Hackgate,  Rupert Murdoch,  Scotland

Alex Salmond’s Approach to Print Media Ethics: Flodden Field Rather Than Bannockburn?

As the Luciferian Fall of Rupert Murdoch seemed unstoppable, Operation Rubicon was initiated by Strathclyde Police following a complaint from Tommy Sheridan’s solicitor Aamer Anwar with the stated purpose of investigating unethical and illegal press practice within Scotland in addition to potential perjury by named individuals… okay, Andy Coulson… at Sheridan’s own perjury trial.

Lallands Peat Worrier now highlights an admonishment made to Strathclyde Chief Constable, Stephen House at the Leveson Inquiry:

“Could I make it clear that I’m aware that the Strathclyde are presently involved in an investigation which raises a number of the issues with which this inquiry is concerned. And I want it to be understood by all. I am not merely not inviting you to deal with that inquiry. I’m positively requiring you not to. It has been a very important aspect of this work, that – of this part of the inquiry – that I am not trespassing on individual investigations. I’ve learned a fair amount about Operations Weeting, Elveden and Tuleta but only in the most general and not the most specific sense. Your operation, I understand it is very specific, and covers one particular incident. I have no intention whatsoever to – of – impeding or affecting any criminal investigation or inquiry.”

So said Lord Justice Leveson. It is highly unlikely that he has not appraised himself of the particulars of Operation Rubicon and how it might relate to matters within the ambit of his inquiry. Instead, it is far more likely – and eminently understandable – that he is emphasising that the two are being conducted under the auspices of different judicial systems, and that when appearing before his inquiry deference to that one should prevail.

Therein lies a problem faced by Alex Salmond’s evident parochial confidence in the non-venality of the Scotland-based print media, as I discussed a few days ago following another of Lallands’ cogitations.

The Scottish authorities are free to establish their own inquiry into the conduct of the print media north of the Tweed. Not doing so, as now can be seen, runs the very real risk of discussion of such conduct being farmed-out to an inquiry led by an English judge with English barristers under the auspices of the English judicial system. Where a conflict of interest occurs, it will be this host judicial system which prevails.

That Salmond’s stated certainty at First Minister’s Questions on 8 March was juxtaposed the next week by reports of hacking aplenty in Scotland could have be put down to misfortune had there not been example after example after example of misconduct in Scotland.

(The third non-hacking/blagging example – of reporting of Diane Watson’s murder and subsequent character assassination which led directly to her brother’s suicide – is one reason why I now pinch myself whenever I feel sympathy for a convicted killer, having been taken-in at the time utterly by Ian McLean’s contemptible reporting.)

David Cameron continues to be hit by the flack from a scandal which started with the revelation that a murdered schoolgirl’s voicemail had been accessed. As Salmond continues cheerily on with the presumption that misconduct is a London-disease, he may very well find a similar fate waiting for him.

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