“”It’s the rich wot gets the pleasure, it’s the poor that gets the blame,” goes the old adage (or something like that) and that seems to have been the attitude of the London Metropolitan Police in its approach to arresting the alleged miscreants in the News of the World phone hacking scandal.
So tomorrow, according to the Guardian (which has been pretty well right all the way along the line in exposing this scandal, thanks to its indefatigable reporter Nick Davies), former News of the World editor and coalition government director of communications Andy Coulson is due to be arrested, charged with authorising illegal phone hacking.
Not, you may note, with paying the police for stories, which he had also been doing.
And his predecessor as NoW editor, Rebekah Brooks, now CEO of News International which publishes the Sun and the News of the World, is not, so far, booked to see the boys in blue. Although she surely will be.
So how come the hacks, even important ex-hacks like Coulson, have their collars felt when executives like Brooks, former UK editorial director Les Hinton and son and heir James Murdoch (the man who tried to stifle the crisis by bunging nearly £2m at PR Max Clifford and PFA boss Gordon Taylor) get away with it?
This is a question for Met Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer to answer, urgently.
In the UK we’re in danger of burying one scandal with another.