We are asked to believe that while the poor newspapers have been hounded over phone hacking, 'blue-chip companies' of all sorts are getting clean away with paying private investigators to break the law on a vast scale. What is striking about this claim is not the fragmentary evidence on which it is based nor the way it has been overblown in the newspapers (and we will return to those matters soon), but the breathtaking hypocrisy of it all.
Phone-hacking is wrong. Theft of private information is wrong. Illegally obtaining confidential personal data is wrong. But such awful behaviour was confined to the activities of a bunch of nasty newspapermen and a handful of unscrupulous private detectives, right? Anyway, it has now all been fully exposed and put a stop to by Lord Justice Leveson's Inquiry and the police investigations into the media, right? Wrong.