If a police-led investigation uncovered thousands of crimes committed by over 300 suspected serial criminals, you would expect the editors of newspapers to be screaming at their journalists to get to the bottom of the story to splash across the front page. If the accused worked for powerful organisations with deep links to politicians and the bosses of these criminal enterprises had access to politicians at the highest level, even hosting parties for the politicians, it would be a huge scandal. Papers would be all over the story…
You would in those circumstances expect the criminal justice system to gear up for trials on a scale not seen in Britain before. Judges would perhaps have to consult their Italian counterparts – who took on the mafia’s tangentopoli in the nineties – for advice. Organised crime on this scale has hitherto been unheard of in Britain.
This isn’t a crime thriller storyline. Operation Motorman uncovered industrial scale criminality and hundreds of suspects names. Currently in Britain the newspapers are neither naming nor shaming because the criminal enterprises are the newspapers themselves, who understandably do not wish to report their own crimes. Their silence is a matter of self-preservation.
When the media don’t want to see justice done and politicians don’t want their closeness to what are effectively criminal enterprises exposed, the judges must then be our last hope for the truth, just as they were in Italy in the nineties. In gifting politicians power – in Italy it was money – the newspapers have come to believe that they are protected by the very same politicians from the law. Britain has been governed for decades by an interlocking politico-media elite analogous to Italy’s tangentopoli…
In the wake of the News of the World scandal last year David Cameron appointed Lord Justice Leveson to
inquire into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International, other newspaper organisations and, as appropriate, other organisations within the media, and by those responsible for holding personal data.
On the surface the terms of reference looked set to catalyse revelations as to what has been going on – the police, politicians and the newspapers – all were to have their relationships, culture and ethics examined.
In the course of the Inquiry Leveson has received prima facie evidence of some thousands of crimes committed by hundreds of journalists. The Operation Motorman files gathered by the Information Commissioner expose a culture of criminality in the day-to-day functioning of the media. The corrupting of police and other offices of the crown was a matter of course not only at the News of the World and other Murdoch titles, it was also the case at the Mail and the Mirror newspaper groups as well. The silence on this issue from these newspapers is because they fear a circular firing squad.
Leveson has the evidence required to initiate criminal actions and civil actions by thousands of victims of crimes committed by newspaper journalists. Guido challenged Leveson to his face to publish the evidence, thus allowing the victims of industrial scale illegal invasions of privacy to get justice. Leveson claimed it was difficult nine years on. Guido understands that there have been two applications to Leveson to release the Operation Motorman files. The applications, heard in private, were refused.
So in Britain we have a situation where the judge charged with investigating the crimes carried out by the media is covering up their crimes. There is an overwhelming public interest in the victims getting justice.
The Operation Motorman files are huge, the thousands of entries contained in the files are a mere snapshot of the industrial scale criminality carried out by the press. Today Guido is releasing the Blue Book section of the Operation Motorman files covering the 1,028 News International related entries out of a total of some 17,000. These files are known to most newspaper editors and to Guido’s knowledge no action has been taken against the journalists named within, some of whom are now senior journalists. To Guido’s knowledge Guardian journalists have possession of the files covering the Mail and Mirror groups. One wonders why they so far have only been willing to name the names of journalists from the Murdoch press…
It seems to Guido that there is no political will to see this through, the press are by and large keen for their own reasons to suppress the truth and the judiciary are actively suppressing the evidence. In those circumstances it is only by bringing the evidence out into the open that justice will be done.
Inclusion of the name of a journalist in the Operation Motorman files does not mean a journalist has committed a crime. Some of the entries are for innocent inquiries, a few will be breaches of Section 55 of the Data Protection Act which can be justified if the journalist concerned can prove that they were acting in the public interest.
The published file has personal data belonging to victims redacted.
The published file has the names of persons known to be of interest to the security services redacted.
There are transposition errors in the files. For example Gordon Rayner (entries 1006 – 1009) actually worked for the Daily Mail not News International as recorded in the Blue Book. Rayner made over 300 information requests in the Motorman files, over 180 of which were for information that could not be legally obtained.
Journalists should note that Guido is not commenting further for the moment. To understand how to interpret the files contact the Hacked Off campaign.
If you are a named victim contact the Hacked Off campaign they may be able to help.