Skip to main content

Cameron, Coulson and a lot of writs...

The Conservatives still seem to be trying to hold the line that their Director of Communications does not have a problem with the growing scandal at the News of the World. Iain Dale points out that the Police will not be prosecuting Mr. Coulson and seemingly regards this as something that he can simply ride out.

Frankly, I don't think he can, and I think that one of David Cameron's most commendable characteristics - his loyalty to his colleagues- is in grave danger of proving to be his greatest weakness. It was always going to be a risk hiring Coulson for the big - and very well paid- job of Director of Communications. The fact is that Coulson had indeed had to resign over the bugging of phones of members of the Royal household. That was a specific case and the Police decided that even though he was the editor, he did not have a case to answer. So only two, more junior, figures were sent to gaol.

However, what the Guardian allegations reveal is that the operations were on such a gigantic scale that the editor of the News of the World could hardly have failed to know about them. In other words it does seem that Mr. Coulson has a case to answer, and although Assistant commissioner, John Yates has indicated that further prosecutions will not be forthcoming on current evidence, this position could change if further evidence is revealed. Meanwhile, there is the issue of civil action- and that could really get messy.

Coulson is horribly exposed and Cameron would be making a grave error of judgement if he decides to keep him and then finds that he is submerged in a blizzard of litigation- even without criminal prosecution. As with the tangled affair of George Osborne last summer, Mr. Cameron may find that loyalty has a price for his own credibility. The Tories can not yet be so confident that they can dismiss this- and to try to do so looks like complacent arrogance.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Concert and Blues

Tallinn is full tonight... Big concerts on at the Song field The Weeknd and Bonnie Tyler (!). The place is buzzing and some sixty thousand concert goers have booked every bed for thirty miles around Tallinn. It should be a busy high summer, but it isn´t. Tourism is down sharply overall. Only 70 cruise ships calling this season, versus over 300 before Ukraine. Since no one goes to St Pete, demand has fallen, and of course people think that Estonia is not safe. We are tired. The economy is still under big pressure, and the fall of tourism is a significant part of that. The credit rating for Estonia has been downgraded as the government struggles with spending. The summer has been a little gloomy, and soon the long and slow autumn will drift into the dark of the year. Yesterday I met with more refugees: the usual horrible stories, the usual tears. I try to make myself immune, but I can´t. These people are wounded in spirit, carrying their grief in a terrible cradling. I try to project hop

Media misdirection

In the small print of the UK budget we find that the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the British Finance Minister) has allocated a further 15 billion Pounds to the funding for the UK track and trace system. This means that the cost of the UK´s track and trace system is now 37 billion Pounds.  That is approximately €43 billion or US$51 billion, which is to say that it is amount of money greater than the national GDP of over 110 countries, or if you prefer, it is roughly the same number as the combined GDP of the 34 smallest economies of the planet.  As at December 2020, 70% of the contracts for the track and trace system were awarded by the Conservative government without a competitive tender being made . The program is overseen by Dido Harding , who is not only a Conservative Life Peer, but the wife of a Conservative MP, John Penrose, and a contemporary of David Cameron and Boris Johnson at Oxford. Many of these untendered contracts have been given to companies that seem to have no notewo

KamiKwasi brings an end to the illusion of Tory economic competence

After a long time, Politics seems to be getting interesting again, so I thought it might be time to restart my blog. With regard to this weeks mini budget, as with all budgets, there are two aspects: the economic and the political. The economic rationale for this package is questionable at best. The problems of the UK economy are structural. Productivity and investment are weak, infrastructure is under-invested and decaying. Small businesses are going to the wall and despite entrepreneurship being relatively strong in Britain, self-employment is increasingly unattractive. Red tape since Brexit has led to a significant fall in exports and the damage has been disproportionately on small businesses. Literally none of these problems are being addressed by this package. Even if the package were to stimulate some kind of short term consumption-led growth boom, this is unlikely to be sustainable, not least because what is being added on the fiscal side will be need to be offset, to a great de