Andrew Norfolk, the Times journalist that blew open the Rotherham child abuse scandal, can sleep well in his bed tonight, for he has been completely vindicated now. Forget the Jay Report, and the resignation of the Leader of Rotherham Council. No, Norfolk has been blessed with great reward from a far higher power; from the the fathers of the nation: Hacked Off.
The campaign for regulation of the press have released a statement praising this Murdoch stooge:
‘Hacked Off Executive Director Joan Smith said: “This is investigative journalism at its best. Andrew Norfolk has uncovered a dreadful story of abuse, in Rotherham and elsewhere, which has been ignored or brushed aside for more than a decade. Hacked Off congratulates Andrew Norfolk and reiterates its support for press freedom, which is vital if those who abuse the trust of the public are to be called to account.”‘
Given the legal lengths that Rotherham Council went to in order to restrict information reaching the Times, it is laughable to think that they would not have taken full advantage of the additional restraints Hacked Off want to put on the media.
Incidentally, Joan Smith is the ex-partner of Denis MacShane – the Labour MP for Rotherham when the abuse was going on, who has now admitted he did too little, though he says no victims ever approached him. In 2009, at the high point of the expenses crisis, she wrote in the Guardian a piece entitled ‘I am sick of my country and this hysteria over MPs’:
‘I am sick of my country. I am sick of the daily undermining of democracy, and sick of the sadistic pleasure people take in humiliating decent public servants.’
The decent public servant who was her ex ended up in the slammer for expenses fraud. One might be forgiven for asking whose side Joan is really on.