Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Despicable degrees of coruscation

MPs are foaming at the mouth over the revelations that the phone of Milly Dowler was reputedly 'hacked' by journalists working for the News of the World, with John Bercow granting an emergency three-hour debate in Parliament tomorrow following PMQs and any Statements. Politics Home reports Ed Miliband saying that Rebekah Brooks should "consider her position" and that a public inquiry should be held. David Cameron is quoted saying that if the claims are true it would be "a truly dreadful act". Nick Clegg is likewise quoted as saying that, if true, the behaviour is "simply beneath contempt".

Evgeny Lebedev, writing in the Guardian, under the headline: "phone hacking, media reputations are at stake":
"Imagine if, over the past two decades or so, a particularly persistent burglar had made it his business to target the properties of the rich and famous. Imagine that he went after celebrities – pop stars, actresses, footballers – and found that he was getting away with it. What's more, the police hadn't a clue what he was doing. So he expanded his ambitions and went thieving from members of the royal family, the governor of the Bank of England, terrorist informers and even those who pass the laws he was breaking: members of parliament. Flushed with success, he targeted backbenchers, then ministers, and even – most brazen of all – the prime minister. And imagine he then found that, far from acting swiftly to capture, arrest and charge him, the Metropolitan police force (who knew something about his activities) initially stood idly by as his list of victims grew and grew."
I may be accused of offensiveness by some with what follows in this posting, however.........

Shall we rewrite that opening paragraph as it could just as well have read:
"Imagine if, over the past decades leaders of our political parties had made it their business to allow the sovereignty of the country they were charged to defend to be regularly eroded by what had originally been sold to the electorate as a trading agreement. Whats more, the political leader's MPs did not appear to have a clue what was happening and if they did, the majority kept quiet. Imagine that this situation was allowed to continue; that the media became complicit in this venture; that the electorate were thus kept blissfully unaware of what was actually happening. Imagine that those MPs continued to stand idly by while the political leaders allowed more and more powers of governance to leech away."
The difference between both opening paragraphs is - nothing. The phone hacking, if proven, would be a despicable act, but no more despicable that the acts of those we have elected to safeguard our country from attack and who have demonstrably failed. Should not Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, MilibandE and Clegg not also consider their position? Should not a public inquiry be held into their actions? Is not that which the political leaders, past and present, have allowed to happen "truly dreadful acts"? Indeed, are those actions not truly "beneath contempt"? Media reputations are at stake? Purleeze!

Personally I get a tad annoyed that when something which offends the nostrils of MPs results in debate time being granted, yet when any aspect about the undermining of this country's sovereignty and ability to govern itself is raised debate is denied - and if allowed, is then guillotined.

Before readers weigh in castigating me for appearing heartless, let me make plain that I fully understand the grief the parents of Milly Dowler may have felt, still are feeling; and which the present allegation will do nothing to diminish. However, I too along with others are feeling grief at the nadir to which our country has sunk - a nadir for which only our politicians can be held responsible. I grieve for a country that was once "Great" - and notice that nowadays hardly anyone refers to "Great Britain", it having become just "Britain" - I grieve for a country that was held as an example of democracy, of fairness, of resolve, of honour and principle, a country that was looked on by the world with admiration for that which it stood.

And we should respect our political elite? BO 11 LUX!

OK, rant over - now open for comments.........


kenomeat said...

95 years ago last Friday 120,000 British men left their trenches on the Somme and ran into a hail of bullets and shells. They fought for their mates but also for their country which they loved without question. At that stage all the troops were volunteers. Over 19,000 were killed on the first day alone. Compare their bravery in defending their country with our politicians who have given away their country by lying and cheating the citizens. If only we could send this shower over the top to face almost certain death and bring back to life those brave young men who truly loved their country.

Tcheuchter said...

"a nadir for which only our politicians can be held responsible."

You are being too kind in letting off a compliant/comatose press and a fanatical BBC.

Pam Nash said...

You use the word 'Despicable' in the title. Your attempt to compare your 'grief' over Europe to what Milly Dowler's parents feel is exactly that - despicable. You do NOT 'fully understand the grief the parents of Milly Dowler may have felt' because you've haven't stood in their shoe;. I am appalled at this shoddy attempt to use the Dowler situation to your advantage re Europe. There are no words that could adequately express my contempt for this blogpost.

Anonymous said...

Slightly off track WfW, but it makes me laugh when cretins like Chris Bryant and John Prescott start whining about phone hacking - these were the bastards that let the town hall hitlers hack into private e-mail accounts to establish whether parents really lived in an area where they wished their children to attend a preferred school.

Not to mention all the rest of the totalitarian crap they dropped on our kids.

One rule for them.

Steph said...

I agree with Pam 100%

WitteringsfromWitney said...

k: Totally agree with your sentiments!

T: I know, one of my failings.......!

P_nA: Forgive me -and I have no wish to end a friendship that has never started - but you do not have the right to tell me I cannot understand another's grief. I was at the bedside of both my younger brother when he died aged 37 and of my father.

I tend to get a tad annoyed when others tell me how I feel - only I know how I feel, no-one else, especially you! No, I have never 'lost' a child, but I have lost a brother - no doubt you feel able to tell me that my feeling of loss was not as great as the Dowlers?

Maybe you are right and the loss a parent feels is greater than mine - but how do you know and who are you to judge? Is there a scale we can refer to in order to judge a sense of loss?

Methinks and hopes that on reflection you may wish to temper your criticism?

BJ: Agreed.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

S: Any my response to you is the same as that to Pa,_nAshes.

Pam Nash said...

'I tend to get a tad annoyed when others tell me how I feel - only I know how I feel, no-one else, especially you'

But YOU claim to know how the Dowlers feel. Hypocritical, much?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

P_nA: I think you will find that I never said I KNEW how Dowlers felt- I said I understand how they felt.

Sorry to insert pedancy into this discussion, but it would appear you need to learn to read that which is written!

Pam Nash said...

You DON'T understand how they feel, you haven't had a child who was murdered. Don't use pedantry to disguise the repugnance of what you said. As for you losing a father and brother - you should give thanks that no BNP blogger was around to compare your grief to their grief over the English situation. Because that would have been disgusting, wouldn't it?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

P_nA: There you go again (to quote Ronald Reagan) you try to tell me how I feel - when will you learn you cannot do that?

I CAN understand how they feel - I had to deal/cope with my Mother and her feelings at the time of my brother's death, so I do have some insight into their feelings,
- based on hers - and in that regard I can but revert to what I wrote, namely that I can undertand now they feel. Reasonable?

Regardless of what any BNP blogger may have posted, at least I would have acknowledged their right to hold the views they did - which is more than you appear to be offering me. As for any comment from them being 'repugnant' - why so? Grief is relative, surely? Or have you decided to arbitrate on what is and is not 'grief' and if so, who appointed you?

You may have 'un-followed'me on twitter - for reasons I can understand - but surely you can accept that you cannot decide (a) how I 'feel' and (b)that I cannot express an opinion?

Anonymous said...

Why aren't Blair and co, for gerrymandering on a scale never seen before, by deliberately allowing millions of immigrants to pour into the UK to further the Labour vote.

As it turns out most of these were Muslims, thus endangering the existence of the UK. Treason comes to mind, but Treason was abolished by Blair, and Sedition by Brown.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

DP111: Exactly!

jkgalbraith said...

wow, that's a pretty tenuous link isn't it?

Ultimately though sovereignty rests with the people: the people have spoken and they have shrugged their shoulders and said "meh"

If the people thought it was important enough to drag them away from corrie then we'd get decent turn outs at European elections, if the people thought it was important then Euroscepticism would be more mainstream, if the people thought it was important enough in a significant enough proportion then we would no longer be members of the EU. It really really is that simple

jkgalbraith said...

oh and re Pam Nash, i'm with you WfW ... suffering is relative, its the height of arrogance, and as you know i am pretty arrogant so i speak from authority here, to diminish someone else's suffering.

Their pain from loosing a treasured royal doulton statuette may in fact be just as great as yours from loosing a child. You CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT know, at best you can imagine how you might feel in those circumstances but you have no idea how someone else will ever feel about anything. EVER.

WfW is quite right, he can have some understanding of how they might feel, but he cannot know.

Oh and DP111 - words fail me, I shall make a snap judgement and decide that you are a foul and reprehensible individual. The UK is a mongrel nation and has been for a thousand years, its what's "great" about this country.

kenomeat said...

We have been repeatedly told by the BBC and politicians that the EU isn't important; hence our mass apathy. It is the duty of we eurorealists to tell the general public just how much we are losing by our membership.

jkgalbraith said...


evidence please?

Which politicians have said that Europe isn't important? Without checking stats (so forgive any errors) its our largest export market, where most people who emigrate go to and where most of our LEGAL migrants come from. Hardly traits of an unimportant neighbour.

<the comment spam verification word for this comment was "anglo" which seemed appropriate

kenomeat said...

How many debates in the EU parliament are broadcast, or even referred to, on television? None.
How often are major issues affecting ordinary Britons e.g. post office closures, the high speed train project and many more, correctly attributed as resulting from EU legislation? Never.
Our citizens are simply ignorant of how much the EU rules our lives. When asked about the Lisbon Treaty Peter Hain on Question Time said it was simply a tidying up exercise. He lied.
As for our exports with the EU, we run a huge trade deficit with the EU, whilst having a healthy surplus with the rest of the world.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

jkg: Tenuous link? If you mean the link I made in my post, then I don't think so as honour and principle surely abound in both.

Ta for your support vs P_aA.

@k is correct when he says that we run a deficit with the EU in trade. If you want a cost benefit analysis then visit the Bruges Group website and you will find a cost/benefit analysis done by Gerard Batten - something no government will provide as they say the benefits are obvious, which they sure as hell aren't!