Time for another round in Second Chance Saloon

Published: 14 Jul 2011 09:300 comments

NOW we know that Dave's turned Number 10 into the Second Chance Saloon he should probably own up and reveal exactly how many other unfortunates he's got in there toiling away on rehab.

Considering some of the stinkers Cleggy's talked him into since they started sharing a political cell, it's a shame Dave cocked a deaf 'un when his sidekick apparently gave him sound advice over his choice of communications director.

But that was only one of the oddities of the past week as shocking revelation was heaped on appalling abomination, and yet much of the alarmingly emerging truth was still obscured amidst the clamour of shattering glasshouses and thrown stones.

What started out as little more than a few B-movie bimbos aghast that their trivial tittle tattle was appearing in the newspapers before they could get it out on Facebook themselves, has of course escalated into the kind of gross intrusion not even the hardest-nosed journalist could, nor should, seek to justify.

I'm informed by those who know, that it requires no great technical genius to penetrate the contents of someone's voicemail, even now. Seemingly, our reluctance to change or even vary our passwords makes us sitting ducks; although using that as justification is like saying you deserve to get bludgeoned over the head for not wearing a tin hat.

But how ironic that the cry for vengeance is being led by Westminster's great unwashed, elated at being deposed from atop the public contempt table. When Labour's Chris Bryant launched last week's Commons debate on the News of the World, perched right behind him was the smirking, elfin figure of notorious house flipper Hazel Blears, she who hurriedly produced a cheque for £13,000 to escape the heat.

Later that night po-faced former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, whose main home was so recently her sister's back bedroom, spoke in a TV discussion of "actions which were at best unethical and at worst criminal". Quite.

Public anger and revulsion are understandable but, like MPs themselves, to haul every newspaper (and journalist) into the dock would be a big mistake, as would allowing politicians to manipulate this scandal to restrict press freedom when the criminal law, should the police ever get round to enforcing it, ought to suffice. And let's not forget that it's other newspapers which blew this scandal wide open.

Of course, should your taste lean towards an unrestricted and uncritical diet of pouting politicians who can't wait to issue a press release when they open so much as an envelope, then do feel free to join the lynch mob.

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