That News Corp have withdrawn from the bidding process for BSkyB was nothing like as unexpected as the rapid closure of the NOTW. What is surprising is that someone as egotisical as Rupert (Montgomery Burns) Murdoch has actually jumped before being pushed. His continued faith in Rebekah Brooks (nee Wade) and the blatant disregard with which he sacked people who had nothing to do with the phone hacking paint the picture of a Randolph Hearst character (albeit a less portly depiction than the one Orson Welles made infamous). The political rats throwing themselves over the side rather than admit to having made nice with the Murdoch empire only serve to prove how absolute power corrupts absolutely (to paraphrase). Not one of the main parties comes out of this clean.
Why anyone is in any way surprised that it wasn't just movie stars and John Prescott who were hacked is a mystery. Does anyone truly believe that newspapers write actual news ? Years ago I knew a woman who went on to become Paul Merton's second wife. At the time she had started seeing him her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend was doorstopped by the NOTW and asked if he knew that she was having an affair. She found out who had told them as the person had all new furniture paid for by the snooping hacks.
We've known for years that the famous can expect their rubbish to be rifled through and 'sources close to' often means the person's own PR. It isn't exactly a massive leap of faith to see that with the growth of mobile communication it was going to be the next source of information. Private conversations and personal information being made public has led to suspicion being laid at the wrong door and innocent people being sacked (eg. personal assistants to famous folk).
My father-in-law refuses to own a mobile phone and is highly critical of what appears to be an over-reliance on them. He is giddy with schadenfreude over this story as he sees it as proof that nothing good can come of being so available. He reads the Daily Mail so I'm waiting to hear where he thinks they get their 'facts' from.