Imagine the following scenario: a tabloid journalist is interviewed by police in relation to a suspected crime.
The following day, the journalist invites the same officers to join him in a VIP box at a well known sporting stadium.
The tickets are worth hundreds of pounds each – probably more – and everyone has a splendid afternoon.
Some time later, the police decide there is no need to take any further action against the journalist in relation to the alleged offence.
You can only imagine the uproar from politicians if that happened. The stench of corruption and misconduct would be overpowering.
But when this scenario happened exactly as described but with the tabloid hack replaced by Arsenal and Germany star Mesut Ozil – the results were very different.
Ozil was accused of assaulting a freelance photographer by driving his Porsche into him.
It does seem that when journalists are accused of invading the privacy of celebs by listening to their voicemails they are subject to the full force the law (dawn raids, multi-million pound enquiries, more than a year on police bail etc.). But when a celeb is accused of hitting a journalist with a car, the police take a rather more relaxed view.