Rebekah Brooks takes her place in a perfect picture of modern Britain
For me ... the thing which has become defining of the country right now is the magnificent hoop-de-doodle of the politically motivated show trial, each one costing untold millions and millions of pounds and each one accompanied by a howled demand for some sort of retribution from the absolutist metropolitan elite, while the filth are shown carrying out those black plastic bags at dawn (the cameras always handily present) — and then, later, sometimes a hell of a lot later, a jury comprised of ordinary people thinking about the whole thing long and hard and almost always deciding to acquit. Trials driven by some newly discovered obsession and which get us all whipped up into a frenzy for ages — until the verdicts come through, mostly.
My suspicion ... is that the relentless pursuit of News International journalists and factotums was motivated more by a visceral loathing of Rupert Murdoch, who is seen by some deranged sections of the left as satanic, than any grave worries about invasion of privacy. I've never met Roop, either, by the way, although I do work for the bloke, I suppose.
You might hope that the acquittal of Brooks will be the final nail in the coffin of those supposed liberals who wish to limit the power of the press. Lord Justice Leveson's findings, made when the tumult was at its height, have largely been ignored by both the newspapers and the politicians, suspected of being both unworkable and undemocratic. And yet last week one of Hacked Off's leading lights, the comedian Steve Coogan, became a patron of the charity Index on Censorship (presumably to argue that censorship is a really bad thing unless it applies to coverage of his own behaviour). So the mania continues for a while....