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Crisis at the top out of hand

A full-blown constitutional crisis is emerging within the British state, with the country’s top policeman challenging the authority of the prime minister who himself is connected to phone hacking through his former press secretary.

For Cameron to rush back from South Africa, while asking Parliament to meet on Wednesday – it was due to go into recess tomorrow – indicates the ever-increasing scale and scope of events precipitated by the Murdoch news empire’s meltdown.

The latest casualty is deep in the heart of the state – Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson. Although Home Secretary Teresa May poured oil on troubled waters in an unctuous statement, thanking the commissioner for his splendid work, knives are out big time between the police chief and the government.

The Commissioner claims there was nothing untoward in his relationship with ex-News International deputy editor Neil Wallis, But, as the Guardian points out: “The Metropolitan Police chose to hire the former second-in-command of an organisation while that organisation was being publicly accused of criminal activity”. Worse still, it failed to inform Downing Street about its close relationship with Wallis.

The real bombshell in Stephenson’s statement is his thinly-disguised challenge to Cameron. By comparing the PM’s hiring of former News of the World editor Andy Coulson to Scotland Yard’s hiring of Wallis, Stephenson has made a direct challenge to Cameron. Coming from Britain’s top police officer, who has only been in the job since 2009, this has the makings of a constitutional crisis.

The truth is that the media, the police and politicians (including of course New Labour) are all part of the system of governance. They have formed a social glue over a half-century as Murdoch’s media web stretched its tentacles around the world.

From the standpoint of logic, Stephenson is right. Cameron, like his New Labour predecessors, is absolutely tainted – and with him, Blair and Brown who repeatedly turned down opportunities to re-open hacking inquiries. Ed Miliband has also courted Murdoch and hired a former News International hack with question marks hanging over him as his own press advisor.

Stephenson’s resignation reveals a crisis of the state, intensified by the globalisation process and its subsequent crash. Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg yesterday warned of the dangers of another meltdown. A new report out today shows the UK economy is faltering – so badly that some suggest the Murdoch crisis is a convenient deflection from the real crisis.

The departure of the Met chief, under pressure from London mayor Boris Johnson, leaves a leadership gap at Scotland Yard which will grow if – as seems likely – counter-terrorism chief John Yates also resigns. It’s becoming blindingly clear that the Met is like that because the state as a whole is rotten and undemocratic and confidence in politicians as well as the media – and the police – continues to plummet. Now no one believes what they say – even if they are right!

The political turmoil is exacerbated by the plotting of right-wing Tories who see Cameron as too soft. The Telegraph and the Daily Mail are gunning for the Tory leader, believing they can get a more “traditional” one in his place.

So, while we can be pleased that the Pandora’s Box (more like a three-way sewer between Scotland Yard, Downing Street and Media-ville) is open, its secrets out and many involved tearing each other apart, there are many dangers behind the scenes.

Not least is the threat of a national government as the political crisis meets a worsening economic situation. Such a government would undoubtedly introduce emergency measures in “the national interest”.

The whole political structure and its disgruntled counterparts in the police and security services are irretrievably tainted and compromised. We should take up the call from the Spanish Real Democracy Now activists: Don’t vote for them! Build People’s Assemblies instead!

Corinna Lotz
A World to Win secretary
18 July 2011

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Jonathan says:

Why AWTW classes on philosophical concepts are central; why contradiction drives.

The newspapers were also an outlet, weapons and front for the police in these matters, just as the other outlets were for other agencies of the state, and political class, the parties as they stand, or are transformed. Elements of this were let slip during these dampened enquiries and media coverage: so many nuggets hid in so much muck. I believe that the reason they now fail in one of their primary roles, as to being the transmitter of the dominant ideology, is its breaking down. Too many contradictions raise new thoughts, both contradictions in actuality and in theory, in practice and in the logic of that practice.

At the moment this other, actual, role as a part of the ruling state machine and its parties, comes out by various comments made during the feeding frenzy, more of a panic than genuine investigative journalism. Are we to believe that Nick Davies and Co. didn't announce continually at their clubs and other outlets, at the meetings to cross check their notes and interviews with others, the conclusions they were coming to: had known to be 'the truth' in their own words? So what drove the panic? As each and everyone knew, and more, at their own level were involved in such nefarious practices it can only be a damage limitation exercise. Publishing or not only swung on 'ethics', the totally illegal, out of control state i.e. the removal of the façade and laying bare of its real, always been so, state, depended on only this. Also, at the centre of this is the spin masters in MI5 – who have been mentioned directly, as noted above. But these references get buried as they surface. There is the 'knows' and the 'don't knows' and the working class and middle class, the student youth, and even the families of 'the fallen', those ubiquitous ' the people' who belong to the latter. Surfacing now comes the age old phrase; 'the truth', and 'honourable', it would all make an interesting dictionary. The truth, itself, undergoes some transformation. A new dictionary, the philosophy of political ideas of decayed National Capital and growing Global Capitalmeeting resistance. This can only be dealt with by political resistance, and although Westminster has produced insights some of it is through interpreting the partisanship of what most are trying to have hidden, are avoiding, like the plague itself. SO: while any half decent QC would drive a coach and horses through any response, to any twitch or twitter given off, we also can see what wasn't said, the total partisan shift in questions, and also where they can feel it getting beyond them. But political activists are by definition QC's, forensics are the meat, logic the method.

They know, and I don't mean can 'tell' but they know this is a dangerous moment for them. The whole façade, each aspect of what they pretend as to Brand Britannica has been exposed to be rotten – and by inference always has been so. The machine that sells it more than the democracy they sell, the police, which now they try and keep at the centre of it all – but the others creep in, as above, Cameron (and by extension the Prime Minister as such) and other ministers and within it all, even the 'Palace' gets a reference. 'Those of no property' are the only 'not representatives' outside our webs and heterogeneous organisations. It would seem all those with any 'vested' interest are being opportunist (and some without) – some shamelessly some with no shame. Last night the creepy Mail staffer – sounding creepy, spoke of all those 'who aren't interest', again, even if true, different from those who have no interest in. One of those creatures that tell me my sense of touch has many other qualities more useful when watching horror Movies, it creeps and shudders, and sends most definite messages of repulsion to my mind. A sense that demands skill with adjectives when turned back into word forms, and the use of 'perceptions' that normally just don't feel valid in an 'objective' breakdown of events that gradually suck in our memories when our senses were triggered by the presses use of such skills; such as: ' unctuous ' above. And this 'issue' has dragged them out of the woodwork' like a parade of the Dickensian underworld. Hayman, Glenn Mulcaire, MacKenzie and on and on, bring back Bremner, Bird and Fortune and all the best satirists - for so stained are the rest they don't really want it.

Now, though, it must move outside, and beyond Westminster and the 'traditional media'– it can not be left to single issue groups or might-be provocateurs, at the worst or someone without any leadership at best – to allow more cracking down, more diversions. The police are in the frame and out of it by the same act. MI5 may well have made their move without hardly having to break sweat. Obviously even the coalition as it stands those that know the figures think is not enough, will not be able to go far enough. The Libdems think they have stolen a march – Murdoch seems hung out to dry. But Prescott pointed to the OCI and a list of papers, others hint, and all drops to a background without any real effort from the editors-in-chief.

The real, and important part, for many activists to concentrate on from Murdoch is his reference to an Open Society, which is what one group of capitalists will implement against another, grinding the worlds masses between them. This, not so doddery, old man knows the agenda he and his minions and 'others' are following – tapping and being an outlet for agencies of the state are part of it: Assemblies are a danger to any and every part of that – in that sense a training ground for those driving for assemblies and 'joint action' with other organisations and for working within unions is unprecedented. The move for Assemblies must be made now through creating a body to carry through this Investigation and see where the rot is leading. And by that act train ourselves in philosophical detail.

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