No straw left ungrasped
Britain used to be a place where innocent until proven guilty was the way things were done. But such is the hysteria around ‘Hackgate’ that that has gone out of the window.
Ed Miliband has today called on David Cameron to apologise for having hired Andy Coulson as his PR guy. But you have to ask what, exactly, Cameron is supposed to apologise for?
In 2007 Andy Coulson resigned as editor of the News of the World. Under his editorship a reporter was jailed for hiring a private detective to hack into the phones of celebrities. Both the reporter and the gumshoe were jailed. A few months later, Cameron hired Coulson.
When Cameron took Coulson on board there was no serious suspicion that Coulson had authorised the hacking. Indeed, he resigned as editor not for what he did know but for what he should have known. It was an error of omission, not commission.
So, to recap, back in 2007 David Cameron hired a guy who had resigned from his previous role because of actions undertaken by those working under him, actions he knew nothing about.
Is that what Cameron is supposed to apologise for? Pull the other one.
However, Andy Coulson, like several others, has recently been arrested over suspicion he did, in fact, know about the hacking. Arrested, you’ll notice, not charged, not convicted.
And yet, prejudging an ongoing investigation, Miliband thinks Cameron should apologise. To see how silly this is try and imagine what form Cameron’s apology might take;
“I apologise for hiring a man who authorised the hacking of phones”
Well, we dont know that Coulson did do we?
“I apologise for hiring a guy employed people who hacked phones without his knowledge at his previous job, for which he resigned”
Again, we dont know that either, but its hardly the crime of the century is it?
If Coulson is found guilty perhaps Cameron might have to apologise. It could go something like this
“I apologise for hiring a guy who, at his old job, did something I didn’t know about”
Fair enough perhaps, but does Cameron really need to apologise for a lack of clairvoyance?
This rubbish is a blatant attempt by a cluless bufoon disliked by even his own party members less than three weeks ago to get a few brownie points. In the short term it might even work. His nasal calls for, er, something or other to be done have impressed one Labourite after another, and another…
The truth for Miliband is likely to be less of a renaissance, a bit like when Neil Young releases an album slightly less crap than most of his recent stuff people start comparing it to Harvest. In reality Ed Miliband was an incompetent party leader before ‘Hackgate’ and ‘Hackgate’ hasn’t changed that. After its done Ed Miliband will still be an incompetent party leader.