Voice of Lincoln: Phone hacking scandal

The last issue of The News of the World will be on news stands this Sunday, July 10, following supported allegations of phone hacking and corruption. We asked Lincolnites for their opinions about the scandal; if closing the 168-year-old newspaper is appropriate action to take, and whether or not previous editor Rebekah Brooks should resign from her current position as News International Chief Executive.

Hayley Walker (22) Lincoln, photographer

“I think it’s probably a good idea that it’s been shut down, because [the hackers] have ruined a lot of lives. I don’t think people will be out of a job because I think they’re going to start up a new paper anyway. I think [Rebekah Brooks] was probably head of most of the decision so I think she should probably step down and face the consequences.

“I think [the hacking] is out of order. I really feel for the victims; everyone who has had their phones hacked. I definitely think they should be shut down.”

Annette Wallis (59) Lincoln, children’s day nursery

“I’m glad it has been closed down, otherwise I think everyone should have vote with their money and not buy the paper at all and let them know exactly how strong public feeling is. It’s bad that it’s come to this but it’s been going on too long. And now you find out that the police are corrupt as well; the people who should be upholding the law are abusing it themselves. I think that’s more abhorrent.

“While people buy the papers they’ll continue to do it. I think Rebekah Brooks ought to be ashamed of herself because she must have known. Where do they think the information was coming from? How did they think they were obtaining it? They obviously didn’t ask enough questions. Obviously they’ll be looking for a scapegoat, whether that is going to be the correct procedure, I don’t know.”

Chris Padley (60s) Lincoln, retired

“I think it’s absolutely scandalous and I’m personally rather enjoying watching the Murdoch empire appear to fall apart. I think the scandal could easily go a lot further. We don’t know how much is hidden at the moment. It wouldn’t surprise me if it goes into the heart of politics as well. There’s certainly police corruption involved. This could keep running for a long time.

“I think it’s puzzling a lot of people; why is [Rebekah Brooks] still there? It’s beginning to look as if News International and Murdoch exist just to keep her in her job. Are they going to sink the whole ship rather than throw her overboard?”

Elizabeth Madigan (48) Burton Road, admin officer

“I’m absolutely shocked by the extent of it. I couldn’t believe how somebody could actually delve into the very private business of individuals who they know nothing about other than that they’ve been in the news. It’s despicable. It causes so much upset for people. I think they’ve got to get to the root of the problem. Who knows whose number is personal anymore?

“I think it’s appropriate that they closed [the paper] but it’s not enough. I think they need to find out who actually authorised this. Somebody has got to be paying these people. I think Rebekah Brooks is culpable; someone has got to have signed off on this. She has to have had inside knowledge and she can’t have been completely innocent. The axe has got to fall with the top. I think it’s very sad for all of the employees who are now out of a job all of a sudden because there were probably just a few individuals at the top who knew what was going on.”

Nelson Kelem (29) Bracebridge Heath, web developer

“Phone hacking is wrong, especially with vulnerable people. It violates people’s privacy. Shutting down The News of the World is not the appropriate call as they’ll probably just change the name and operate in the same premises, using the same computers, same people, and same old tricks. We will probably see much of the same under a new name, pretending to be something different.”

“[Rebekah Brooks] was the boss. The people who were hacking into people’s private networks, it was probably not her, but she was overseeing everything.”

Main Photo: Yago Veith