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.........