Daily Archives: August 16, 2011

Andrew Hill

At July’s parliamentary hearings into phone-hacking at the News of the World, Liberal Democrat MP Adrian Sanders wound up his line of questioning by asking James Murdoch if he was “familiar with the term ‘wilful blindness’”.

Mr Murdoch, now deputy chief operating officer at News Corp and head of its international business, asked Mr Sanders to elaborate, which he did:

It is a term that came up in the Enron scandal. Wilful blindness is a legal term. It states that if there is knowledge that you could have had and should have had, but chose not to have, you are still responsible.

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When I was nearly 13, an older friend sent me a letter with “This is a bomb!! Do not open!!” scrawled in teenage handwriting all over the envelope. This attracted the Royal Mail’s attention – it was during the IRA’s letter-bombing campaign – and my friend got a telling-off from school. But as far as I know, nobody at the time was calling for the postal service to be closed to stop real bombs being sent.