J Edgar Hoover originally brought scandal upon himself when he worked in the private sector. However, he was saved from his disgrace when the American President offered him a job as his head of communications, one of the most powerful civilian ranks in American Federal Government, directly answerable to the American President and without the constraint of civil service accountability to stand in his way.
That paragraph is, of course, ridiculous. Why would anyone hire the disgraced J Edgar Hoover? Who in their right mind would be interested in a man whose view of the private lives of others was so contemptible that be bugged literally thousands of public figures, not for national security reasons, but to pursue his own selfish ends?
Why would an American President chose to hire J Edgar Hoover after his came to public notoriety following a bugging and deception scandal where people around him had been sent to jail, and he had only narrowly avoided prosecution himself. Inconceivable!
Yet that’s exactly what David Cameron did when he hired Andy Coulson. Then there followed a spate of bugging and burglary scandals (Labour List, parliamentary expenses, Damian Green) all involving the Tory Party as beneficiaries, questions were asked and The Guardian investigated.
A Police Officer on the original investigation told Nick Davies, the Guardian journalist, that there had been literally thousands of suspected cases at the News of the World. So the investigation had been ended prematurely? What could possibly have caused that?
The officer in the case was Assistant Commissioner John Yates. Does this man have a reputation for ending investigations without every stone unturned? No! He’s the one who prosecuted Tony Blair for 18 months and at a cost of £1.4 million. He produced absolutely no evidence whatsoever.
The simple fact is that there is no such thing as a tabloid editor who knew nothing of the source of a story he publishes about a public figure. The notion is ridiculous. It’s his job on the line and his evidence that would be heard in court. To argue that he was incompetent would be equally ridiculous; the News of the World had scoop after scoop during this period. Now we know how they got those stories!
David Cameron invested huge amounts of effort in convincing the British people that he’s a nice guy. This business with Andy Coulson has chipped away and chipped away at that image. Nothing has blown up, there has been no great scandal, but the voters know about it and every time they hear about Cameron’s man and the allegations of bugging and stealing, Cameron’s likability is eroded that little bit more.
So why didn’t he just get rid of him in the first place? He wasn’t at Eton with this man, nor is Coulson a Tory voter; he’s never done anything for the Conservative party. What possible hold could Andrew Coulson have over David Cameron, that he could ride this never ending wave of negative news?
David Cameron is not a nice guy. When Harriet Harman was at the despatch box during Ed’s paternity leave on 17nov, Cameron suddenly lost his cool and started slinging mud at the Labour Party. Accusing the Labour Party of every nasty allegation he could think of. You’ll notice from the film that it was completely unprovoked, but the nasty party behind him started calling for more.
The Labour backbenchers started chanting, “Coulson! Coulson!” and only with that did Cameron realise he’d made a mistake, and he quickly finished off with a made-up reference to a made-up person.
It was just a glimpse of the true character of David Cameron. He is the nasty leader. They are the nasty party. While the problem with the Labour Party is that they are too nice; their chant was timid.
I say to the Labour backbenchers that the next time the leader of the nasty party wants to mess with the reputation of the Labour Party, throw it straight back in his face, and use no timidity. Next time, shout him down!