As Mr Foulkes points out, the hacking of telephones is already a crime and the perpetrators of this current pestilential epidemic of it, are – now that the police feel obliged to enforce existing law - being prosecuted. No further legislation is required – or ever has been required – to put a stop to this practice. And yet, Hacked Off are invited to top level conclaves with leading members of all three major political parties and their demands for new statute are treated with the utmost seriousness.
Contrast that treatment if you will with the pressure group formed by relatives of those patients who died at Mid Staffs Hospital. The deaths of their loved ones were certainly a result of criminal acts of neglect: the most straightforward charge that could be brought against individual members of hospital staff would be criminally negligent manslaughter. That is certainly the offence with which you or I would be charged if an elderly relative died of thirst or hunger while in our care. Or, alternatively, the management of Mid Staffs Hospital Trust could be brought to trial on a charge of corporate manslaughter. If Network Rail could be prosecuted for this offence over the negligent maintenance of railway track which resulted in a fatal accident, why should not a National Health Service management team be liable in a much more direct case of presiding over dangerous and unacceptable conditions?