Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Faust had nothing on Cameron and Hunt

The Leveson enquiry is proving to be particularly spectacular this week.  The appearances of the Murdoch family before it are exercises in delusion and canting hypocrisy that should be studied for generations to come, from the dissimulation about the interference in editorial control to the contempt for Gordon Brown, from the suggestion that Rupert has no interest in politics to the incredibly amusing casuistry around the relationship between Jeremy "Rhyming Slang" Hunt and News International in the period immediately before their fall from grace last year.

In the best tradition of contemporary politics Hunt's special adviser, the amusingly-named Adam Smith, has been the first casualty of this unravelling.  Cameron and Hunt stand tall, making it clear that they will not be separated in their embroilment with the Murdoch empire - a foolish and short-termist brand of hubris that can only serve to fuel speculation among the sceptics and cynics who are besetting this greatest of British governments.

Before the last election, the Hamster had been pretending that lobbying was the key issue that needed to be addressed, possibly because Blair and Brown had presided over an increasingly-sophisticated culture of sleaze, building on Major's acolytes and their moral compasses.  So since then we have seen the extent to which the Tories can be bought for whatever blood money is required, leading to the destruction of the NHS through the lobbying of the parasitic out-sourcing community, and the "cash for access" extravaganza, with smaller-scale graft and turpitude (c.f. Addison Lee) coming to light by the week.

Vince Cable made the mistake of articulating his true feelings about Murdoch's influence, and was relieved of his responsibility for determining the fitness and propriety of a further extension of a media monopoly.  Cameron and Hunt appear to have decided that the only way to propitiate the monster was to take the process into a friendly department, rather than washing their hands of any decision.  It is difficult not to speculate that a primary motivation was that an impartial body, such as Ofcom, might have applied a somewhat more stringent definition of the "public interest" than paying back Murdoch for favours rendered.

The unravelling of this has tainted the Government at the place where its heart might have been located if it had not been populated by these specimens - it's difficult sometimes not to feel that the normally-dribbling Nadine Dorries had the right idea to describe them as "out of touch posh boys" albeit without the context - just at the time when economic and political incompetence will come to haunt them.  Cameron's current strategy may well be to hope that Hunt acts as a lightning-conductor to avoid scrutiny about the activities and entanglements of his mates in the Chipping Norton set, but I suspect that Murdoch, feeling attacked and let-down, will not let him lie.

Supping with the Devil is never an attractive prospect if you have any sense of moral drive - the very twaddle that the Tories claimed was lacking in politics.  Most people accept that politicians are human, but what is going on at the moment is beyond the normal tolerance of mortal frailty.  The systemic amorality and collusion with the Murdoch agenda is frankly noxious, and the interests of justice will only be served when both Davey-boy and Jezza wake up and accept that their conduct is well-short of anything remotely acceptable.

The odds on hell freezing over are significantly better, though.

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