The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
ENO's production of La Boheme is a triumph,
The phone-hacking scandal has claimed the heads of senior police officers and News International executives and forced the Murdoch empire to squirm in the spotlight.
Those on the left who lived through the Wapping dispute have long known of Murdoch's anti-union thuggery and grasping ambition.
They will not have been surprised at the steady stream of allegations involving corrupt payments, undue influence and invasion of privacy.
And they will also not have been shocked when News Corp sacrificed the News of the World like a gangrenous limb in a bid to curb the toxic spread of the phone-hacking scandal and protect those at the top.
The fact that many newspapers employ underhand, and often illegal, techniques to obtain stories will hardly have come as an earth-shattering revelation to many too.
But the sheer scale of the phone hacking and the attempted cover-up at News International, along with evidence emerging, first at the Commons select committee and now at the Leveson inquiry, have made for fascinating viewing.
Among the fiercest critics of News Corp has been Labour MP Tom Watson, who himself knows something of its use of the dark arts, having been personally targeted for special attention.
The obvious reference to the Hitchcock classic in the title is apt. It was after all the hacked phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler which had a central role in the scandal.
Watson and co-writer Independent journalist Martin Hickman give a forensic dissection of the case.
It is written at the breakneck pace of a thriller and, while much of the information contained is not new, the book does a good job of compiling it in one place for those who have not obsessively pored over every detail of the case.
Seen together the evidence is all the more damning.