The tawdry revelations about the phone tapping activities of the Murdoch press in Britain just keep on coming. Last week’s story from Reuters tells of the News of the World hacking extensively into the voice mail of a minister in Britain’s former Labour government.
Voice mails left for Denis MacShane in 2004 and 2005, as he served as Minister for Europe, were illegally listened to, apparently to gain information about a personal relationship between the Minister and Joan Smith, a newspaper columnist and crime novelist. Nothing earth shattering resulted from the activity of the private eye hired to do the dirty work. It is just another example in a long list of unethical behaviour by the Murdoch press, publishing in the UK under the banner of News International, that has the local subsidiary, News Limited, looking to re-make its image.
So far it seems that the most significant planned change is to get rid of the “Limited” bit and replace it with “Australia”. To my mind that will just spread the sleaze to all of us. Far better surely for the company — and certainly the country — if the word “News” is the one given the flick.