This is not the case of one rotten apple, or even one rotten company. This is big corporate culture

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Evidence released today seems to provide the clearest possible evidence that News International has been far from truthful about the hacking scandal it has been involved in.

The claim that this was a case of a 'rotten apple' or two - the perennial excuse of those dismissing corporate wrong doing - is blown asunder if the new evidence is true (and there seems little reason to doubt it).

But let's be clear, there's nothing surprising about large corporates misrepresenting the truth.

They do so every time they claim to operate a business from a tax haven. That's always a sham at best. Nipping in to Jersey, Cayman, Zug or wherever to sign pre-agreed board minutes does not represent operating a business from these places: it is just a deliberate charade designed to claim that this is the case. Hiring local lawyers to operate a subsidiary for you, and then claiming that they had power to make local decisions when it is abundantly obvious this cannot be true, is just as much a sham.

And yet this practice is to be found in large numbers of major corporations. If the directors of those companies can believe  in this charade  there are two things to say about them.  The first is that they are willing to turn a blind eye to any abuse  if it will increase their profits.   The second is that they live in a world so far removed from reality that any defence is believed by them to be plausible.

Don't think what has happened at News International is unusual in that case: isn't. This is the large corporate world laid bare.

And it is this sort of abuse that Cameron has to stop now, and very clearly and openly attack, or his credibility in claiming that reform of British society is at the heart of his agenda is shattered.


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