The brilliant Robert Jay QC

27 Apr

It’s chucking it down today, again, so plenty of time to read the Guardian‘s reports on the Leveson inquiry. (It was, incidentally, interesting  to read the Murdoch-owned Times‘s reports yesterday, while I was in the dentist’s’s waiting room – not factually incorrect once you got into the text, but misleading headlines, I thought, and a biased editorial.)

Back to today: Robert Jay, who had been considered by some to be, perhaps, too mild mannered, has proved to be well mannered, but tenacious. As a result of his questioning (at one point Murdoch insisted on having an answer to a question he had asked; Jay replied, “I don’t give answers to questions, Mr Murdoch. I just ask them”), it would appear that Rupert Murdoch had absolutely no idea whatever about what was going on at his newspapers – even though past employees, such as Harold Evans, former editor of the Sunday Times, and Piers Morgan, former editor of the News of the World, have been on record as saying the complete opposite.

According to Rupert, the fault always lay with his staff (Rebekah Brooks excepted). As I wrote in an earlier blog, in business you should trust no-one, particularly if it comes to the point where it is their interests vs yours. According to his father, James Murdoch was too “inexperienced” to be Chairman and Chief Executive of News Corp, Tom Crone – former legal affairs manager of the News of the World – and Colin Myler – former editor (not, Murdoch said, “his choice for the job”) – were two “strong characters” who had “shielded” him and other News International executives from the truth. “…there is no question in my mind that maybe even the editor, but certainly behind that, someone took charge of a cover-up…”.

Tom Crone said that the “remarks were a shameful lie”, a spokesman for Myler said he had “no comment” on Murdoch.

Murdoch’s view of the Guardian‘s July 2009 report that News International had paid more than £1m to settle cases that threatened to reveal the widespread scale of hacking, was that the article was “very hostile…and personalised”. Jay suggested that NI had a “visceral hatred” of the paper. Murdoch’s reply was, “I’ve often expressed admiration for them. I think they look after their audience pretty well”.

Oh yes, they do, and thank heavens for that!

Today’s picture

Back to my lettering photographs – I loved this shop-window sign in Cheyenne, Wyoming: a great use of neon.




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