Adam Bienkov has via Twitter drawn attention to Mayor Boris Johnson’s considered view on the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. When asked last September at a meeting of the London Assembly about the continuing concerns over the News of the World’s use of phone-hacking he said that such concerns were “codswallop” and that it “looks like a politically motivated put-up job by the Labour party”.
He also seemed rather vague about whether he had been briefed as Mayor of London (and Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority at the relevant time) and displayed his usual vagueness and lack of grasp of detail:
“Asked by Labour assembly member Joanne McCartney about any conversations he had had with police at the time, Johnson replied that “to the best of memory I was satisfied with the police position, which was that no new information had been substantively revealed and therefore nothing more was going to be done. So I don’t think I actually had any conversations.
He later added that he didn’t recall “any specific briefings on this”.”
Interestingly, Wiktionary tells us – and with Mayor Johnson’s classical knowledge this is no doubt something with which he is familiar – that:
“Cod, as is known from medieval texts, refers to the penis, as is cod piece, peascod (ref Shakespeare et al.) and wallop (see above). Combining the two would result in the reasonable conclusion that codswallop may have come from the combination of penis and rubbish, thus providing either the explanation that it is either semen or urine.”
Not a nice way to dismiss the claims of the hacking of the phones of murder victims ….
But then Mayor Boris Johnson’s approach is to disclaim all responsibility on the basis that he wasn’t briefed or wasn’t listening when he was ….