Friday, 8 July 2011

Keeping Coul(son)...

And so the hacking scandal or, as it is now becoming known, "Hackgate", rumbles on for another day. The Prime Minister is forced to defend his former Head of Communications, Andy Coulson, whose appointment in Opposition looks like a dreadful error of judgement though the end result was to help put Cameron in Downing Street so perhaps not such an error at all..

Meanwhile, as the tortuous goings-on at Wapping continue to unravel, the more sinister aspect to all this, that police officers may have been paid by journalists to provide information, lurks uncomfortably in the background. The reputation of journalists and politicians was already so but that of the Police looks set to be hit hard if the allegations turn out to be valid.

As for the News of the World, I still shed few tears. Yes, it has brought some murky activities to light such as the Pakistan cricket match-fixing but it has also "trapped" vulnerable individuals and its political agenda was never one I could support. In its death throes, it has gone beyond any measure of morality or decency in order to gain circulation. I can imagine the pressures put on journalists by senior people to achieve a favourable outcome for the paper but that crossed the line.

David Cameron will survive - his reputation tarnished and his judgement questionned. Labour and Ed Milliband have awkward questions to answer about how much they knew and how much they acquiesced but ultimately this is about the overweaning power of Rupert Murdoch, whose opprobium could destroy careers and whose favour could make them. To see that kind of man humbled and that kind of influence excised from the body politic will be a rare positive out of this shambles.

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