Sunday, 17 July 2011

Move Along, Nothing to see Here...

And so Sir Paul Stephenson, Britain's most senior Police officer, is gone following Rebekah Brooks as the fallout from "Hackergate" or whatever you want to call it, continues. The increasingly irrational and febrile atmosphere on politicalbetting suggests a mood of growing crisis.

So why don't I feel that bothered?

The individuals aren't that important - the clipping of Rupert Murdoch's wings is good news for all of us who believe that democracy should be free AND fair and that elections shouldn't be at the behest of the man whose opinions come with the biggest circulation or wallet.

What we are seeing is the unravelling of a culture - a culture in which it seems journalists, police officers and politicians all co-existed, intermingled and collaborated to do down opponents and dish the dirt on celebrities and each other. The maintenance of the status quo publicum was predicated on the suppression of damaging information on some and the active character assassination of others.

As with politicians' expenses two years ago, the unmasking of this sub-culture damages all those involved - the Police are discredited, journalists discredited and politicians discredited. David Cameron, whose sole error of judgement was to realise that you needed to sup with the Devil and not be too bothered about the length of the spoon, is being dragged down by his associations.

Yet, as we fiddle, the EuroZone burns. The stress test on Friday evening may yet cause panic in the European markets tomorrow and ultimately we will be more affected by that than the weaknesses and foibles of a few and the complicity of the many.

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