The media today is dominated by stories of the phone hacking scandal with news that private detectives employed by News International hacked the telephones of various famous murder victims. It seems that the police have been provided with copies of emails by News International’s Andy Coulson authorising payments of tens of thousands of pounds to individual police officers. This is incendiary. It means corruption on the part of the police and a system of organised bribery by News International. If News International has been in the habit of bribing police officers whether for information or for some other purpose this may explain why the police have proved so reluctant up to now to investigate its affairs. Buying information and protection from corrupt police officers is the sort of activity one associates with the likes of Al Capone, not with a reputable news organisation and is enough by itself to justify a public enquiry.