The Thick of It

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Brown bites back, Cameron retreats

An initial Parliamentary love in yesterday when all sides agreed to investigation and inquiries became partisan as dirty politics reared it's head again. Former PM Gordon Brown hit back at critics who claimed he should have done more when in power to investigate hacking.

Brown's searing attack on News International showed he feels emotion about what happened politically and to his family. Fair enough too. The speech showed that there is more to him than many people gave him credit for when PM. That he took the civil service advice not to investigate further perhaps shows that he wasn't always the decisive PM who would take a decision whatever anyone else said. We knew that anyway, but what is different is seeing a former leader show "regret" for something like this so quickly afterwards. They never do this. Can you imagine Blair or Thatcher doing the same?

Ed Miliband's requests for inquiries and investigations, together with the end of Murdoch's bid to buy back more of Sky have all been heeded. He has had a good couple of weeks.

David Cameron has accepted what has been thrown at him. Except when it involves Andy Coulson. He is still vulnerable here. He will continue to be so until the election as investigations and inquiries are going to take years to uncover what happened. The drip, drip, drip is likely to weaken and infuriate him as Labour and the rest of the media continue to question his judgement.

This is all Cameron's fault though as whether he knew what Coulson had really been up to he knew it was an avoidable risk in employing him and chose to take it. The price is getting dearer by the day.

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