back to article WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?

Too cheap or perhaps simply not bothered enough to manufacture its own selfies, the Sunday Mirror newspaper stole photos to entrap a Tory MP on Twitter. Now the owners of the photos might get the last laugh. The tabloid had spent the summer fishing for a Tory scalp – sending flattering tweets to several MPs from a fake account …

  1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    I for one

    Hope the mirror gets the book thrown at them.

    MP's have enough opportunies for stupidity without some rag creating more of them. It also sounds like it was a random fishing expedition rather than targeting a serial shagger love rat type although we could speculate how far it may have gone if allowed...

    I also suspect you could put a sizable proportion of the male population in the same scenario with the same result. One of my friends marriages started the same way. Fortunately she wasn't a Mirror journo. Unfortunately she was another kind of nut job.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I for one

      That stupidity is actually of monumental proportions.

      Google for the pics of the nice lady, have a look at 'em and think - would someone that good looking be interested in a civil cervant from the UK conservative government.

      Granted, having delusions of grandure is sometimes required to be in politics, but this takes the idea of political delusions of grandure to a whole new level.

      In fact, the mirror did the wrong sting. Someone _THAT_ monumentally delusional would have been a prime target for a successfull 419. Yeah, I know, a minister allowing all of his savings to be sucked out does not sound as "newsworthy" as a minister sending a nude picture of himself.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I for one

        She looks rather like most of the women who did for MPs in Major's government, honestly.

        Tory MPs all have a bad case of needing to wank more. Stop them being unable to control themselves around the first hottie to smile at them.

        1. razorfishsl

          Re: I for one

          Thats what comes of being a Crumpet toast rack at private school

        2. Psyx

          Re: I for one

          "Tory MPs all have a bad case of needing to wank more."

          Arguments that they do nothing but aside, I fully support this.

          They should all definitely wank more. While trussed up with oranges in their mouths. Hopefully we can thin out the numbers a bit, that way.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: and think - would someone that good looking be interested in a civil cervant

        Maybe you don't hang around the right bits of the web or even twitter, but you'd be amazed at how many women (or people who claim to be women) will offer to send you naked pictures of themselves (or someone random person they've found on the web somewhere). Occasionally they ask for you to return the favour, a common request is for tribute pictures... where they are asking for photographic evidence of how exciting you found their pictures. It's amazing what you'll find on the web if you don't have a life to get out and live.

    2. Psyx

      Re: I for one

      Precisely my point. It's not really in the public interest to know that a Tory MP gets horny when a model hits on him, and the entire operation was a drag-net "see who we can catch" affair, rather than targeting in response to allegations or whathaveyou.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Amorous Cowherder
      Facepalm

      Re: the Mirror couldn't even take its own selfie

      Most papers are lazy these days, that's the reason they've sacked their qualified staff photographers and simply rely on ciziten supplied photos from mobiles. When they need a shot, they buy a stock shot from a knock-down cheap library or more likely they steal off someone's website or FB profile. The amount a story will generate in paper sales compared to a couple of grand to pay off the poor sod who's had their online identity wrecked is nothing to the gutter press scum.

      When Spitting Image showed the press journos as pigs in dirty macs, they really nailed it.

      1. Steven Jones

        Re: the Mirror couldn't even take its own selfie

        I've no doubt papers used to be lazy (remember all those stories of never ending expense-paid lunches, corrupt employment practices for printers and so on). However, those halcyon days have gone. These days newspapers (with a few exceptions) are under enormous financial pressure with their circulation eroded by media fragmentation and the internet. Then there other main source of income, advertising is being strangled by competition from the on-line world. Even those papers with successful on-line presence can't get anywhere near recovering the difference.

        So the short story is, they aren't so much unwilling to do proper journalism as unable to finance it.

        nb. what's true for newspapers is also true for free-to-air broadcasting financed by advertising.

  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Joke

    But under the new copyright rules

    Wouldn't this count as using a previous work for purposes of parody?

    1. i like crisps

      Re: But under the new copyright rules

      I smell a Test Case in the Courts comming up!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But under the new copyright rules

      Have an up vote - looks like there's a tough crowd today....

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: But under the new copyright rules

        I'll give you one for noting the crowd. It is, afterall, Monday though. And for some reason, El Reg seems to be registering comments and votes really slow.

  4. Steve Evans

    Do they not read the news?

    Do they not know that copyright theft is the greatest threat to humanity?

    It causes global warming *and* ebola.

    (At least that's what it says in the RIAA/MPAA literature)

    1. Crisp Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Do they not read the news?

      It also causes immigrants to come into the country to claim benefits and steal your job!

      1. Steve Evans

        Re: Do they not read the news?

        My apologies Crisp. How could I have forgotten those!

        I love that I've picked up 2 down votes for my comment... Either we've got a couple of humourless commentards on here (not unheard of) or the RIAA/MPAA have their reputation protecting drones in our Reg!

        1. Stuart 22

          Re: Do they not read the news?

          "I love that I've picked up 2 down votes for my comment... Either we've got a couple of humourless commentards on here (not unheard of) or the RIAA/MPAA have their reputation protecting drones in our Reg!"

          Yep, I'm being stalked by those two same twerpies too. Can we get the El Reg computery person to mod the forum so anybody who issues more downvotes than upvotes gets redirected to Computer Weekly - if it still exists - I haven't checked but at least they have stopped spamming me.

          1. Stuart 22

            Re: Do they not read the news?

            "Yep, I'm being stalked by those two same twerpies too. Can we get the El Reg computery person to mod the forum so anybody who issues more downvotes than upvotes gets redirected to Computer Weekly - if it still exists - I haven't checked but at least they have stopped spamming me."

            Aha - so CW does have a reader left - even if he is a downvoter too. Love it!

          2. Geoffrey W Silver badge

            Re: Do they not read the news?

            RE "anybody who issues more downvotes than upvotes gets redirected to Computer Weekly"

            So, basically, you are advocating arbitrary censorship? Based on what? Your opinion?

    2. cortland

      Re: Do they not read the news?

      "It causes global warming *and* ebola."

      Also, unfortunate digestive consequences related (loosely) to milking. They involve a stool, anyway.

  5. GregC

    Depends on the context of the incitement, surely?

    ie, if "she" sends him a few flattering messages, and he responds with a picture of his knob, then he's been caught bang to rights.

    On the other hand, if "she"'s been sending him stuff like "come on big boy, show me what you've got" then that to me is entrapment.

    Either way he's an idiot, mind...

    1. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Depends on the context of the incitement, surely?

      I'd hate for the ends to be used to justify the means, but if he's the sort of dingbat who thinks tweeting pictures of his wang to party groupies is a good idea, it's probably best for us all that he be removed from government office.

      1. breakfast
        Coat

        Re: Depends on the context of the incitement, surely?

        So what you're suggesting is that in this case maybe the bell-ends justify the means?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Depends on the context of the incitement, surely?

        Or indeed government orifice.

    2. mmiied

      Re: Depends on the context of the incitement, surely?

      of course he is an idot. he is an MP

      1. cortland

        Re: Depends on the context of the incitement, surely?

        Typical of the genus. See http://www.twainquotes.com/Congress.html

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the MP sent the photo's for a specific reason, and that reason was NOT to be published in the mirror, and they threatened him with publication of said pictures, is that not copyright infringement?

    With the implied license being gratification, not blackmail?

    1. Terje

      In that particular case I would say that Copyright infringement is the least of there problems when compared to the significant time behind bars for blackmail they should rightly end up with.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        While they could end up behind bars for several reasons,

        blackmail probably isn't one of those, they never asked him for money (or other things) NOT to publish, therefore no blackmail occurred

        (IANAL, I just watch too many movies)

        1. Terje

          Re: While they could end up behind bars for several reasons,

          While I'm about as much of a lawyer as I'm a flying squirrel and usualy do my estimates of law based on the concept of comon sense, which ofcourse actually has nothing to do with anything involving lawyers, I'm fairly sure that blackmail not nessesarily needs to involve money, if you threaten someone with something (say publishing embarrasing pictures) unless they do somehting you want (for example resign your job) I feel we are definitely in the area of blackmail. If not after being manhandled by a group of lawyers atleast to the common sense

        2. The First Dave

          Re: While they could end up behind bars for several reasons,

          Blackmail doesn't have to involve money, merely an inducement to do/not do something.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Urrrggghhhh

    For the love of God please STOP using the word slurp or slurping in your articles or headlines.

    British Dictionary definitions for slurp:

    slurp

    /slɜːp/

    verb

    1.

    to eat or drink (something) noisily

    noun

    2.

    a sound produced in this way

    Word Origin

    C17: from Middle Dutch slorpen to sip; related to German schlürfen

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Urrrggghhhh

      Nah.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Mike Bell

      Re: Urrrggghhhh

      The OED definition of 'slurp' has not been updated since 1993, long before mainstream adoption of the internet. Meanwhile, it has been appropriated widely in IT circles as in, for example, this 'urban definition':

      To upload or download data, usually at a high rate of speed. Often used in slang to refer to illicitly gathering data -- that is, theft of somebody else's private data, trade secrets, etc.

      One could reasonably expect the OED to be updated in due course, and for El Reg to be ahead of the game.

      1. Rob Carriere

        Re: Urrrggghhhh

        I've seen it used in the sense of 'load an entire file into memory in one read() action' as far back as the mid-80s -- and it might be older than that.

        In general, using a regular dictionary in an attempt to disprove the existence of jargon is a mistake; the purpose of such dictionaries is to show only the regular, non-jargon, use of the language.

      2. Smooth Newt

        Re: Urrrggghhhh

        Slurp has a specific meaning in Perl; to read the entire contents of a file in a single operation into one scalar variable. As the first release of Perl was in 1987 perhaps the 1993 OED definition was already out of date.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Urrrggghhhh

      Hmm. "Slurp" in a knob related article. I saw what you did there.

  8. Jim 59

    Mirror

    Not exactly Woodward & Bernstein, is it ? Apart from the stuff in the article, this peccadillo would never have happened but for the actions of the Mirror. They have broken a woman heart, destroyed the bloke and ruined the lives of his 5 children. I wonder if they hacked his phone as well.

    1. Tim Brown 1
      Holmes

      Re: Mirror

      Sorry, whilst the method may be dubious, I have no sympathy for the MP. I don't see this as a 'first offence' type situation, just a first time being caught bang to rights.

      By the way, for clarity it was a freelance 'journalist' who did all this and then subsequently sold the story to the Mirror.

    2. Martin

      Re: Mirror

      "...this peccadillo would never have happened but for the actions of the Mirror."

      For the avoidance of doubt, I don't agree with what the Mirror did. And I'm very sorry indeed for his wife, and - particularly - for his kids.

      But let's get one thing clear. No one made him take his tackle out of his pyjamas and wave it at a camera. He could - and should - have simply said no. Even if it hadn't been the Daily Mirror entrapping him, it's a fair bet that the photos would eventually have appeared on the internet.

      He was totally and completely stupid. And it was HIS actions that have caused the grief his wife and kids are going through now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mirror

        It wasn't HIS actions, but that of the Mirror's that caused the problems, and the only reason we are all discussing this today

        1. Martin

          Re: Mirror

          "It wasn't HIS actions, but that of the Mirror's that caused the problems, and the only reason we are all discussing this today."

          We're discussing it today because of the Mirror. But I'd give you 5/4 on that if it hadn't actually been a sting, we would be discussing it in six months time when it all went pear-shaped and the papers got hold of it.

          He was incomprehensibly stupid. The Mirror has just exposed his stupidity earlier than otherwise might have happened.

          Risk your marriage, your relationship with your kids, and your career for an affair - yes, it's happened over and over again. There isn't a married man (or woman) in the world who can't understand how it might happen. Risk it all because you took a photo of your wang...stupid, stupid, STUPID.

          That's really my main point. I don't understand how he can be defended.

        2. Uffish

          Re: Mirror

          The ultimate cause of all actions is the Big Bang, but giiven the small subset of Mirror actions - would YOU take a picture of yourself poking out of your pyjamas and send it to someone you have never met?

          I think the Mirror actions come under legitimate public interest.

      2. Jediben

        Re: Mirror

        Nah, what he could and should have done was send back a picture of someone else's (more impressive) tackle. That way he could have avoided all this 'guilt' by simply claiming he knew it was a scam and he was playing them for fools. Remember the golden rule - Only one head in the frame at any one time!

      3. skeptical i
        Thumb Down

        True, but ... [was: Mirror]

        Sure, he was a dopey idiot to unsheath his blade for the camera, but unless he got voted into office vowing to smite all such activities from atop his moral high horse (and there's a hypocrisy angle), what is the news value? "Prime Minister does something stupid, film at eleven" doesn't exactly make one reach for the TiVo, does it.

  9. kmac499

    Outside of the copyright issue, which is important, can't be arsed commenting. You'll be pleased to note photo evidence of said arse not included...

  10. Marcus Aurelius
    Holmes

    Public Interest Re: Macintyre V Associated Newspapers (Boris Johnson/ Daily Mail)

    I would be interested to know if the paper published any of the photos sent by the MP and whether that is a breach of his copyright. However, I think the paper has a reasonable Public Interest defence, simply by quoting from the ruling in the above case.

    In a ruling that could redraw the privacy rights of public figures in England and Wales, the court of appeal said: "It is not in dispute that the legitimate public interest in the father's character is an important factor to be weighed in the balance against the claimant's expectation of privacy.

    "The core information in this story, namely that the father had an adulterous affair with the mother, deceiving both his wife and the mother's partner and that the claimant, born about nine months later, was likely to be the father's child, was a public interest matter which the electorate was entitled to know when considering his fitness for high public office."

    They'll have to go to the Supreme Court to overturn this, so it's going to be long winded and expensive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Public Interest Macintyre V Associated Newspapers (Boris Johnson/ Daily Mail)

      Why? The cases are in no way comparable. You're conflating the equivalent of dangerous driving with a parking ticket. In the Macintyre ruling, he was deceiving two people who were emotionally close to him, and that's a very relevant character test (though Bojo seems to get a free pass on this.) In the other, the guy was deceived by someone else and did something mildly naughty; proves nothing.

      If anything it might give the courts an opportunity to draw a clear distinction.

      1. Marcus Aurelius

        Re: Public Interest Macintyre V Associated Newspapers (Boris Johnson/ Daily Mail)

        The Macintyre case did not really involve Boris Johnson; it was the mother attempting to get an injunction.

        However the courts took the view that Boris Johnson sexual proclivities and behaviour were of sufficient public interest to override the privacy rights of third parties; in other words bad behaviour in public office is not a private matter.

        What I am attempting to say is that this case gives newspapers wide latitude in the reporting of the private lives of public individuals. Also the paper will no doubt argue that he has used the fact he is "happily married in a great relationship" to get elected and therefore it is a matter of interest if he's been lying.

        The Mirror does appear to have been behaving in a bad way, but legally they have a strong case and may be in the clear in terms of any criminal or private actions against them.

  11. John G Imrie Silver badge

    Mirror, Mirror

    on the wall,

    Who's the sleaziest f them all?

    1. Red Bren

      Re: Mirror, Mirror

      Who's the sleaziest? F them all!

      FTFY

  12. Anonymous Coward 101

    Nasty

    This MP clearly messed up and should have had more sense. But really, this is just shooting fish in a barrel by the Mirror. You get the impression that the paper just crossed male Tory MPs off a list when they tried and failed to lure them with this honey trap, and moved to the next one.

  13. hammarbtyp Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    For the innocent bystanders – whose exclusive rights of reproduction, and also moral rights over their images were abused by the Mirror

    I thought this was all about the build up to reproduction...

    Paris, because....Well you know

  14. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Stoop? Stoop?

    Just cos there is an austrailian owner of newspapers it doesnt follow that the word works upside down now.

  15. Frankee Llonnygog

    It was a matter of party discipline

    He should never have had that UKIP tattoo

  16. Mondo the Magnificent
    Alien

    Mirror mirror...

    I guess anything for a scoop huh?

    And if you can score a politician in the "game" even better..

    Common sense needs to prevail too, an up and coming politician dares to send an explicit selfie without thinking of the ramifications of this in short or longer term,.. after all this could come back to bite a person at any time.

    One needs to assess the repercussions of posing for and sending such a picture, especially if you're in the cut throat industry of politics.

  17. ColonelClaw

    The race to the bottom continues at it's furious pace.

    No sign of the bottom even coming into view, yet.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      >No sign of the bottom even coming into view, yet.

      I see what you did there!

      Of course you have to buy the paper for that.

  18. Mephistro Silver badge

    Entrapment???

    What has this to do with entrapment?

    The Mirror is not, to the best of my knowledge, a law enforcement agency, and sending a picture of your family's jewels to someone who has requested it is not a crime, except possibly in places like Iran, Yemen and Texas.

    And yes, this junior MP is not the sharpest tool in the shed.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Entrapment???

      I don't where you got you brain from but did the lady, in fact, intend to deliver the goods?

      No?

      Oh, the lady didn't even exist?

      Well, then.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        Re: Entrapment???(@ Destroy All Monsters)

        "Entrapment : the action of luring an individual into committing a crime in order to prosecute the person for it" (Merriam Webster 11th Edition)

        "...entrapment is a practice whereby a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely to commit." (Wikipedia)

        Mmhhh, let me check... Crime? No... Law enforcement agency? No.

        I stick to my opinion, i.e., this is no entrapment, at least in the legal sense of the word. It sounds more like a trap as in "Wyle E. Coyote vs. Roadrunner". ;-)

        1. Colin Brett
          Joke

          Re: Entrapment???(@ Mephistro)

          "i.e., this is no entrapment, at least in the legal sense of the word. It sounds more like a trap as in "Wyle E. Coyote vs. Roadrunner". ;-)"

          The coyote's traps never work but the Mirror's did. Does this mean the Roadrunner is smarter than a Tory MP?

          Colin

    2. Steven Jones

      Re: Entrapment???

      It's not entrapment in the legal sense by a law enforcement agency, but entrapment according to one of the other recognised definitions. See meaning 2 (a), which would seem to cover it.

      Is to why quote an example in criminal law, as Andrew did, the justification would appear to be that the press can justify their actions under the press code by analogy to the way it's interpreted by the coursts as applying to criminal law. Quite why he chose a US example though, I'm not sure as the interpretation of entrapment is different in the two regimes. Generally the US allows the legal enforcement agencies far more freedom. Witness the various cases involving exports of arms perpetrated by the FBI. Those would not be allowed in UK law.

      en·trap (n-trp)

      tr.v. en·trapped, en·trap·ping, en·traps

      1. To catch in or as if in a trap.

      2. a. To lure into danger, difficulty, or a compromising situation. See Synonyms at catch.

      b. To lure into performing a previously or otherwise uncontemplated illegal act.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        Re: Entrapment??? (@ Steven Jones)

        "Is to why quote an example in criminal law, as Andrew did, the justification would appear to be..."

        And that was -sort of- the point in my first comment. The other -non legal- meanings of 'entrapment' don't have anything to do with the issue at hand, in my opinion.

        On a side note, your comment appeared in the thread just after I answered Destroy All Monsters comment. Don't you love moderated threads? :-)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Entrapment???

      And you could tell ? by the photos I mean?

  19. Desk Jockey
    FAIL

    The pimps!

    I don't see any public interest defence in this case at all. The newspaper just went out to cause serious embarrassment to an MP, not to find out if there was a genuine story about illicit children and affairs etc.

    Having not read of the details of what that rag did, it would be amusing if they implied 'sexual' favours using that image? If so, surely they makes the journo a pimp? Worse still, a pimp promising sexual favours without the consent of the person being pimped! Isn't that a criminal offence?

    Whether from comitting a civil copyright offence or a criminal 'soliciting' offence, that paper deserves to be in trouble...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The pimps!

      The problem is that they can't tell the difference between what's in the public interest and what interests the public...

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Desk Jockey Re: The pimps!

      I'm a bit on the fence on this one, but I find myself in disagreement with parts of your post as follows:

      "I don't see any public interest defence in this case at all....." Well, this is a junior minister which means he has (or, hopefully, now had) the potential to become a full minister or even future PM, so the Mirruh is doing the country a favour by exposing him for the clueless twit he is now before he gets into a position of greater responsibility. TBH, I would expect any MP to have developed enough common sense/deviousness/self-preservative instinct to see through such an obvious scam long before they got to a junior minister position - could you imagine the possible damage to the country if this twit had got to the position of making really important decisions up against really experienced and immoral politicians like those (allegedly) in the EU? No, far better he is exposed (fnarr) for the fool he is now.

      ".... The newspaper just went out to cause serious embarrassment to an MP...." Firstly, I understand it was a freelancer that sold the story to the Mirruh. Whilst the freelancer could be accused of using a shotgun approach, by the time it was presented to the Mirruh he had hit a definitive target. Secondly, the junior minister in question is a public figure and has a responsiibility to act in accordance with the expectations of the voters. By that I'm not passing moral judgement on the 'immorality' of his 'indiscretion' but the fact he was willing to engage in such behaviour suggests a weakness of character and an inclination to dishonesty. That plus the fact he was stupid enough to get caught.

      "... implied 'sexual' favours using that image? If so, surely they makes the journo a pimp? Worse still, a pimp promising sexual favours without the consent of the person being pimped! Isn't that a criminal offence?...." Only if the proposition asked for something such as cash or favours in return for sexual favours, which does not seem the case. You could also say the journo in question at least stopped at just selling the sexting evidence to the Mirruh, whereas some journos may have been inclined to bank the evidence for future blackmail purposes should the junior minister have later progressed to a more senior position. You may also want to consider that the British Secret Service (allegedly) randomly test their employees, members of the armed forces, senior civil servants and senior MPs with such entrapments, so to class such an action as illegal might land HMG in trouble.

      1. Desk Jockey

        Re: Desk Jockey The pimps!

        Come on, lighten up. I have always wanted to call journos a pimp, don't deny me this wonderful opportunity! As the freelancer did get paid for his pimping efforts (albeit by a different client) I still maintain he is a pimp!

        "could you imagine the possible damage to the country if this twit had got to the position of making really important decisions up against really experienced and immoral politicians like those" Like a certain Dr Liam Fox when he was a SENIOR Minister in the Ministry of Defence? Put the sarcastic laugh on because the Mirror has not done us a favour, that horse has well and truly bolted and a whole load of incompetents are in charge. Just remember that unlike any other industry, politicians don't need qualifications or to pass a formal job interview to get the job! This story/expose is effectively pointless and does nothing more than wreck one family and humiliates a Swedish model, there are far worse offenders for corruption and stupidity that the papers should be exposing (not literally!).

        "You may also want to consider that the British Secret Service (allegedly) randomly test their employees, members of the armed forces, senior civil servants and senior MPs with such entrapments". Needless to say I will not be going into details of what I may/may not know allegedly happens, but believe me this does not happen. The British security service does not need to bother doing it because plenty of other foreign governments are trying it. In this case, resources are better spent watching the spooks rather than the MPs. (google Mike Hancock, former MP for Portsmouth and the case of his 'assistant') Something even junior ministers are briefed about when they first start their ministerial job...

      2. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Desk Jockey The pimps!

        Firstly, I understand it was a freelancer that sold the story to the Mirruh. Whilst the freelancer could be accused of using a shotgun approach, by the time it was presented to the Mirruh he had hit a definitive target.

        I don't think so. From what I've heard, he proposed the idea "target Tory MPs with flirty fishing until we get a knob pic", Mirror approved the plan, and then he went after a list of MPs. Pritchard was the 4th or 5th MP that he had tried to get a response from.

        It is this lack of target that makes it entrapment for me. There was no story that Pritchard was diddling party activists, no smoke that made them look for fire. They simply came up with a peccadillo that might tempt many middle aged men in to doing something stupid.

    3. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: The pimps!

      Apparently most people here are too young to have heard of Profumo, but the public interest angle is that someone in public office needs to be a bit more thoughtful because they don't know who they're dealing with, or what their real aims are.

      Honey traps and blackmail aren't fiction. This twat was easy prey. A few fanny pics made him an instant blackmail target and security risk - and I'm sure he's not the only one.

      If you can't keep it zipped, don't run for office. It's the dirtiest business in the world. If you can't manage to be a straight edger, humiliation-by-tabloid can easily become the least of your worries.

  20. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Holmes

    Sex sells newspapers

    If the Mirror wanted to expose the hypocrisy and mendacity of an MP there's plenty of material to go at (lobbying relationships, directorships, close relations with commercial interests etc., etc.)

    It's not as if they have to do much work; a cut and past job from the pages of Private Eye (the other esteemed organ of record) should keep them busy for years.

    But see title...

  21. TitterYeNot
    Facepalm

    Oh Well...

    ...at least it's a sign that, post Leveson Inquiry, press self-regulation is working well and scummy tabloid journalism is a thing of the past.

    Now where did I put my dried frog pills medication...

    1. FrankAlphaXII
      Thumb Up

      Re: Oh Well...

      I've always wanted to replace the label of my painkillers with a "Dried Frog Pills", 19th century patent medicine looking label. Have an upvote for the discworld reference.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only public interest defence I can see

    is that the guy they entrapped is clearly too stupid to be in a position of serious responsibility.

    On the other hand, that's probably why he became a 'junior minister'.

    The Mirror's 'but we're not owned by Rupert Murdoch...' defence has worn so thin that it should be on a force-feeding regime. If the 'Sun on Sunday' had done this then they'd be busy closing down their offices today before a completely brand new paper called 'The Tabloid Times on Sunday' turned up out of the blue in mid-October.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RESPONSIBILITIES;

    #1: The Big Society Agenda.

    #2: National Citizen Service and Youth Policy.

    #3: Social Action.

    #4: Civil Society Sector Support.

    #5: Social Enterprise & Social Investment.

    #6: Getting your Cock Out on the Internet.

    For all the Tory commentards on this thread try and work out which of the above is the 'LEAST' civil and where he went wrong.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tory boy

    I have NO sympathy with what the Mirror did, though sadly not much surprise either.

    But seriously, who apart from Mr and Mrs. Nose-in-the-air-Newmark, names their son 'Brooks'?!!

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: Tory boy

      A quick search suggests the answer is mostly Americans.

  25. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Obligatory Google Diss is Obligatory

    So, for example, the US Federal Drug Administration's 2012 sting on Google over advertising by illegal pharmacies induced the public to pay for black market drugs.

    Woah inducing people to pay for their wares? Whatever next? Copyrights and stuff like that??

    Seriously though, a clear-cut case this wasn't. When you need to embiggen the affair by having a convicted con-man relentlessly hotcalling Google reps, you will get the man eventually. S.O.P. for the FBI, sadly. Maybe they should go after actual criminals instead of creating them from whole cloth? Yeah, I know, so 1980s.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Miserable old man with shit job falls for apparently sexy lady who apparently shows interest in him and sends her naughty pictures.

    Well... I for one am shocked.

  27. Richard Scratcher
    Coat

    Sorry I'm late...

    ...has anyone done the "this wouldn't stand up in court" joke yet?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sorry I'm late...

      That's a bit limp.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Legal vs moral issues

    While the MP broke no laws, I wouldn't put the moral issue in the hands of a newspaper.

    If it has been a 50 year old journo tricking an 18 year old girl out of exposing herself, there would be no question of impropriety.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nail in the coffin

    It almost sounds like what the journo did to this hapless MP is what thousands of teenage boys do to equally hapless girls;

    "Go on, show me your bits! Please!? Please show me your bits!? Oh, I think you're so pretty/handsome! Please show me your bits! I really need to see your bits! I love you so much! Please show me your bits! Oh go on! Show me your bits and I'll show you my bits if you like!? Please show me your bits"

    <Send Photo>

    "Hey everybody! Look at this!"

    I suspect that, being in the world he is, he's not tech savvy, probably refers to 'The Internets', 'The Twitter thing' and 'Facebooks' and, if he is unlike a typical Tory and this is his first time being stupid, then he was tempted in a way that any other male with no sense can be tempted.

    Got to feel sorry for his wife (if he's married) as she's likely to feel betrayed, and for his kid(s) (if he has any) since they've got to live with the knowledge that not only do they know what their dad did, but so does everybody in school/college/university/the workplace.

    In reality, all the newspaper has managed to do is expose a man for not upholding a morality that society doesn't even have any more.

  30. lotus49

    Out of order

    Contemptible as all politicians are and Tories in particular, this is completely out of order.

    The conduct of the Mirror journalist (yes, I know he was freelance but that's beside the point, he was paid by the Mirror) was revolting. This idiot's wife and children will have been publicly humiliated as a consequence of this story and his children may end up with divorced parents. There is no public interest defence for this and I am appalled that even a tabloid newpaper would stoop this low.

    If he had sent a selfie of his dick (does he have to press the button with his plonker for it to count as a selfie?) with no provocation, I still don't think his wife deserves this but he didn't. It was induced and I hope that both the journalist and the Mirror suffer for it.

  31. sawatts
    Paris Hilton

    Respond in kind?

    If the MP had also responded by passing off pics from the internet as being of himself, would this consitute more or less of a case?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Full potential

    What if the person doing the scamming wasn't the mirror but a foreign intelligence service that then used pictures to blackmail the junior minister to reveal state secrets?

    While I don't condone The Mirror's actions, they have exposed some in a priveledged position who could have been exploited to cause the country a great deal of harm (or at the local level take actions against the local interest)

    Be thankful that this wasn't the case. Now consider he was the fourth to fall into the trap... so imagine how many potential muppets (every fourth minister) there are how could be "exposing :p" themselves to the risk of being manipulated or worse still how many have and are being manipulated.... Profumo anyone

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just doing his job

    He was just trying to be civil and sociable.

  34. Velv Silver badge
    Joke

    "Can't they find the staff nowadays?"

    I haven't bothered to look, but I'm guessing most of their hacks look more like Gollum every day given their unswerving desire to find "the precious"

  35. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Related?

    I wonder if he's related to a certain politician out of New York that had a habit of doing the same selfie?

  36. chivo243 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Probably have a n00b

    totally clueless freetard thinking anything on the web is free? Isn't it?

  37. Chris G Silver badge

    Rag

    The Mirruh is a total rag and it has been for years, along with the majority of British dailies. They love to write about and establish moral high ground that few if any of their reporting or editorial staff could live up to without a complete character transplant.

    I have read a few comments here that deride El Reg writers but I would ( based on what I read here for the most part) put them in another league compared to the lowlife dailies writers.

    The Mirruh doesn't even rate as toilet paper, no wet strength and the ink comes off on your arse.

  38. Richard Boyce
    Unhappy

    IPSO

    I read elsewhere that Mark Pritchard MP (one of the others being targeted) said he would contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

    That's the insiders' two-fingers-up-to-Leveson-and-public-opinion organisation. Should this MP also resign because of gross naivity? Maybe he's trying to hasten the end of IPSO? I think we can't rely on MPs to help with that, just the opposite. It's probably going to require another child victim, unfortunately.

  39. Cipher
    Coat

    just wondering if this true

    Not living in the UK...

    "the Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country; The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country; The Times is read by people who actually do run the country; the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country; the Financial Times is read by people who own the country; The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country; and The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is."

    1. Spleen

      Re: just wondering if this true

      I never really understood the bit about the Mirror. Perhaps it was different when Yes Prime Minister was written, but for as long as I've been buying newspapers, the Mirror is for people who are too left-wing to read the Sun and too thick to read the Guardian. They don't actually ever think about politics, they just know they are left-wing in the same way that Liverpool and Everton fans know they are Liverpool and Everton fans.

      The rest is still largely true. (Except the Morning Star joke doesn't quite work anymore - the implication is that Morning Star readers wanted the UK to be part of the USSR.)

    2. NogginTheNog
      Joke

      Re: just wondering if this true

      "the Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country; The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country; The Times is read by people who actually do run the country; the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country; the Financial Times is read by people who own the country; The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country; and The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is."

      "And the Sun...?"

    3. McToo

      Re: just wondering if this true

      and Sun readers don't give a monkeys who runs the country, as long as she's got big tits!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re Boris Johnson The Hooray "Henry"

    Yes please take note of Boris

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2773868/Boris-building-Cameron-prepares-parade-star-player-Tory-conference-quell-UKIP-jitters.html.

  41. razorfishsl

    If it had been a love nest on expenses, then it would have been a story

    This is just some dodgy old geezer who gets his todger out in an attempt to impress a young filly, unfortunately the Certificates of 'fitness and blood line' are all fakes.

  42. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    I just love it how the Brits are up on here, nobody likes tabloid press but everybody reads it ... thank god I live in a country where we do not have much of that crap ... I mean, the most read newspaper here is the equivalent of The Guardian, Le Monde, not The Sun^H^H^HMirror or whatever it's called.

    I guess it is all down to some form of ... intelligence ...

    Switches, lights off and grabs coat ... shit, wrong button, byebye, we will not be needing you lot 'round 'ere!

    1. Spleen

      Nice try. The most-read paper in France is Le Parisien. While I don't speak French, a glance at its website suggests that while it's not quite The Sun, it isn't The Guardian either. The top three most popular articles are all about last night's football match. And according to Wikipedia its writing policy is that "items must be short but well written with simple words so that the reader understands everything and never tires. The illustrations, especially the photographs accompanying the text, will take on average one third of each page editorial." What was that about intelligence?

      And if I can make an assumption about your country of origin, "Hans", the less said about Bild the better.

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