An important appeal from Tom Watson MP

This is your chance to help Hacked Off and an exciting opportunity to get hold of the definitive account of the “Trial of the Century”.

Dear friend

No one can doubt that the small team at Hacked Off continues to fight a long and difficult battle to obtain a better, truly independent press industry, and they have done so in the teeth of a twin-bladed strategy from most of the newspapers. They attack ruthlessly anyone who seeks to challenge their conduct or their oppressive dominance of the market, and just as ruthlessly they fail to report any news that doesn’t suit their purposes.

Now we hear that Rupert Murdoch is going to make another bid to buy the whole of BSkyB which would give him a huge share of the news sources in this country and pose an even greater threat to our democratic processes. The grim case of Tulisa Contostavlos shows that even a celebrity is not safe from being fitted up by the tabloids and being forced to face a criminal trial on the evidence of a single newspaper journalist – who was well-known to have been unreliable in the past and was accused by the judge in this case of almost certainly having lied to the court.

So we need:

  • new laws to ensure that only people who are truly “fit and proper” are allowed to own broadcast media

  • to ensure the Leveson reforms are fully implemented and

  • all the political parties, as Milly Dowler’s sister Gemma has said, to keep their promises to the victims of press abuse and indeed to the voting public.

In order to do this Hacked Off needs your generous donations. Please take some time to donate by clicking here or – if you don’t like online payment services – just email me [tomwatson@hackinginquiry.org] and I’ll send you bank transfer details. Or you can send a cheque to Millbank Tower, 21–24 Millbank, SW1P 4QP (made payable to Hacked Off).

As an added bonus, anyone who donates more than £50 will get a signed copy of Peter Jukes’ book due out in a couple of weeks, ‘Beyond Contempt – The Inside Story of the Phone Hacking Trial’ (RRP: £25).

Peter Jukes has written a gripping, first-hand, fly on the wall account of the drama of the Old Bailey complete with all the fascinating, and hitherto unrepeatable legal arguments from the very wily Coulson and Brooks defence teams.

“If there was a single twitter feed to hack into, then his was the one. Incomparable!” – Gary Lineker

“Peter Jukes’ coverage of the hacking trial is exceptionally full and valuable” – Philip Pullman

Beyond Contempt is being published by Martin Hickman who has written all the reports for the Hacked Off website, at times when most of the newspapers failed to cover the trial at all. Martin also co-authored with me, “Dial M for Murdoch”, and has all the expertise needed to ensure you get all the facts in their context.

Anyone who donates over £100 will in addition receive (unless they want a second copy of the book) two personal invitations to the exclusive launch party of the book where there will be an opportunity to meet all the leading figures from the Hacking saga – journalists, activists and some of the well-known victims of the criminal conspiracy.

Rupert Murdoch has spent £500million fighting off legal cases and effective regulation. Hacked Off has battled successfully on a budget less than a thousandth of that. Hacked Off cannot rely on big business for its funding and that is why your support is so valuable. Please donate so we can all see this through to its successful conclusion.

Best wishes,

Tom Watson


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

vince smeatonreply
August 6, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Great stuff

August 6, 2014 at 8:28 pm

you’re doing a great job against very heavy psychopaths. Thank you

m nicholsonreply
August 6, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Anyone, absolutely anyone, however improper must be allowed to own broadcast media, that’s free speech.

No-one, however proper, should be allowed to control more than 10% of any type of media, that prevents anyone from blocking free speech.

We need to ensure we increase freedom and human rights for the many but not restrict the freedoms and rights of any individual any more than necessary to achieve this.

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