From: Rebekah Brooks, CEO
To: All staff
There have recently been some unwarranted attacks upon the integrity of News International, including the arrest of some of your colleagues. In case you should find yourselves in a similar position, the facts are as follows:
1. We had no idea that hacking into a person’s voicemail was illegal. According to advice from friends at Scotland Yard (during a rather pleasant lunch at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant) there was only illegality if: “the person whose voicemail was hacked into was completely deaf and therefore could never have heard his or her own messages in the first place.”
2. Even though we believed it to be legal, and knew it was going on, we never realised it was going on.
3. I never knew anything about anything.
4. When I told MPs in 2003 that we had paid police for information, the word “we” obviously meant “people on other newspapers, not me or us in any way.” They weren’t that bothered at the time when, in the line of duty, I was, and still am, in possession of their dirty secrets. But they keep going on about it now because they hate decent, honest people like me for showing them up for all their moats and bathplugs and other items charged to the British taxpayer.
5. When we talked about “one rogue reporter”, this was a simple misunderstanding of the words “one”, “rogue” and “reporter”. (No, we don’t all have Oxbridge degrees, I’m afraid.) And, the reason we failed to find anything suspicious in our initial investigations, was because we forgot to look. (There is no crime in forgetting.)
6. When James agreed to give Gordon Taylor £700,000, he didn’t ask anything about why. He just signed the cheque, because that’s the sort of trusting, generous guy James is.
7. If some of our over-enthusiastic staff arranged a bit of phone-hacking, so what? All the papers have been doing it for billions of years. Yes, they have. All of them. Yes indeed.
8. The reason we were picked on is because the other news groups, who are really crap, ganged up against us. They can’t stand our success and are scared of our unstoppable growth. And with good reason. Once Rupert gets BSkyB, it’ll be curtains for many of them. He’ll bundle subscriptions for BSkyB with our papers, and we’ll have the whole market stitched up. (That’s what I mean by “plurality” – lots of plurals for us!) This is fair business competition. My local MP and riding partner, a man called Dave, assures me of this.
9. Another reason we’ve been singled out is because we have been bold and told the truth in the News of the World about the shit behaviour of a pile of celebrity losers. They want revenge, publicity and our money, these dregs of humanity with sharp lawyers. We are the victims of a witch-hunt, being punished for acting in the public interest by exposing private agonies and sordid personal problems. The innocent families of these people will thank us one day for ruining their lives forever.
10. Who the f**k does Hugh Grant think he is?
Finally, on a personal note, while I thoroughly enjoy my job in Wapping, I am considering relocating to Rio de Janeiro, possibly next week. Rupert’s offered to buy a few Brazilian dailies for me to run and says it doesn’t matter if I can’t speak a word of the lingo. This will be a great career move and will have nothing to do with the fact that Britain has no extradition treaty with Brazil and I know you will wish me well.
Adios, or whatever they say in Brazil.
Rebekah Brooks, CEO
PS By the way, we had to tidy James Weatherup’s desk before the police arrived today. It was a right mess. Stale cheese and onion crisps, pencil sharpenings, bits of paper with things scribbled on them – all rather smelly, I’m afraid. Please ensure your own desks are completely emptied out and your computers wiped clean, or destroyed forever. We do have standards to adhere to in Wapping.