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… what Cameron and the vanishing Osborne should do today …

Posted on 20 July 2011 | 7:07am

The last time David Cameron flew in mid-frenzy from an overseas visit, he did the right thing on arrival home in announcing a judicial inquiry into phonehacking and the broader practices of the press.

He should do the right thing today – and finally admit his judgement let him down in hiring Andy Coulson as his communications director. This would be greeted with some short-term derision in the House, but most members of the public would welcome it as a signal that he finally understands why this scandal has come so close to the door of Downing Street.

It is hysterical nonsense to suggest he is about to be toppled by the scandal which has so far engulfed the Met Police and News International. But his judgement and character are being called into question, and he needs to understand the damage that can do the next time, and the next, and the next, when he faces a crisis or he faces difficult decisions which require the public to trust his leadership.

All he needs to say is that he was warned and he should have heeded those warnings, and he intends to learn from that mistake. He would feel a big sigh of relief all around him.

The other political figure being damaged in all this is George Osborne, who was confirmed by Rebekah Brooks yesterday as the man who wanted to hire Coulson, despite his resignation from the News of the World and despite continuing questions about phonehacking.

Osborne’s silence has been troubling. I know he has a lot on his plate, with the Eurozone in such trouble, and with his Plan A not working, but he has to explain why he felt Coulson was the right choice at the time he made it. And he needs to beware he does not develop a reputation for being there when credit and glory is being showered, and absent when the brown stuff flies. It is a deeply unappealing trait.

If I were in charge of government comms today, I would be pressing for Cameron to set out in detail the way forward for the judicial inquiry, with some indication of what he expects from it, a categorical assurance that he never discussed BSkyB in the many meetings he had with News International executives, an admission of his error of judgement in hiring Coulson when it was blindingly obvious the scandal was not going away, then a round of interviews by Osborne to admit his part too. It will also give him the opportunity to talk about the economy, on which he has also been woefully silent and lacking in leadership in recent times.

  • Trader64

    I’ll be very surprised if either of them admit an error of judgement as surely that would open the door to other ‘errors of judgement’ in the future. I’m expecting more of the ‘you didn’t do anything about it either’ nonsense.

  • Matthew Evans

    This is very good advice. I don’t think you should be giving good advice to the Tories. They might take it.

    • alienfromzog

      On the other hand, they dislike AC so much, they are just as likely to do the opposite!

      Keep up the good advice Alastair!

      AFZ

  • Rangjan

    He is incapable of admitting mistakes. Falls short every time: it could be an interesting study to find out why: superiority complex, or result of being over-managed by handlers.

    Anyway George was keeping his head down and now Cameron’s advisors are pointing out that he’s the one who pushed for Coulsdon. Signs of cracks, or desperation?

  • Bruce Everiss

    Plan A is working.
    TINA.
    And Millipede should be careful about throwing stones when he lives in a glass house, lots of sharp bits could very easily tumble down on him.
    All the alleged illegal activities that have come to light happened when
    the Labour government, of which he was a member, was in power and did
    nothing.The Information
    Commissioner placed two reports in the House of Commons in 2006
    detailing criminal activity by the press and his Labour government took
    no action.Rupert Murdoch said yesterday that he visited 10 Downing Street far
    more often when Gordon Brown was Prime Minister than he had done under
    the current government. And that Murdoch’s kids and Brown’s kids played
    together.Rebekah Brooks says she frequently visited 10 Downing Street during
    the Labour government that included Ed Milliband but has not visited 10
    Downing Street at all under the new government.Ed Milliband still employs Tom Baldwin, a former News International
    journalist, as director of strategy and communication. Even though he is
    the subject of serious accusations by Lord Ashcroft.

    • Patricia Shepherd

      Yeah cos Ashcroft has such a nice clean past doesn’t he ? I read up on him the weekend,what a nasty,money grubbing crook he is!
          The tories seem to be making unsubstantiated accusations while in parliament but are gutless outside of it!

  • Danni

    Sorry but for well over a year now everyone has been harping on about Osborne the Submarine and how well that’s been working for the government – so it’s a bit hypocritical to say that he was happy to prance about in the spotlight when things were good and has now suddenly vanished. He doesn’t play well with the public no matter the political weather and he’s a savvy enough politician to accept that, if people don’t like him at the best of times what possible good would it do to trot him out now? If Cameron did send Osborne out you would be saying that he was hiding behind his underlings rather than take responsibility for what was ultimately his decision.   

  • trigger happy

    “And he needs to beware he does not develop a reputation for being there when credit and glory is being showered, and absent when the brown stuff flies. It is a deeply unappealing trait.”

    Who could you be alluding to here…

  • Grace, decency and the strength of character to accept one’s own human failings would be the making of the man. His lacking of decorum in his dealings with  others – Angela Eagle – unfortunately show his lack of insight. A sad scenario.

  • Olli Issakainen

    Yesterday would have been a farce even without the custard pie.
    Empty apologies written by PR experts do not change the fact that News International (NI) top executives have not recuperated from their collective amnesia.
    We have known ever since the original court case that the one “rogue reporter” defence was false. Simple keyword computer search would have produced the emails said to be “new” evidence years ago.
    And the police has been sitting on a bag of evidence without bothering to investigate.
    NI has misled the parliament. It has lied to the PCC, and obstructed Scotland Yard.
    Yet the senior executives claim that they knew nothing!
    Murdoch Jr was a model of courtesy yesterday with his Harvard Business School talk. But why he settled Mr Taylor´s case if he did not know about the email for “Neville”?
    And according to Andrew Neil, Murdoch Sr was the editor-in-chief of both the Sun and the NoW. His charm offensive yesterday does not obscure the fact that Rupert Murdoch has in reality made daily phone calls to the editors. He is, or at least was, a micro-manager.
    Despite his act yesterday he remains a wolf in sheep´s clothing.
    Both Murdochs failed to disarm me with their PR strategy. Wider strategy was a non-aggression pact.
    They took some moral blame, but none criminal responsibility. Soundbites were around a plenty.
    Rupert Murdoch´s news organisation exists for influence. Something is culturally wrong inside News Corp.
    Carl Bernstein wrote in Newsweek that “standards and culture of journalistic institution are set from the top down by its owners and top editors”. Policy of hacking and bribing stems from them.
    Murdoch Sr invented and established a culture where you do whatever it takes to get the story.
    But Rupert Murdoch is in denial. Only minor mistakes have been made, he claimed.
    News Corp has a conservative take on the world. Fox News in partly to blame for the debt ceiling problem now facing the US.
    Simon Jenkins said in the Guardian that Mr Cameron should have known better than to hire Andy Coulson. All NoW editors have a past.
    I would like to add that there was a culture of bullying at the NoW under Andy Coulson. A reporter was awarded £800,000. Mr Coulson did not stop the bullying, he accelerated it according to the Guardian.
    Does Mr Cameron still think that Mr Coulson was fit and proper person to work at No 10?
    Hypocritical appetite for gossip and scandal has grown exponentially.
    Phone-hacking scandal may not yet be British version of Watergate, but it has the potential to be.
    American writer Neal Gabler wrote that news and high politics events have come to be experienced as mass entertainment. According to Jonathan Freedland hacking saga has acquired same quality.
    And now the storyline is getting nearer to the very top.
    Neil Wallis, former deputy editor of the NoW, has acted as an advisor to Andy Coulson before the election.
    If he passed valuable information on Labour acquired illegaly, Mr Cameron can concentrate on writing his memoirs.
    Without Foreward by Andy Coulson, I guess…

    Ps. I hope phone-hacking does not distract the attention from the eurozone and the US problems. George Osborne believes in neoliberalism which collapsed in 2008. This Capitalism 3.0 replaced Capitalism 2.0 after the Keynesian thinking ran into problems in the late 1970s. We now need Capitalism 4.0 based on moral economy and increased role for the state for economic security. If we continue with neoliberal capitalism, the whole system will, in all probability, collapse as Immanuel Wallerstein wrote in Foreign Policy.
     

  • Shinsei1967

    Cameron is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

    If Osborne appears on television admitting to having had a say in Coulson’s appointment then Cameron’s critics will just accuse Cameron of being a coward and getting his colleagues to be scapegoats for him.

  • Good advice, fortunately too obvious to be taken up by the toffs. Osborne’s just that – deeply unappealing.

  • ambrosian

    Before you could urge Cameron to give a categorical assurance that he never discussed BSkyB with NI executives you would need to establish that this was indeed the case. But it beggars belief that Cameron had dinner with James Murdoch and Brooks a few days after Cable had been recorded ‘declaring war on Murdoch’ and stripped of his responsibilities for media and none of these matters were ever mentioned.

    It’s also an extraordinary coincidence that Tory media policies at the election chimed so perfectly with the views of the Murdochs: shrinking or castrating Ofcom, cutting the BBC licence fee and allowing the Murdoch takeover of BSkyB.

    Rupert’s remark yesterday that he wished the politicians would leave him alone was laughable. Woodrow Wyatt records in his diaries how Rupert was constantly phoning him to ask Wyatt to pass on his views on government policy to Thatcher. In 1989, Rupert is furious about the proposed referral of his newspaper ownership to the Monopolies Commission. Wyatt tells Thatcher who says “Oh Lord, this is terrible. I shall have to think how to tackle it.”
    Rupert tells Wyatt “I am very grateful to you”, and Wyatt then hopes this go-between role will help him get a pay rise for his column in the News of the World.
    An interesting historical vignette of secret influence and mutual backscratching. Anyone who thinks it doesn’t happen today is (to quote Cameron’s favourite Benny Hill song) living in fairy-dairy land.

  • MicheleB

    What is
    “…………the scandal which has so far engulfed the Met Police …………” AC?

    We know what Brooks said when she was still Wade in 2003 (I’ll remind you, that is eight years and several administrations ago).
    We don’t even know whether what she ‘understood’ had ever been based on more than lies from expenses claimants who’d been banned from hiring certain private ‘tecs.

    We know what she said yesterday (she said info from the Police comes free, which I hope means it is only info that should be properly released).

    We know that in the past week alone three senior officers have strenuously denied what they know can be proved to be lies if they are.

    We know a few people in the public eye have recommended ‘follow the money’.  Whichever ****heads made and signed off those expense claims are where the roots of all this lie.  McMullan has been shouting from every available channel  that he and Mulcaire were not the only ones at it.

    Why are you of all people smearing a group in general?  Is it revenge for something …… people behaving just as you are?

    I doubt many of the enthusiastic posts here proclaiming that we live in a police state or are surrounded by corruption have ever lived in a country that really is that way.

    It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, when people are suspected/accused of doing what they haven’t they eventually think ‘why the hell should I not’.

    Where’s the evidence or where’s the credit for people there is no evidence about or are you just an.other gumslapper exploiting that crap sticks to bandwagon wheels and gathering material for your next TV appearance?

  • Richard

    Did you hear Murdock say that he hoped to reestablish his deep friendship with GB? Er,um, is that the same GB who whinged in Parliament last week and who socialised withBrooks etc after his awful experiences at the hands of the dreadful Murdoch.
    The same gentlemanly GB who unleashed Damian McBride on the world?

    “Murdoch Jr was a model of courtesy yesterday with his Harvard Business School talk.” You chaps really do hate the educated, don’t you? Off to the wilderness, Red Flag flying, and burning all books which you come across on the way!

  • Yonks

    It’s called ‘politics’ Michele, i.e. take every opportunity to smear your opponents however wanting your argument. They all use the media for their own purposes, that’s the civil servants, police, politicians and at our expense. They all have in-house media operations to manipulate or at least control just what we’re allowed to know.

    Think this might be the first time I’ve agreed with you so, I’m giving you a like too hah!

    • MicheleB

      Bleugh, can I take a ‘Like’ from you Yonks?   😉

      Especially one at such a high price.

      I reckon we’re learning of a new target this week, that would be solicitors that sit on what should be disclosed.

      Some very old ‘codes of honour’ are being exposed as a lot else, crims have used their lawyers like bank vaults!

  • raheeln

    …Aaaaand Cameron’s back. after powering up his humiliation shield…

    still no word on who felt more shamed afterwards…

    @raheeln

  • Trevor A Smith

    Woodward and Bernstein got to the bottom of the Watergate scandal by following the money trail
    Whosoever approved payments to Mulcaire must have read the justification for the expense. £100000  per annum must have been approved by someone high up in the organisation and the reason(s) for the payment would have been disclosed as would be the payment of his legal costs long after his trial.
    Six/seven figure sums paid to two men well known in media circles would have to have been approved at the highest level in News Corporation as would of course the justification. So News Corporation’s explanation of there being just one rogue correspondent and his use of a private detective exclusively on hacking of the Royal Princes’ phones was misleading at the time and set the pattern for their respones since

  • MicheleB

    Along with the nihilism that constant unfounded accusations against non-commercial establishments can bring about, there is covert (perceived) controllership in huge companies like NI.

    Myths and legends about ‘them upstairs’ and what was expected, no matter the methods.

    I don’t believe for one second that anyone will ever find proof that Murdoch/Brooks were stupid enough to urge certain types of activity, all they needed to do was allow for ‘anything goes’ in pursuit of baddies.

    Can’t feel pleasure about so many members of the select committee being so ignorant of how huge companies do work …. which comes from their being professional MPs, many for life. Chairmen DO delegate, they cannot micro-manage.  They DO give their managers overall control and they DO set high targets for profitability, dept against dept.

    Nothing will ever stick to Murdoch, it will all stop at the levels below Brooks, with those people that acted on un-written vaguenesses and followed their own interpretations of what was OK and prioritising that over their own values and placating themselves with ‘just following orders guv’.

    Some of this will come down to individuals’ own ‘initative’ (or ‘trade secret’ methods as it already has with Mulcaire).

  • Pam

    Do you not question Ed Miliband’s judgement in hiring Tom Baldwin?

    And do you not think it was very bad judgement on the part of Gordon Brown to employ Damian McBride….and all the nasty and despicable acts he presided over. 

    I could go on and on…..and fill you in…..if you are not aware of all the people who went through Downing St. without proper vetting and unelected.

  • Pam

    Do you not question Ed Miliband’s judgement in hiring Tom Baldwin?

    And do you not think it was very bad judgement on the part of Gordon Brown to employ Damian McBride….and all the nasty and despicable acts he presided over. 

    I could go on and on…..and fill you in…..if you are not aware of all the people who went through Downing St. without proper vetting and unelected.

  • MicheleB

    Plague!  Plague!  You really are like the bringer of doom Richard.

    No need to bother explaining why you think GB is responsible for (or even onside with) what RM said. 

    Did you overlook that RM was disowning what he had not known the background of, namely the decision by one of his cowardly bullied employees to expose what they did (no matter the source)?

    Was yours one of those plagued minds that accused GB of using his child’s condition to get public sympathy at a bad time for his Govt and if you were would you care to admit it and apologise for such sick cynicism?

  • MicheleB

    Plague!  Plague!  You really are like the bringer of doom Richard.

    No need to bother explaining why you think GB is responsible for (or even onside with) what RM said. 

    Did you overlook that RM was disowning what he had not known the background of, namely the decision by one of his cowardly bullied employees to expose what they did (no matter the source)?

    Was yours one of those plagued minds that accused GB of using his child’s condition to get public sympathy at a bad time for his Govt and if you were would you care to admit it and apologise for such sick cynicism?

  • Caravaggio

    I see David Cameron, who tends to throw all sorts of mud when he is under pressure, has alleged you have falsified Government documents! Furthermore, he has repeatedly declined to state unequivocally that he did not discuss the BSkyB bid with anyone from NI. When this matter really heats up, during the Judicial Inquiry and when there are criminal court appearances, he better hope he is truly squeeky clean or this will rebound back and bounce him out of office. Keep after them Alistair!

  • Ehtch

    My gawd – wasn’t Cameron slippery or what, or lower than a snakes chin? You choose.

    And Alastair, your public perception ratings must have gone through the roof! Dave must have mentioned you about half-a-dozen times. But you can’t be proud to have been used as part of Camerons poor excuses, no matter how spurious and desperate they were.

  • Richard

    NO. I did not accuse GB of anything re the hateful disclosure of his child’s illness. RM and his minions should have been put in the tower over it.
    However I do not apologise for having a mind, plagued as it may be, which finds the double standards, pyjama party cuddling of RM by GB and wife, utterly disgusting. Last week he WAS playing for public sympathy by bringing the issue to Parliament, in such a cynical manner.
    His judgement has not improved since he has been away.
    PS I have heard no statement from GB today to correct what RM said. Point me in the right direction if you would please, and keep your “sick cynicism” remark for some of your cronies who agreed with GB to let McBride loose.

  • Ehtch

    The best part of yesterday with that soap opera was watching Newsnight last night – that old American writer and observer was hilarious – can’t remember his name. And Will Self too. Murdoch Snr ranting on about Singapore million singdollars, or whatever, politicians was really laughed at. Singapore can’t have much more than a few dozen MPs (or whatever they call them there), at a push.

    Replay of last nights Newsnight here if anyone (or Cameron, who admitted today he does not always catch it). UK only;
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b012qqwd/Newsnight_19_07_2011/

  • Ehtch

    A farmer who only works summer and autumn? Maybe called Farmer Osborne?

    (by the way, city types, winter and spring is the manure season for farmers, when the hard unrewarding work is done)

  • Robert

    Pam, before you get into autoquote about Tom Baldwin, his boss at the Times at the time was Michael Gove.

    As regards dirty tricks – the Zinoviev letter of 1924 still stands out as one of the vilest lies of the 20th century to come out of the British press – the Daily Mail published it. Apols in writing please.

  • MicheleB

    Why does GB need to comment on RM’s hopes Richard?

    Whatever he might think of the man and his (hopefully crumbling) empire there is etiquette that some will stick to no matter the circumstances and pettiness that should be avoided (hint hint). 

    Sorry but your (apparent) denial of cyncism is negated by what preceded it in your middle paragraph.

    Keep ringing your bell (thankfully I’ll be out of hearing).

  • Janiete

    The Tories are reeling at the moment, so it’s not at all surprising they are doing their best to spread the blame citing Labour’s contacts with the Murdoch press.

    However, the real issue is what Government’s were prepared to do for Murdoch in return. The Labour Government refused to allow Murdoch to purchase Manchester United and the Competition Commission made News Corp reduce their stake in ITV. 

    The present Government disregarded OFCOM’s recommendation to refer the BSKYB bid to the Competition Commission. They were within about a week of handing Murdoch exactly what he wanted. Why?

  • Janiete

    Did I hear Cameron today saying they needed to be more transparent about their efforts to influence the BBC?

    If the BBC has been put under pressure to favour one or other political viewpoint we certainly need to know about it.  

  • Ehtch

    Just watched Newsnight above again, and they edited out when Karl Berstein, or something, the american in the the last discussion, said something along the lines of “bought coppers”! I think I am right in saying it was deleted on the iplayer recording?

    Ah, that’s ‘im, Carl Bernstein, of Washington Post/Watergate ’72-’74 fame,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Bernstein

  • Robert

    Of course, Michele, if Lewis and Harbottle had any suspicions that they had seen evidence of money-laundering criminality they would be OBLIGED to report it to the authorities – but then the law would prevent them from telling (tipping-off) anybody that they had had those suspicions or made that report.

    But that begs the question of whether passing bung-sized amounts of cash could ever be interpreted as money-laundering. Probably stretching interpretation rather too far.

    • MicheleB

      I know what both you chaps mean but it’s such a quagmire isn’t?

      We can’t afford to throw out the good with the bad (although I think quite a lot of that has been done this week).

      Re your ‘Of course’ Richard I think L&H have had an easy get out clause, they simply ‘haven’t read’ the docs have they?  I did mean the quote marks.  They’ve probably had Quiz Nights about their contents!

      There’s something very horrible about the loyalty bought from lawyers/solicitors Yonks, why did the railing at the establishment not start at that?  Surely, as a bought commodity, it is something only available to the rich?

      It’s such a bizarre thing, we have actually heard about emails lodged with solicitors.  Why?  Are they not still on NI hard drives and if not how not? 

      I’m aware of the double standards, we’ve all been in shock since July 4th and Nick Davies’s column exposing ‘Paperwork seen by the Guardian’ ….
      When was it seen?  Who showed it and by what means?
      The Gardian is, after all, the medium that published Assange’s unexpurgated (ie: slapdash?) thefts.

      To whom are we allocating the judgement calls nowadays?

  • Gilliebc

    The big problem with Cameron is that he really believes he was “born to rule” I guess him being the great, times 5, grandson of King William 1V would lead him to think that way.  To be honest, not all toffs think and behave in that way.  As for the odius Osborne, what this buffoon is doing as C of the Ex is only too sadly obvious as this country’s economy gets even closer to the edge of oblivion.  A person could be forgiven for thinking that his plan is indeed “the plan” 

  • Ehtch

    Furthermore, if you can make sense of the Government of Singapore, let me know. It would take me days to work out. It has only five mill people after all – talk about egging the custard, or whatever Yates the ex-copper said. Link,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_government

    By the way, been to Singapore with work, and it has a highly dense manufacturing areas, even shipbuilding. Got matey there with a geordie who worked in the shipyards, who I met in a pub there, with his “girlfriend” just down the road from Orchard Towers, with their four floors of h…., ahem!  ladies, nightclub. : )

  • Anonymous

    Sadly, after a day full of promise, I think Miliband did one Coulson speech too many today. He did have the upperhand before 11.30 but he’d lost it after the debate.  

    Of course, it had to be mentioned, but with so many of the public watching, the easy point scoring felt more like an home goal.  There was a few glimmers of light though and I doubt this scandal has come to an end. There are many other newspapers after all.

    I think the inclusion of broadcasters and social media could prove to be a big headache for the judicial investigation into the media. It was already big but now its more like a Goliath. There is a chance it could take forever and get botched with such a large remit. Also, the ideas re changing Policing could prove quite fruitful for Labour, once the meat is added to the bones.Another thing I like is this idea put forward on ‘The Daily Politics’ of Labour pushing forward a consistent theme in their speeches towards Conservative policies/ministers. To my mind, its exactly what’s needed.

  • Ehtch

    Blimey! Just watched channel 4 news again – Kenya’s Somalian refeugees who travelled there are dying in their thousands, and even the Somalian islamic militants within Somali are struggling and physically weak. UK is helping the most, but US and EU countries are, well, holding back for some reason.

    Get Bob Geldof on the case!

  • Yonks

    Well whether or not it had a high price you received it! 
    Don’t you think it’s the establishment that we’re all railing against? The main parties etc. etc. are all in it together and it’s about time that they ‘listened’ to the public. There are many issues that governments of various colours choose to ignore as they put them in the ‘too difficult’ box but our country really needs a radical overhaul.
    They’ve all had it far too cosy for far too long.

  • Bladesfan

    Mr. Campbell,
                         I think you have a grudging liking for Osborne and this is an unfair comment. If he was ‘keeping his head down’ he would hardly appear in all these interminable hacking debates sitting next to Cameron. Today he could easily have pleaded the eurozone crisis as an excuse for being absent. As you’ve pointed out before on this site, Osborne does not do many interviews  at the best of times so this is hardly out of character. Cameron has clearly decided that he will look much better if he takes full responsibility for Coulson and he is right. If Osborne were to trot around the studios saying ‘it was my idea,’ it would make Cameron look as if he does everything George says without question, as well as making it look as if he was trying to shift the blame elsewhere. Whether you agree with Osborne’s economic policies or not, it’s these that will ultimately decide the fate of this government so Cameron is wise to keep his Chancellor out of this hacking row as much as he can.  

  • Ehtch

    whoops, wrong page, try again,

    Come on Cleggy, show your orange balls. You looked totally miserable next to the devil masser yesterday. Shoot from the hip – tell us what you really feel, as we can see in your eyes.

  • Ehtch

    whoops, wrong page, try again,

    Come on Cleggy, show your orange balls. You looked totally miserable next to the devil masser yesterday. Shoot from the hip – tell us what you really feel, as we can see in your eyes.

  • Ehtch

    Just to show my paternal instincts to Rebekah Brooks, she seemed to have had a life like this, and she reaches the end, passing the test in first place, in a hair bob, still flaming though,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6jaYJx7yeI

  • Ehtch

    Just to show my paternal instincts to Rebekah Brooks, she seemed to have had a life like this, and she reaches the end, passing the test in first place, in a hair bob, still flaming though,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6jaYJx7yeI

  • MicheleB

    What’s not being mentioned by the Tories is why Osbo introduced the very idea of hiring Coulson to Cameron.

    I’d not expect him to have appreciated the product at NoW, he surely must have valued something else.  What?

  • MicheleB

    This article is a little generous re what is normally meant by the word ‘apologises’

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/2011/07/20/phone-hacking-scandal-david-cameron-apologises-over-appointment-of-ex-notw-editor-andy-coulson-as-press-chief-86908-23284399/

    …………………. and Cam was more than a little disingenuous in HoC with his defence of Llewellyn/Heywood:

    “Just imagine if they had done the opposite and asked for, or acquiesced
    in receiving, privileged information – even if there was no intention
    to use it,” he said.

    He is suggesting that there was something wrong with a govt being apprised of Scotland Yard findings before the public. 
    He is pretending the info was being offered in a sneaky way; they were intermediaries being asked whether their bosses needed to see material.
    I see nothing wrong with something so important being advised to them if they needed to be made aware, do we want ministers looking blank when mikes are stuck under their noses for responses a few minutes after Met announcements?

    …….”acquiesced”?………………. smear smear and counter smear.

  • Dave Simons

    ‘Capitalism 4.0 based on moral economy and increased role for the state for economic security’

    Wasn’t that the Keynesian solution to capitalism (Capitalism 2.0)? If not, how does it differ? And anyway wasn’t Capitalism 3.0 (neo-liberalism) just a crude rehash of Capitalism 1.0, aka ‘Free Trade’ – Adam Smith without his sympathy for what would later be called ‘trade unions’? If not, how does that differ too? Wasn’t Tony Blair’s rehash of ‘the middle way’ a bit like Tony Crosland’s ‘mixed economy’ in the 1950s? Aren’t we just repeating ourselves and going round in circles instead of getting to grip with the problems of the capitalist mode of production? Don’t we need some kind of move forward from Karl Marx and his reluctant proletariat which always seems to put a new bureaucracy in power rather than shoulder the burdens of power itself? I think we’re boxed in with old recycled ideas and crying out for a ‘eureka!’ moment, except that political economy doesn’t move as quickly as mathematics.

  • MicheleB

    The news just reported Osbo’s comments and that in reponse ‘Labour said ‘Balls” !!

    Actually they said ‘Labour’s Ed Balls …….’