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The Leveson Inquiry

(252 Posts)
bananaistheanswer Tue 22-Nov-11 13:58:47

I know there is a thread on Hugh Grant, but wanted to start one to discuss the bits and bobs that's been happening. Might be worth having one thread to cover this? Ignore if you disagree!

Anyway, was interested in a couple of things that have happened today. Diane Watson's parents giving evidence, not directly linked to phone hacking, but as general evidence regarding the PCC's toothless, spineless dealings with complaints about the press and their intrusions. Interesting and compelling evidence. Particularly as they have been campaigning on the issue for years, long before the whole phone hacking thing blew up. This is what the BBC have said they have been doing over the years because of their experience of the press at large -

The submission added that Mr and Mrs Watson had:

direct contact with the newspaper and the magazine (publications that they felt were wrong on what they wrote about their daughter)

complained to the Press Complaints Commission

contacted their own MP and MEP

engaged in correspondence with the Scottish and Home Offices, the Scottish Parliament Committee's Justice Committees and the European Commission of Human Rights

and lodged a petition with the Scottish Parliament on 10 May, 2002, regarding wider policy issues.

Their son committed suicide, with clippings of press articles written about his sister, found in his hand.

Moving onto Gary Flitcroft - had 2 affairs, tried to get the stories snuffed out, was refused and then was hounded by the press. He blames is father's suicide some years later on the publicity given to his affairs, resulting in a man who already suffered from depression, losing interest in watching his son play football because of the publicity his affairs got in the press, and then the chanting at football grounds which were too much for him.

Then, there was Elle Macpherson's assistant, accused of speaking to journalists on her private life/crumbling relationship, who was forced to go to rehab for 'alcoholism' as Elle felt she wouldn't have betrayed her trust if it wasn't for her alcoholism. She went to rehab, but then got sacked afterwards anyway. She wrote to the police on realising that her phone could have been hacked, but wasn't answered. Bizarre story.

The various QCs or whoever, commenting on the fact the Mail on Sunday have now attacked Hugh Grant on a personal level, because of his evidence yesterday, when it was supposedly agreed no attacks would follow anyone who gave evidence.

It's mental so far, the picture being painted (granted by those on the receiving end of the press intrusion) is just awful. Watched some ex NOTW journo on sky trying to justify the Mail's reaction, with a Daily Star Journo actually backing Grant in his stance re his daughter's mother etc.

It's all pretty gripping stuff.

So far, we have had 2 people mentioned as having committed suicide, which their families believe were linked to the press coverage of the stories linked to them. I am genuinely wondering how many more stories we'll hear along those lines.

bananaistheanswer Tue 22-Nov-11 14:23:51

Just watching the summary on BBC parliament channel of the enquiry - the bits I missed at the beginning. [oops]

The statement being given by one of the barristers (David Shelbourne) is covering Max Mosley's son's suicide, Charlotte Church's mothers attempted suicide.

So, more of examples of the effect (in those targetted by the press) of the exposure and intrustion on their families.

sis Tue 22-Nov-11 14:28:16

The Guardian blog is here. The account of the Watson's evidence makes for really sad reading.

hackmum Tue 22-Nov-11 14:58:31

I agree, sis, it's heartbreaking. All those suicides or attempted suicides. It makes me really angry that this has gone on so long and only now is something being done about it.

And I know there's a view (which I don't agree with) that celebs are somehow "asking" for it by being in the public eye, but what have families like the Watsons and the Dowlers done to deserve this? It's sickening.

EdithWeston Tue 22-Nov-11 18:32:08

The human cost is staggering.

It's hard to find words to describe what I think of the role in suicides. The footage of Milly Dowler's mother showing, even now, her elation when she thought it must mean her daughter was alive contrasted with her father still being stony faced and close to tears at the memory.

And also those who lost their jobs and reputations because the appearance of stories in the press was held to be evidence of breach of confidentiality agreements and they were believed to be the only third party who knew.

Nancy66 Tue 22-Nov-11 21:18:23

How very convenient that Gary Flitcroft can blame his father's suicide on the media that overturned an injunction that he took out....nothing to do with his own behaviour or the fact his father had a very long history of mental illness.

Looking forward to Sheryl Gascoigne tomorrow - a woman who, at one time, virtually had her own hotline to the NOTW so she could flog stories on the husband she bled dry

bobthebuddha Tue 22-Nov-11 22:08:33

If I recall correctly from previous threads, you have something of a vested interest, Nancy66, am I right? It's terribly easy to attack those less clear-cut cases and conveniently ignore the likes of the Dowlers, right? hmm

Nancy66 Tue 22-Nov-11 22:29:20

I do have a vested interest, yes.

have said before, but will say it again, that the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone and the deletion of voicemails was unforgiveable and cruel

bananaistheanswer Tue 22-Nov-11 22:34:27

Nancy, I agree it's a bit of a leap to 'blame' the exposure of Flitcroft's affairs for his father's later suicide. But, the point of his evidence, and that of the Watsons (whose son committed suicide with cuttings of a newspaper article on his murdered sister in his hand^) as well as the Dowlers, and even Max Mosley (whose son also committed suicide) is that the exposure that Flitcroft got for his affairs, and the subsequent abuse he got from the terraces, affected his dad, his family, and it's ^those innocent people who are the collateral damage that no one in the press give a toss about.

What's your take on the Daily Mail's response to Grant's allegations? Attacking him personally seems like such a juvenile petty way to react. But, typical of the Daily Mail IMO.

Nancy66 Tue 22-Nov-11 22:38:44

did they attack him personally?
They just refuted his allegations i thought.

carernotasaint Tue 22-Nov-11 22:40:59

My dad has been buying the Mail on Sunday for years. Its a real bone of contention between us especially as DH is disabled (and we all know what the Mail thinks of disabled people) so now hopefully he will stop buying this hate rag. Ive a feeling there will be quite a heated conversation over the Christmas dinner table this year.

Nancy66 Tue 22-Nov-11 22:43:30

Max Moseleys's son died of an accidental heroin overdose - he was an addict a long time before the infamous nazi/hooker story ever ran

PastGrace Tue 22-Nov-11 22:56:55

I walk past this every day to get to uni - I'm not sure the press realise the irony of the banks of photographers stacked up outside the back entrance trying to get footage of the people coming to complain about their privacy being compromised...

I do think it's important to remember that privacy works on so many different levels - in all reality, there would not be this level of fuss if it had been confined to celebrities. It's absolutely right that the inquiry happen, but I think it's naive to expect an easy solution. The PCC certainly needs looking at.

I'm shocked at how poor counsel are coming across. I think Leveson is doing well though.

bananaistheanswer Tue 22-Nov-11 23:04:00

Just realised my italics went all wonky. Oops.

Nancy, I don't know the detail of Mosley's son, only picked up what was said on either Sky News or BBC news earlier, and it was said Mosley's son committed suicide. Might have been Sherbourne who said it in one of his addresses to the enquiry.

GypsyMoth Tue 22-Nov-11 23:19:55

Kate and Gerry mcann tomorrow too. Did I hear that right?

PastGrace Tue 22-Nov-11 23:24:16

Sara yep - it's all here

bananaistheanswer Wed 23-Nov-11 00:15:08

I'm very interested in what the McCanns will say tomorrow. The double edged sword of being slaughtered by a press that you depend on for the exposure you need to try and find your missing child <ignoring anyone who posts about alternative theories on what happened - I'm just sticking with the known facts i.e. missing child, exposure needed by parents for campaign angle>

FantasticVoyage Wed 23-Nov-11 00:27:30


"How very convenient that Gary Flitcroft can blame his father's suicide on the media"

He didn't. He said he thought it was a contributory factor.

bkgirl Wed 23-Nov-11 00:47:21

I think Leveson is handling the whole matter very well and has come over as a kind and decent professional. I just hope his conclusions are strong, brave and actually go some way to rectify the absolute power the papers/media has over our society.
I want the people involved in blackmail/hacking to do TIME. I want them charged by the police and made to face what they have done. Then their bank accounts/homes should be sold to PAY their confiscated proceeds of crime.
What gave me hope that the met has finally cleaned up its act was the policeman today at Leveson saying Grant was attacked in the papers after his testimony and it wasn't on.

FellatioNelson Wed 23-Nov-11 06:28:55

I haven't followed this closely as I've been out of the UK and haven't had access to much UK news other than headlines, but I caught Steve Coogan giving evidence yesterday on Sky news and found myself quite gripped by it. It's weird seeing someone you never see as 'himself' seeming nervous and not at all like his usual screen persona, but I thought he came across extremely well; intelligent, highly articulate in very difficult circumstances, measured and humble. and I was finding him strangely attractive by the end of it.

Wish I'd seen HG now. I am definitely going to be watching the McCanns.

I do agree though, that some of the things attributed to this scandal by the people who have an axe to grind (MM and GF might be a tad far-fetched. I'm not condoning what was done to them, but I don't think that TNOTW can be held entirely responsible for two suicides of third parties who were already in a bit of a pickle, to say the least. I'm sure their behaviour did not help though.)

sis Wed 23-Nov-11 11:13:30

can someone please enlighten me as to nancy66's vested interest? tia.

GypsyMoth Wed 23-Nov-11 11:15:47

Think it's just mr mcann giving evidence today.

bananaistheanswer Wed 23-Nov-11 11:18:09

I might be wrong but I think nancy66 is a journalist. Happy to be corrected though.

sis Wed 23-Nov-11 11:37:45

Thanks - maybe nancy will be along to confirm or deny.

pinkee Wed 23-Nov-11 14:49:12

Just watching McCanns speak and it is torture - poor poor people.

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