Lord Brett wrote:
You're right, of course, about Ford being tied into binding agreements. I just found the tone of their statement - distancing themselves from NOTW while sucking up to News International - somewhat revolting.
I don't buy the bit about Rupe's loyality, though. Brooks isn't family and is becoming a serious embarrassment. Advertiser boycotts work - mobile phone companies aren't going to fall over themselves to place ads in News of the World for a while.
I didn't say she is family, I said she is "family" and Murdoch treats them as one and the same. She has been brawling in the street, presided over management reshuffles that have cost them dozens of millions, lurched from one ill-conceived digital strategy to another and has been sitting on this particular powder keg for years now (do you seriously think that all the options have not already been explored at 6am Sunday meetings in Wapping with the lawyers and will have already have a strategy worked out where there will be an unwritten but implicitly agreed red-line that denotes where enough is enough?)
Whether Phones 4U decides to pull for a while is irrelevant. They would be the only losers in that particular game; they only spend money there because for every pound they invest, they make x more back and it has nothing to do with "support" or otherwise. Yes, the weasel words of Ford are nauseating but I didn't see their money flooding wholesale out of the sun after Hillsborough, the star after their EDL shenanigans or The Mirror after Abu Ghraib (not) 2.0
What is far more relevant is how this will sit with NI's position not just within government circles but upon the wider benches of both houses. If various Select Committees and The House Of Lords get a sniff that they have been humiliated and had the piss taken out of them in the investigations thus far, then there will be hell to pay.
And that problem short-circuits straight back to Cameron; he can not afford to lose their tutelage and he certainly won't be wanting to gift the liberals an 89th minute penalty whereby they might salvage some of their evapourating support by standing up for the parents of murdered children in the face of a rapacious press and while the tories are sitting on their hands.
If Coulson gets away with this (and he must be feeling the heat), he and Madame Guillotine will make such a lovely couple.