Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Leadership credentials

It’s a feature of closed systems that affairs and arguments that seem all-consuming and massively important to their members will often appear extremely trivial to those not in the loop.  Think office politics – or selection arguments for a local cricket team.  The ongoing rows about Andy Coulson and the News of the World voicemail accessing seem to me to fall into this category.  From the outside you see a scandal from five years ago, concerning vague skulduggery by tabloid journalists that resulted in the resignation of the editor, but never any proof that he was involved.  Tabloid editor in ‘does anything for a story’ shocker.  As far as dramatic exposes that shake your understanding of the world as you thought you knew it, this ranks right up there with ‘Pope believes in God’ and ‘the lavatorial habits of bears: revealed!’.
 
From the inside, or at least on the Opposition benches, this is a scandal fit to rank alongside Watergate (seriously) and easily worth spending all your questions at PMQs on (a tactic only slightly undermined by the news that the first person to call Coulson after his resignation was Gordon Brown…).  Disproportionate this all may be, but the winner for most crazily unhinged comparison goes to David Miliband, who demonstrated his moral seriousness and fitness for office in the following tweetwritten during PMQs, presumably not a habit he’ll be continuing for long.
 
Clegg says govt "acted wrongly" in 1972 in not investigating Father Chesney case. So why no investigation into Coulson?
 
Because, obviously, the moral equivalence between terrorist murders and possible editorial oversight of voicemail messages is plain for all to see.  Someone needs to pull their head out of their arse and get a sense of perspective.

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