Opinion: Rebekah Brooks must go

(c) World Economic Forum

Georgia Lewis

In news just at hand, David Cameron says he would have accepted Rebekah Brooks’ resignation. It would appear Cameron is in damage control mode – his only option as his relationship with News International looking decidely unsavoury.

With Andy Coulson’s arrest today, nobody should forget the fact that Cameron has defended his decision to hire him as his main spin doctor. Cameron may indeed have known nothing of anything untoward about Coulson and he says he is now checking if any of his staff were warned. Will any Cameron staffer to put his or her head above the parapet today and say they had any information to this effect?

Then again, given that 200-odd jobs have been sacrificed with the closure of News of the World (NoW) to save Rebekah Brooks, who knows what may happen by close of play today? Perhaps someone will be set up as the fall guy to protect Cameron? After all, the precedent was set yesterday with Brooks crying crocodile tears as she basically told her staff they’d be out of work while she prevailed.

If she knew of any phone hacking on her watch, she is as guilty as any corrupted journalists – I think she is a liar. If she did not know of any hacking, she is an incompetent editor. Either way, it is shocking that she is still employed while journalists, many of whom weren’t even working at NoW when she was the editor, are now out of work.

Regardless of anyone’s opinion on NoW, it kept plenty of good journalists employed. It never claimed to be highbrow, it frequently leaned terrifyingly to the right, but in a free society with free speech and a free press, the left and the right all get a voice. Now we have a load of journalists unemployed in a market that is fiercely competitive for full-time and freelance work and Cameron’s undemocratically close relationship with News International has been exposed.

Meanwhile, The Sun will be published seven days a week, existing staff will have to work harder and probably not for any sort of fair reward, staff cuts will save News International a fortune, shareholders will be kept happy and Rupert Murdoch is most likely hoping that by pretending to be the good guy and closing the naughty paper, he can then slickly complete his megalomaniacal BSkyB deal and hope that the British public won’t notice. Hopefully, the British public will notice and will continue to make a lot of noise. This murky saga should be far from over.


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