What the Murdoch hearing is all about

A quick break from musing on the end of the world to return to the end of the News of the World.

I'm off to watch Murdoch minor in the proverbial dock again on the question of what he knew about phone hacking in the company he was meant to be running.

For those who are not hacking nerds, here's a guide to what today's appearance before MPs on the Commons culture, media and sport committee is all about.

James Murdoch insists that he didn't know that phone hacking at the News of the World extended way beyond the royal reporter Clive Goodman, who was jailed for it.

...Despite mounting evidence that others in the company did know.

...Despite agreeing a huge out-of-court settlement to Gordon Taylor of the Professional Footballers' Association which many believe was meant to silence him and to conceal evidence of widespread hacking.

...Despite the fact that Tom Crone, the News of the World's former legal manager, has previously told the culture committee that he had explained to Murdoch that the large settlement was necessary as there was evidence of other hacking.

...Despite the "For Neville" email which appears to show that the paper's chief reporter - Neville Thurlbeck - was sent transcripts of the hacking of Taylor. So, in other words, someone other than Clive Goodman knew about it.

....Despite the fact that one of News International's former lawyers, Julian Pike of the Queen's solicitors Farrers, has testified that he warned the company that there was evidence of widespread hacking.

So, either James Murdoch has to continue to plead ignorance, opening himself to the charge that he's the sort of guy who writes massive cheques without knowing why or asking questions which could and should have revealed what had really been going on.

Or he admits that he did know, he lied earlier and had covered it all up.

I think I know which he'll do, but the way in which he explains why he was ignorant of it all should be revealing.