Hacking to the top

Although there’s been plenty of coverage of Andy Coulson‘s resignation this week, amid the increasing significance of the phone-hacking scandal, I’ve been surprised at how the media have chosen to focus on the story.

The obvious point to make is that snooping into people’s personal voicemail is a Very Naughty Thing Indeed, and we’ve been reminded of that several times in the past week. Many of the comments have also mentioned David Cameron’s “error of judgement” in employing Coulson in the first place.

But to me, it seems there’s a far more important point to make, resonating with several other recent political stories. Despite knowing about Coulson’s legal baggage, Cameron decided to employ him because he can do whatever he likes. That attitude can be found every level, from employing your own private photographer at the taxpayer’s expense through to tearing up the entire history of public health and education provision.

Coulson is a vital connection to Rupert Murdoch, another person for whom Cameron’s cabinet will happily bypass any question of ethical behaviour. How long before he’s back in a similar role?

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