A quote of course from Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray, and also my facebook profile on Friday night when under a red wine haze I was trying to make sense of the shifting events unfolding around Hackgate and also trying to contain my anger at how we had all allowed matters to go so far in the first place and also wondering exactly where and with whom the buck stops?
I remember talking to Tom Watson MP in 2004 when I was sure my phone was being constantly hacked during the period when I was holding all the cards over that leaked "minute" between Blair and Bush, which ultimately led to a good friends imprisonment and probably started my troubles with the Labour Party which would in the end lead to my expulsion.
Tom and others like Chris Bryant were searching and campaigning for the truth, over both hacking and police corruption but the party leaders, the police, the media and as a result the public were showing little interest. In fact Tom and Chris were both allowed as a result to become victims of the press they were challenging with little support being given to them from on high. it seemed as if Inquistive MP's were fair game for the press and an unforgiving public scarred by the MP's expenses revelations
And that is where I have slight fall out with Joe Public over this whole affair, you see, as long as it was only politicians and celebrities that were being hacked, and on who the police also sold dirt on, then it seemed as if society could turn its back on any crime having being committed, they were indeed fair game, and they deserved all they got surely?
Well no they didn't, some of you may remember the time Joe Ashton was arrested in a massage parlour in Northampton. It ended his parliamentary career in my view, but the News of the World at the time never mentioned that he was a very happily married man, married to a wonderful wife who unfortunately because of her disabilities meant they couldn't share a sex life, they never mentioned that in the NoTW, you see Joe only visited massage parlours (with his wifes knowledge) because he would never dream of having an affair, or getting involved with another women due to his devotion to his wife. And they also did not mention that after Joe had given his real name to the police (John Ashton) and his London address, that the News of the World alledgedgly bought the information as to his true identity from a corrupt copper at the Met who had noticed a VIP flag on his car licence plate when the Northamptonshire Police made enquiries.
But in the end it was the same level of criminal behaviour albeit with far more serious consequences by both the media and the police in selling info on victims and or the phone hacking of those suffering great distress in the Southam Case, the Milly Dowler case, or 7/7 victims or the families of fallen soldiers that has finally brought all of these cases out into the open.
But not in my view before almost ireversable damage has been done to both public trust in our democratic and national institutions.
Think for a minute if you will at the damage caused to our society by the fact that the Deputy Prime Minister of the country at the time John Prescott, asked the police if he had been a victim of hacking, only to be told that" no he hadn't", even when the police and the CPS were holding information at that time that he had been.
So it seems that it is ok for the police and CPS to lie to our elected leaders?
Remember if you will, that parliamentry Select Committees were lied to on more than one occasion, by leading key figures in the media and in the police over the overall extent of any hacking that had taken place, over the extent of paying the police for information and also on who and how many people were involved.
So they can also lie to Parliament
Remember Andy Coulson standing in front of the cameras telling the world that he knew nothing about the hacking, when it now seems through leaked emails that he both did know, and that he is aledged to have also authorised payments to corrupt police officers.
It is also now in the face of so much freash and emerging evidence, inconcievable that Andy Coulson knew as little as he wants us to believe he knew, and it is equally inconcievable that the PM was also as much in the dark as he suggests at the point at which he appointed Coulson as Chief of media at number 10, after all it now emerges that enough people had warned Cameron of the potential consequences of his appointment at the time.
This story is of course far from being over, no doubt this week further revelations will surface and with the NoTW out of the way, expect other papers to fall under the spotlight. After all an Independent review into the press in 2006 shows that the Daily Mail employed almost twice as many private investigators as the NoTW, and we should not be naive enough to think the buck simply stops with Glen Mulcaire.
Editors of other papers would do well not to repeat the excuses given by owners and senior staff at the NoW including Richard Murdoch, Andy Coulson and Rebecca Brooke that they were either "unaware" of what was going down or that emails had "gone missing" or even that they were "on holiday at the time"
I spent a good deal of my life climbing a political mountain to get to the very top of our national parliament only for me to find out when I got there that the air was fresher and far more cleaner and the view much more aspiring from the bottom of the mountain than it was at the top.
Since leaving parliament in 2005 I have also watched as our Bankers have robbed of us of our economic future, our politicians have been competing with each other in fiddling their expenses and damaging the reputation of our whole democracy through their own greed, and our police showing themselves to be above the law set for them to administer and unwilling along with the CPS to tackle crime if they felt a cover up was more in the favour of the ruling classes, and also a media bring more shame on itself far beyond the very low, low point it had already reached previously.
But I have also witnessed a public which unfortunately in the main has stayed indifferent. And I am afraid that until enough of us are willing to take a real stand and make far more noise about what they are all doing to us, then than those who currently control our lives and make our laws will continue to trample all over us.