19 Jul 2011


I have mentioned this employment tribunal case with a pretty massive payout before, but thought it was worth reproducing in light of what the paranoid and now deceased Sean Hoare had to say about the culture at News of the World.  Effectively employees were threatened, they had to use any means whatsoever to get the story and the threat was, well if you do not I can just get outsiders to hack and pry and will no longer be needing your services.  Mr Hoare, it seems to me was just as damaged by his treatment as this man, it is just that he did not have the strength to do something about it.  

Indirectly, I feel that  Coulson is responsible for his death.  Cameron also knew about this when he chose to employ that vile man.  At 2.54 Sean talks about the "culture" and how he lost his job.   

News of the World faces £800,000 payout in bullying case

Andy Coulson
Andy Coulson, now David Cameron's head of communications, led the bullying campaign the tribunal found. Photograph: Martin Argles
A News of the World reporter who suffered from a culture of bullying led by former editor Andy Coulson, who is now David Cameron's head of communications, has been awarded almost £800,000 for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
Matt Driscoll, a sports reporter sacked in April 2007 while on long-term sick leave for stress-related depression, was awarded £792,736 by the east London employment tribunal. It is believed to be the highest payout of its kind in the media, and legal costs could take News International's total bill well over the £1m mark.
The award will cause fresh embarrassment for Coulson, who resigned in January 2007 from the newspaper after the former royal editor, Clive Goodman, was jailed for hacking into the phone messages of aides to the royal family.
Earlier this year, Coulson faced renewed pressure, after the Guardian revealed that the News of the World's owner, News International, had paid out £1m to settle claims from Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, and other victims of phone hacking.
Driscoll, who has not been in a full-time job since his dismissal, said the award reflected the severity of the case.
"Andy Coulson was at the heart of all of this," he said. "He should look at himself and decide if his actions in the course of the way I was treated were correct. If I were him, I would find it very hard to look in the mirror. I was subjected to unprecedented bullying and he did nothing to stop it, if anything he accelerated it. I didn't do anything wrong."
He added: "I was in the top 30 sports writers in the country. I then came up against the venom of Andy Coulson, which I found very hard to take. It has taken an incredible amount of strength to take on the richest news group in the world and win. I don't think anyone has ever done that before with the success that I have."
The tribunal found in December 2008 that Driscoll had fallen victim to "a consistent pattern of bullying behaviour". "The original source of the hostility towards the claimant [Driscoll] was Mr Coulson, the editor; although other senior managers either took their lead from Mr Coulson and continued with his motivation after Mr Coulson's departure; or shared his views themselves. Mr Coulson did not attend the tribunal to explain why he wanted the claimant dismissed."
The News of the World, which defended the case, said the main reason for Driscoll's dismissal was his capability or qualifications for performing his work.
Before going on sick leave in July 2006, Driscoll was subject to disciplinary proceedings and issued with formal warnings starting from November 2005 over alleged inaccuracies in his reporting and for failing to turn up punctually on one occasion.
The tribunal found that was merely a pretext and the real reason for the disciplinary proceedings was simply that Coulson wanted to "get shot" of him. In July 2006, Coulson wrote in an email to the deputy editor, Neil Wallis, that he wanted Driscoll "out as quickly and cheaply as possible".
Driscoll, who joined the paper in 1997 and was promoted twice, was initially highly regarded, according to the tribunal ruling. That changed in August 2005 when Coulson turned against him for failing to stand up a tip that Arsenal were planning to play in purple shirts, a story that later appeared in sister paper, the Sun.
The judgment singled out Coulson for making "bullying" remarks in an email to Driscoll after the first formal warning, letting him know that he thought he should have been sacked.
According to the tribunal, the bullying continued after Driscoll went on sick leave. Senior management at the paper sent Driscoll a barrage of emails, phone calls and visited his home to demand that he see a company doctor, despite Driscoll's GP advising him to "distance" himself from the source of his stress.
News International declined to comment .


viv said...

People were scared and if you have got to get a story you have gotta get it by whatever means, it was the culture.


Yes, that is a fair way of saying it.

And now he is dead. Paranoid and drug and alcohol dependent, poor man.

viv said...

I still cannot quite comprehend or accept just how terrible all of this really is or how it will all end.

But London Met are clearly under strict supervision now and we need a lot of people to be locked up, not just Coulson, Kate and Gerry, who both, very much, bought into that "culture".

viv said...

Coulson wrote in an email to the deputy editor, Neil Wallis, that he wanted Driscoll "out as quickly and cheaply as possible".

The same names just keep cropping up time and time again. Vile, vile people. Send people mad, drive them to drink and drugs, whatever it takes.

viv said...

@@skymarkwhite BREAK Met Dir of Public Affairs Dick Fedorcio being investigated over the hiring of ex News of the World Dep Ed Neil Wallis

(and we know what a nasty piece of work he is)

Wizard said...

Hi Viv and Di,

Who says current affairs in not entertaining? I was just watching the parliamentary media committee hearing live on Sky News – questions were being posed to Rupert and James Murdock when Jonny Marbles, a comedian sitting in the public section, got up and pushed a custard pie into the face of Rupert Murdock.

The police were slow off the mark, whilst Mrs Wendy Murdock trophy wife of Rupert jumped up and hit Marbles over the head. Some seconds passed before the police grabbed him.

Rebecca Brookes up next before the committee – questioning of the Murdocks has now overrun by over two hours. What next.

Di said...

Hi Viv

You could not make it up could you, my daughter and I rewound several times to actually see what happened. We saw Murdoch's wife take one swipe but seeing the news later she apparently hit Jonny twice.

Oh the irony if Jonny presses charges for assault!

Bearing in mind we were told earlier in the day, that none of the people being questioned were privy to anyone elses questions or answers, perhaps someone should have told Rebekah the planned format. We had Rebekah continually saying 'as you have just heard' or 'as you have just been told' I could go on.

What a farce!

viv said...

Hiya both, well she was very quick off the mark, almost too quick. I read this which kind of makes you wonder whether Mr Fixit had it all sorted for a few bribes changing hands:

Toby Young observes that her effort marks a victory for the Murdochs in the public eye. Rupert is “instantly transformed from villain to victim and anything embarrassing he or James may have said will be knocked off the front pages,” Young writes. What’s more, they’ll now have “an excuse not to appear before House of Commons select committees in future”: poor security

Di, I have not had the pleasure of listening to Rebekah yet, but sounds like she had been well briefed by Mr Fixit too. The long pauses of Murdoch were just pathetic, there is nothing slow thinking or ill informed about this control freak, it was all done for effect. But will the MPs have the courage to say so!

viv said...

"probably for the last few years, the News of the World has been leading the headlines for the wrong reasons"

Just remind me, how long was the author of this statement, Rebekah, in charge of operations in UK?

If that was not a self indictment, I don't know what was.

People are still speculating, oh why are we not hearing anything about the McCanns, I wish they would read Josh Rosenberg in the Guardian on the Contempt of Court Act, then they would understand why no one is referring to them, it is a serious criminal offence to prejudice a very major police investigation which is clearly ongoing in relation to them. What is more all their paraphernalia of defence is shutting down and I am not just referring to their use of the News of the World and The Sun.

viv said...

"we have attempted to find all of them a job, every single one of them will be offered a job.."

I think this was a very major error by Rebekah, she spoke as though she was still very much a part of the Murdoch organisation, and yet, supposedly, she has resigned. So how can she say every single one of them will still be offered a job?

We know that Murdoch was still paying Mulcaire's lawyers, long after he was convicted and no longer working for the paper. In the Murdoch way, this is clearly not the end of the business relationship. He can allow people to become disloyal to him and so, it seems to me, they are always on the payroll, regardless of whether, technically, they are still employees/private contractors on the payroll, or not.

On a smaller scale maybe this explains the McCanns apparent need to always talk in terms of millions that they need, even when the London Met are on the case (I know that sounds a bit ironic now). If you have a large group of people who you are indebted to, you need a large amount of funds to maintain their loyalty and silence and your activities. In the PJ report the clearly spoke about the group of 9 all being very much under the control of Gerry McCann. He is a lightweight Rupert Murdoch but probably looks to him as a role model for becoming seriously rich regardless of how bad you have to be, which does not concern him due to his personality style that he has been brought up to have.

viv said...

can NOT allow people to be disloyal I meant!

viv said...

"the wider agenda", the "wider political issues", very much a part of the language of Gerry McCann even as early as June 2007 and people say this was an accident he had not thought things through?

I do not trust people who keep chanting child neglectors child neglectors accident accident. They are not what they seem and we have all been taken in by them, some just take longer to wake up and smell the coffee.