, left leaning biased rubbish.
Last weeks had a story about how the French hate the Burka giving 3 examples of how they refused to offer basic services to the women dressed in black. Making the French sound racist. The first example was how a women was refused access to her money from a bank. 2 other examples which I have now forgotten.
When I asked my French gf she just said they would have needed to see her face for an ID check. Same for the other 2 examples.
What a rag.

Anonymous said...

Kelvin Mackenzie springs to the defence of his protege - I am pretty sure that is the kind of help Coulson doesn't need.....

Cuse said...

Hi Iain. Just watching you on Sky News spookily enough.

You're making a game attempt at defending Coulson, but failing.

If he knew about the hacking whilst editing the NOTW he should be in prison.

If he didn't know about the hacking then he's just inept. A National editor who didn't ask his reporters "where did you get this"? Come on...

If he can't control this news cycle then he ain't doing a great job for the Tories.

If evidence coems to light (which believe me, it will) that he had even the slightest sniff of it going on whilst at the NOTW - then he's a dead man walking.

The Tories set the bar by using that numpty Paul Staines to do their dirty work in getting rid of McBride. They're about to find out that you reap what you sow.

Fiona Millar's secret private tutor said...

The BBC Noise at Ten opened with the line

'the police have refused to re-open....'

A full 7 minutes on a story that WILL NOT be investigated by the police, so no chance of its being 'moved on'.

Moreover, the people who were hacked son't seem to want to kick up a fuss. Boris was very funny and relaxed on Today, which infuriated the Guradian lot.

Nothing either from ITN's Tom Bradby, whose phone was hacked to find voice messages from prince William.

The forces of Liberal interventionism are going down hard and will aim to do as much damage to the Tories on the way.

Anybody see Campbell's CIF piece on the Guardian website. he was sprayed with abuse from the minute it went up, many of the comments deleted. A Gruan hack even popped up to beg for an end to the 'pot/kettle' comments.

Does the old nut job realise just how much he's reviled?

Lord Snooty said...

The stench of hypocrisy is making me gag. Bye bye, Andy!

Anonymous said...

All the labour luvvies are showing how desperate they are.

NoW pays out money for bugging someone when Coulson was not even editor! this is a big story? Ho ho.

the previous episodes were all investigated and it was show to know Coulson did not know anything about them. But he took responsibility for them. Pity Gordon can not be so honourable.

A NoW reporter acted illegally without Coulsons knowledge and he honourably resigned.
A Brown employee acted vilely in Browns name allegedly without the knowledge of Brown (or Balls) and Macavity Brown dodges the issue. Dishonourably.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Many people may have forgotten this about Coulsen but I havent..He is a nasty little irresponsible shite. When he was editor of that arse wipe he lead with a highly suspect story of British troops beating up locals in Basra. He also put this footage on the website. It was, rightly , investigated and when the WHOLE footage was viewed, it turned out the troops were beating off an ambush!!!...did Coulsen say sorry????..what do you think.. Still he wound the locals up and put brave troops lives at risk. Doing a great job arse...Hope the Guardian nail him to the wall........oh yes and take dismal dave with him as well...good riddance

Steve Rawcliffe said...

The real problem is that the Conservative Party would even consider employing someone who'd worked for the News of the World. On reflection not so surprising ... both outfits depend on exploiting the worst instincts that lurk in all of us.

John said...

What the Guardian did it to?

David Leigh, writing in the Guardian, had the honesty to admit that he had himself traded in such murky waters, but said, “I was not interested in witless tittle-tattle about the Royal Family. I was looking for evidence of bribery and corruption.” Perhaps he could do worse than looking at the activity of private detective agencies?

Neuromancer said...

surprising at the origional time of the hacking the guardian was defending the scum.

The editor of the NOW should have got at least what mitnik got ie 5 years hard jail time with 4 in solitary.

neil craig said...

Since the Guardian have said the police & indeed MI5 knew all about this years ago but presumably found some advantage in not trying to enforce the criminal law it is hardly surprising that Scotland Yard are not enthusiastic about opening this can of worms.

Which is a very good reason why it should be opened.

As with MP's expenses we all know perfectly well this has been going on for years - remember they "never found out" who made the sqidgygate recording.

Some years ago I had a complaint to the PCC rejected over the Guardian saying that anybody who didn't support the Muslim leader in Bosnia should be attacked for "anti-Semitism" - the Guardian knew perfectly well the guy they were supporting was himself not only anti-Semitic but an unrepentent WW2 Nazi publicly committed to racial genocide.

Anyway, as a result I checked the paper fairly regularly & later found an article attacking a BBC journalist of Serbian extraction journalist for private emails of his. It was quite obvious that either the Guardian had hacked him or, as was hinted, MI5 had done so & provided them with it. Either way this was totally against the PCC's code & thus, naturally the PCC refused to investigate my complaint.

Certainly the NoTW have been behaving criminally. So have the Guardian & I'm sure a lot of other papers, with effective PCC support & indeed so have the police & MI5.