The crusader no-one heeded

It’s time to give credit to the man who must surely be Britain’s greatest investigative reporter, Nick Davies.

The destruction of the News of the World was largely brought about by his relentless campaigning, the unflinching support of The Guardian and the refusal of the Murdoch empire to cleanse itself.

He first revealed his story of widespread police and press corruption THREE YEARS AGO, and it went far beyond the News of the World.

Much scorn was heaped upon Mr Davies when he published his book Flat Earth News, which catalogued among other sins the illegal activities of private investigators working for Fleet Street newspapers.

I hope he now updates this excellent book and republishes it because in a sudden and dramatic change of climate this country is now ready to listen to his message.

Perhaps all of us – readers, advertisers, journalists, politicians, government officers and policemen – have been complicit in accepting certain abuses, without realising how bad things had become.

It’s bad that politicians have been terrified into inactivity by the Murdoch empire. It’s bad that the police, the courts , government officers and the Press Complaints Commission knew about or suspected the illegal activities but failed to act.

It’s bad that in the heat of battle newspaper executives lost their moral bearings. It’s bad that readers and advertisers suspected much of this and continued to support the publications.

Murdoch should not have closed the News of the World, but he should never have tolerated these abuses for so long – and neither should his fellow proprietors, who I hope will soon be facing their share of the heat.

GARETH WEEKES,  Deep South Media Ltd