READ: Matthew Norman: Now is the moment to stop Murdoch

From The Independent:

It has many villains and one or two heroes, while its chief victim lies cocooned from the shock that has winded even the world-weariest media cynic like a kick to the solar plexus. But the story of Milly Dowler's mobile phone speaks of infinitely more than the posthumous violation of a murdered schoolgirl by Rupert Murdoch's demons and the visceral revulsion that this has induced.

This is an amorality tale of systemic corruption as insidious, deep-rooted, all-embracing, diseased and destructive as any known to a modern Western democracy. To understand how it came to this – how prime ministers and our premier police force became the enablers of News Corporation's abundant wickedness – you must go back several decades.

When Margaret Thatcher made her Faustian pact with Mr Murdoch in the 1980s, granting him his every heart's desire in return for his unwavering slavish support, she hastened the creation of the monster we see revealed in all its gruesome hideosity today.

In general terms, she gifted him the preposterous media market share he expertly parlayed into a stranglehold over the political elite. In a country without a written constitution, bereft of checks and balances and devoid of oversight, the levers of power are there to be seized by the most ruthless buccaneer in town. This he did with wonted dark genius, coaxing and cajoling, bullying and bribing, to inculcate the near universally received wisdom that without his approval, no party can be elected or prosper in power for long. Once Thatcher had established the precedent of obeisance, it was rigidly and cringingly adhered to thereafter by Mr Tony Blair, the successor but one she begat, and now by his self-styled heir David Cameron.

Specifically, meanwhile, she politicised the police by using them as a political truncheon at Wapping as with the simultaneous miners' strike. In so doing, she placed them in Mr Murdoch's pocket, where they have snugly remained ever since.

Read the rest here.