Sir Paul Stephenson has gone. Now, when News of the World was first closed down, it was seen by some as a very clever, cynical escape trick: by ditching the paper and its problems, Murdoch could shake off the clamour for investigations and resignations. Rebekah Brooks' job was protected, no senior individual within Newscorp would be touched, and certainly the extensive web of police corruption would hardly be touched on. It hasn't quite worked out that way. A very significant nexus of ruling class power is decomposing. And the weakening of the Met's legitimacy is very important as the force leads the criminal justice system's crackdown on popular opposition to austerity, with highly demonstrative sentences for individuals, and the sick treatment of Alfie Meadows, is hugely important. Chris Bryant MP, who deserves credit for his role in all this, is suggesting that the Metropolitan Police has been corrupted to its core, with good reason. So, when Sir Paul Stephenson lauds the force's handling of the royal wedding and the student protests, it's worth remembering that nothing that comes out of his mouth now will pass the smell test. Also note that some in the Tory Right are gunning for Cameron, who is up to his neck in this and suddenly looks very vulnerable. The Telegraph's leader writer Damian Thompson puts it like this: "it will be difficult to vote Tory at the next election". If the Toriest of Tories can't vote Tory, who the bloody hell can?
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