"George Osborne insisted that the government would stick unwaveringly to its austerity plans, despite admitting that the long-term damage caused to the economy by the credit crunch was forcing him to revise down estimates for growth that were already weak." The Guardian, September 6
A former Madame and dominatrix, Natalie Rowe, made high profile news yesterday in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Ms. Rowe said that her phone was hacked in 2005 just before the Daily Mirror did a story about her use of cocaine and other vice activities with Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. The drug use and girls-for-hire action occurred, it is claimed, during and shortly after the time Osborne was a student at Oxford University and involved members of the elite Bullingdon drinking club.
Shut down in shame in July, Rupert Murdoch's News of the World (NoW) got the intel on the Mirror story through a phone hack on Rowe's phone. That resulted in what the Financial Times called a spoiler story. As the Mirror story broke, NoW's campaign to discredit Rowe was in full swing.
Andy Coulson was the editor of NoW at the time of the alleged phone hack and spoiler story. Coulson left the Murdoch tabloid in 2007 after a phone hacking scandal involving the British royal family. He then became the director of communications for the Conservative Party. Prime Minister David Cameron hired Coulson based on Osborne's recommendation.
It is not known if the phone hack of Ms. Rowe's voicemail stayed in place and, if so, what use was made of the extensive prostitution business trading under the name of Black Beauties.
In a 2008 interview, Rowe talks about her business at Oxford. She supplied sex for hire at a high price for the well-heeled students of Oxford. On one occasion, she described serious harassment of her girls at a party held for the Bullingdon Club. The club membership at the time is a who's who of the current Conservative leadership. Her girls provided dancing and sex for a hefty sum. In a report from 2008, Rowe describes the scene:
girls were made to feel like they were nothing," she said. "They climbed
on to the bar or a table and started to strip and gyrate. But the
guests were mauling them and jeering. It was horrendous. The guys were
trying to touch them and shouting abuse, throwing champagne and
spitting." Natalie Rowe interview, Sara Nuwar, October 26, 2008
Rowe says that Osborne was not part of the vulgarity but recounts how, during his Oxford days, Osborne was fascinated by the tools of the dominatrix trade:
was fascinated when he heard what I did for a living. He wanted to know
about the clients, how much I charged, what went on. He seemed a bit
more than curious about what went on. He wanted to see the equipment--the
whips, the chains, the belts. He was particularly interested in the dog
collars we put on clients and the rubber underpants they wear as
submissive slaves." Natalie Rowe interview, Sara Nuwar, October 26, 2008
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation interview is being covered heavily in the British press. The Telegraph took the opportunity to bring up Rowe's role as a dominatrix and reference several sordid scenes with then party leader David Cameron's inner circle. The Telegraph ran a preview of a book in which the scenes were described in 2009.
One point not addressed in the very early coverage concerns the possibility that the claimed NoW phone hack was maintained on Ms. Rowe's phone after it was used to counter the 2005 story in the Mirror. In that the case, the prospects for political manipulation on a wide scale are significant. NoW and the Murdoch organization would have had the information to use. In addition, when Coulson left NoW to take the position in the Conservative Party, he would have, no doubt, recalled who did what to whom and when, as indicated by request for service calls received by Black Beauties and possibly hacked by the Murdoch tabloid. (Image L.Motley)
Austerity King Knows how to Dish Out Punishment and other Hypocrisies of the Ruling Elite
Prime Minister David Cameron has become a veritable punching bag for scandal since the July revelations about phone hacking. He hired the former editor of NoW, Andy Coulson despite Coulson's known role in phone hacking. He was said to have met regularly with Murdoch senior executive and former tabloid editor Rebekah brooks.
Cameron took a special hit after he responded with tough guy rhetoric
and outrage after the recent London riots. He looked stern as he said,
"These are sickening scenes, of people looting, vandalizing, thieving,
robbing" This is criminality, pure and simple, and it has to be
confronted and defeated." David Cameron, C-Span, August 6, 2011
Just days after the statement, The Independent reminded Cameron that his Oxford drinking club was involved in similar vandalism in 1987 when one or more of the members threw a planter through the front window of an Oxford restaurant. No one was caught. No one confessed. (Bullingdon Club antics were nothing like the riots, says Cameron The Independent, September 2)
It is ironic that just days after announcing a painful austerity program for the British people, we find that the champion for that program was described as utterly fascinated with the methods and implements of ritual punishment. The irony escapes them.