Phone hacking, the Met Police, corrupt sources and the Guardian’s DPP angel

Think back to September when the media went into full screech mode because the Metropolitan Police threatened to use the Official Secrets Act to force the Guardian’s Amelia Hill to reveal the police source leaking stories to her about the phone hacking investigation, Operation Weeting.

At the Guardian there was outrage.  Editor Alan Rusbridger started the wagon circling, declaring: “We shall resist this extraordinary demand to the utmost”.  His brother-in-law and the Guardian’s own self confessed exponent of phone hacking, David Leigh, also leapt into print to rail against the “unprecedented legal attack on journalists’ sources,” while carefully trying to distract people from the fact the source was a police officer whose actions broke the law.

As always when the Guardianista comrades find themselves in the legal mire, their celebrated barrister and proxy in the assault on the Murdochs, Geoffrey Robertson QC, waded in to bemoan that it was an “attempt to get at the Guardian’s sources is not only a blatant breach of the Human Rights Act and article 10 of the convention, but it appears to involve a misapplication of the Official Secrets Act”.

The Met Police backed down shortly after.  A ‘victory for press freedom’ was the way the media reported the Met’s sudden climbdown.  Of course, if any of them uncovered a police officer breaking the law by leaking information from an enquiry on which he was working, they would report it gleefully as an example of disgraceful police behaviour that risked perverting the course of justice.  But it seems as long as the copper’s actions are benefiting a hack, he is treated as an untouchable source to be protected at all costs.

Writing in the Daily Mail, cor blimey merchant Richard Littlejohn explained:

I’m told the Yard only backed down after the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, had a serious word in their shell-like and made it plain they would receive no backing from the CPS.

The intervention of Keir Starmer and its timing is something the media, in its own vested interest, warmly welcomed as it breathed a collective sigh of relief.  Had the media not been so self serving it might have chosen to look into Starmer’s links to the Guardian, and examine if his intervention was truly impartial, or influenced by something other than a legal standpoint.

Starmer had a history of left wing political and legal activism prior to becoming Director of Public Prosecutions.  When he was younger he was the editor of a magazine called Socialist Alternatives.  Almost a year after becoming DPP he defended himself against this history and the wider charge of being political when interviewed by the BBC’s Martha Kearney, declaring:

These are things of 25, 30 years ago now. They’re not relevant to the work I do now. I hope that since I’ve been in office I’ve made it absolutely clear that every single decision is made absolutely independently.

So just how independent is he?  This post will show Starmer was being very economical with the truth about his political activity and as such cannot be trusted to be independent.  His intervention on behalf of the Guardian against the Met Police needs to be put into proper context, and the media’s bias by omission exposed.

Starmer was not only a member, but Secretary, of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers which supports a variety of hard left causes and actively opposes anything considered right of centre.  That is in no way a thing of 25, 30 years ago.  Starmer’s left wing activism is long standing and has never gone away.  His first interview as DPP was given to, surprise surprise, the Guardian.  In it Stephen Moss explained of Starmer that: “[H]he has generally been seen as a Labour supporter and doesn’t demur when I mention that perception.”  Starmer was also kind enough to tell Moss that:

My background is not typical of a lawyer or a DPP.  My dad was a toolmaker before he retired, so he worked in a factory all his life. My mum was a nurse, and she’s been physically disabled for years. We didn’t have much money, and they were Guardian-reading, Labour-leaning parents. That inevitably created an atmosphere where my thinking developed.

How very cosy.  That same interview even saw Starmer reveal the fawning, high esteem in which he holds the Guardian, ironically on the subject of the phone hacking investigation:

Starmer also decided not to reopen the News of the World phone-tapping case following allegations made in this paper that its illegal surveillance operations went beyond its disgraced royal editor Clive Goodman, who was jailed in 2007 for plotting to intercept phone messages from members of the royal family. “I did get a review off the ground,” he says. “We looked at it and we formed the view that what was done at the time was the appropriate thing, and that it wouldn’t now be the right course to prosecute anybody.” But he does not rule out a case being brought at some point. “I keep an open mind. It might move on and develop if Guardian journalists or anybody else show us other stuff. What I don’t want to do is say, ‘We looked at that, we’re not going to look at it again.'”

Earlier in his career as a barrister, Keir Starmer had joined Doughty Street Chambers, founded and headed by one Geoffrey Robertson QC – the same chap who has doggedly pursued the Murdochs through his pieces in the Guardian, acted as counsel for the Guardian in the Neil Hamilton/Ian Greer libel case, and howled in protest against the Met’s proposed legal action to get the name of Amelia Hill’s police source.  Over time Robertson promoted Starmer to be joint head of chambers at Doughty Street.

Robertson as the boss had influence over Starmer and helped to advance his career.  Robertson as the joint head of chambers with Starmer arguably had an even closer bond with him.

Within days of Robertson popping up to defend the Guardian within its pages, imagine our surprise that Starmer stepped in to put an end to the Met’s idea of using the Official Secrets Act to use Hill’s notes to root out the law breaking police officer.  Was this a case of Starmer listening to his former boss, mentor and colleague and following his demands to the letter, rather than letting the police test the law in court in an effort to nail a bad apple?  If so it justifies the Guardian’s adoration of comrade Keir.

That would be enough to convince some people Starmer has too close an association with the Guardian to be an honest broker.  But looking back there’s more.  Not many people realise that in 2002 Starmer was himself paid counsel for the Guardian alongside Robertson.  Starmer even wrote for the Guardian, cementing his link with the paper.  If this was a couple of Bullingdon Club boys rather than Guardianista, you can imagine the howls of outrage that would have been flowing from Alan Rusbridger’s office.  As the Guardian will no doubt privately attest, the socialist strategy of getting fellow travellers into the top echelons of the state is paying off.

Alan Rusbridger, speaking after the Met Police dropped its action, described their attempt to confirm Hill’s source as “sinister”.  What is really sinister though is how one newspaper possibly enjoys special protection under the law as one of their favourite sons holds the senior criminal prosecutorial role in the land – and that the media turns a blind eye to a potentially serious conflict of interest, because it suits their own.

16 Responses to “Phone hacking, the Met Police, corrupt sources and the Guardian’s DPP angel”

  1. 1 jameshigham 20/11/2011 at 5:26 pm

    “These are things of 25, 30 years ago now. They’re not relevant to the work I do now. ”

    Said Kim Philby.

  2. 2 john in cheshire 20/11/2011 at 6:53 pm

    I think one can guess the politics of someone who is called Keir. I’ll bet he fantasises that his surname is Hardy.

  3. 3 The Gray Monk 20/11/2011 at 7:57 pm

    Surprise, surprise. One law for the rest of us, another entirely for our socialist comrades. The Guardian should be prosecuted to find the rotten spy embedded in the Met and there should be a very thorough investigation of everything the DPP has “influenced” since taking office – preferably with him suspended while it is done.

  4. 4 Geoff, England 20/11/2011 at 8:51 pm

    Starmer shouldn’t just be suspended; he should be dismissed. The fact that he refuses to do his job objectively or impartially makes him unfit for purpose.

  5. 5 David Lonsdale 20/11/2011 at 10:51 pm

    Starmer will be the man who authorises the prosecution against Huhne in the speeding case. No wonder it is taking so long to come to trial. For more Guardian lies check out Guardian on Google.

  6. 6 Andy Baxter 21/11/2011 at 8:09 am

    Some quotes to illustrate a point….and perhaps a way forward…..following on from various points raised here by AM and in other likeminded blogs and fuelled by an increasingly disenfranchised powerless cash cow taxed and fined to the hilt electorate being squeezed ever more, denied justice, a voice, representation, spoon fed drivel distraction and manipulated for nefarious ends…perhaps just perhaps the only way forward is a revolution…..

    Britain is not a country that is easily rocked by revolution… In Britain our institutions evolve. We are a Fabian Society writ large.
    William Hamilton

    The seed of revolution is repression
    Woodrow T Wilson

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
    John F. Kennedy

    The job of the writer is to make revolution irresistible.
    Toni Cade Bambara

    When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.
    Victor Hugo

    A revolution is an idea which has found its bayonets.
    Napoleon Bonaparte

    I began revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I do it with 10 or 15 and absolute faith. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and plan of action.
    Fidel Castro

    The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers
    Cade: Henry VI, Part 2, Act 4, scene 2

    Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.

    V: V for Vendetta’s address from the BTN television studio

    Why don’t we organise a 5th of November (we’ve got a year to communicate, organise) a ‘million’ people plus as Dr. North says marching on Parliament Square peacefully, they can’t kettle us all and they can’t arrest us all, can they? Just asking….

  7. 7 Edward. 21/11/2011 at 8:37 am

    Starmer as DPP? Then, Huhne is safe.

    Graun and Labour/Marxist writ and influence runs deep yet, Red Tories muddle and leave it all in place – perhaps fearful of the luvvie media backlash and the PC Stasi. Which all goes to prove who really is running this country and it certainly ain’t the ‘people’.
    Starmer, is supposed to speak for and represent the people, he like many in our ‘elite’ seek only to address their own [left wing and statist] agenda, he should fall on his own sword but that would take a man of real integrity – anathema to these politicised weasels.

  8. 8 StrongUnitedKingdom 21/11/2011 at 10:12 am

    Keit Starmer was a Blair implant and nothing Blair did was ever in the best interests of the UK or its people.

  9. 9 Sceptical Steve 21/11/2011 at 10:27 am

    Paradoxically, the Huhne case could go either way.
    Preventing the prosecution would leave a member of the left occupying a powerful cabinet role, but forcing Huhne’s resignation would cause a serious instability in the Coalition.
    No wonder it’s taking so long for Starmer to decide…

  10. 10 thespecialone 21/11/2011 at 12:44 pm

    I hope that this analysis gets a bigger airing across the blogosphere. Will the Express, Mail and Telegraph pick up on it? Or as they are part of the media, they are willing to protect Starmer?

  11. 11 Shevva 21/11/2011 at 1:53 pm

    Remember there is no left or right anymore there is above or below the line.

    Simple test is Mr Cameroon left, right or above the line.

    And as more and more sheeple in the UK realise this they will start demanding more and getting less, then the revolution.

  12. 12 suedenimon 21/11/2011 at 4:02 pm

    I bet Bliar wishes Starmer was in charge of the Malaysian War Crimes Tribunal now running, with him as its subject!

  13. 13 Uncle Badger 23/11/2011 at 2:08 pm

    Excellent work again., AM. Starmer has been a particular hate object of mine since he was implanted by the Blair junta as part of its programme to fix ‘the ‘establishment’ in the Guardianista’s favour.

    A thorough examination by the MSM is absolutely overdue. And, equally absolutely, unlikely.

  14. 14 Geoff Yeo 24/11/2011 at 12:09 pm

    There is no chance whatsoever of the MSmedia itself covering this disgraceful aspect of our governance. Not a single MP will pay any attention. It is a total disgrace. Onward to the reveolution!

  15. 15 Ron Jenklions 25/11/2011 at 6:46 am

    One of his “jobs” was to defend convicted terrorists from a control order as it “infringed their human rights”.
    Now he’s the D.P.P for F***s sake and people still wonder why Britain is going down the gurgler!
    Robertson is an Aussie,as is his stupid wife who the media in UK fawn over as if she ever said anything worth listening to.Never mind she,and Robbo,are probably back in Australia for the Summer doing the social set gatherings as they do each year thus joining all the other Chardonnay Socialists down under.Neither Robertson nor his muissus lets an opportunity to rubbish Britain go by but funnily enough he likes the initials Q.C. after his name…hypocrtite comes to mind

  1. 1 Director of Public Prosecutions perverting the course of justice? « Autonomous Mind Trackback on 08/12/2011 at 11:08 pm
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