Everybody knew what they were up to at the time. It was an open secret that you could guess a voicemail pin, or many times use the default. You only had to read the gutter press to figure out that most of these stories were coming from underhand and probably illegal sources.
They were hand in glove. The Met, the Press, the Government.
And then one day that cosy relationship was blown apart when the press got a hold of a list of expenses from duck houses to moat cleaning, bathplugs to Tom Watson's mammoth food bill. Rupert wanted to buy his TV channel. Cameron hired Andy Coulson and everyone found out about Milly Dowler's phone hacking. Miliwonk milked the whole thing like he was United bloody Dairies with a freshly polished halo.
Now the love-in is seriously over, the politicians are pissed and the fuzz have to pretend like they'd never seen a brown paper envelope and start nicking people.