It is almost shamefully satisfying to watch the unravelling of a tabloid empire whose "journalists" and "news"papers have intruded so relentlessly into other people's lives. The fact that in many cases this intrusion was not only amoral but also (we now learn) completely illegal is more than justification for the finger-pointing and name-calling currently taking place around the world.
But the apparent involvement of top level Scotland Yard policemen and politicians is less risible and more depressing, because their job is to uphold the law and protect the rights of individuals, whereas we all accept (however reluctantly) that tabloid hacks are unscrupulous when it comes to getting a scoop. The flood of denials continues, even as those who stoutly reject the very idea of involvement one day are rushing to fall on their swords the next. It's become a ghoulish guessing game, wondering who'll be next.
Conspiracy theorists are having a field day, of course, especially with the as-yet unexplained death of one of the first whistleblowers. Even without the sensationalist conjecture, what faith can we place in an investigation by a police service whose own reputation has been severely tarnished by the revelations which he set in motion?
Let us sincerely hope that when the dust finally settles, all those who should be brought to account have been exposed and suitably dealt with. It would also be satisfying if all those whose tragedies were made worse by the actions of the greedy and unprincipled receive something a little more tangible than a PR-spun apology from one of the world's richest men.
If not, I think many of us will be seriously hacked off!