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We Need a Public Enquiry, not a Lynch Mob for News International

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It's hard to take in the magnitude of how the News of the World saga has ended. After Nick Davies' dogged determination to investigate phone hacking during Rebekah Brooks' time as editor of the paper, News International has decided to kill the paper dead in the water and consequently 200 staff lose their jobs.

It's unacceptable on so many levels. Unacceptable that so many journalists who weren't at the paper during the time of the hacking are now jobless. Unacceptable that Rebekah Brooks still survives. And unacceptable that Colin Myler has said that the Guardian were "out to get us".

So what now? Despite the mass calls for heads to roll (Twitter fuelled this fire), even if Brooks joined her staff in the job centre it wouldn't be a desirable outcome. There's a danger that such a dramatic move will cause a distraction from what is really needed - an efficient, independent, public enquiry that includes journalists, proprietors and police. The calls of derision that have met Brooks' claims that she will investigate the hacking herself are an indication that it's time for the matter to be brought to a conclusion properly.

Earlier today, Ben Goldacre tweeted that this was "just like the bankers all over again". This is true, but with one important difference - no one ever liked bankers. This and the Hari case (which now looks like a damp squib in comparison) have all but destroyed public trust in journalists at a time when the profession should be placing the engenderment of trust at the heart of what they do.

The issue has united many from left and right - seldom do you find liberal bloggers agreeing on principle with Guido Fawkes, and the news regarding Millie Dowler earlier this week only heightened this.

The Labour party, which until Wednesday had remained quiet, suddenly sprung into life with Ed Miliband overtly calling for Brooks' resignation in prime minister's questions, with Yvette Cooper and Chris Bryant also in an outspoken mood.

By closing the News of the World Murdoch has scored a temporary coup in that attention has been drawn to the plight of his sticken journalists, rather than the allegations of phonehacking themselves.

But this should not stop the enquiries - it's time to get to the truth that Nick Davies has been digging at all these years.