By Richard Lutz.
Well, the headline may be a little misleading but I think you get the idea.
The Prime Minister wouldn’t say whether he had ever talked about the possible BSkyB sale with any News Corp managers or even Rupert Murdoch himself. He dodged the question. He was evasive. He looked b-a-a-a-d on tv.
He continually told the Commons (and therefore you and me): ‘I did not have any inappropriate conversations about it.’ And he would not give a simple yes or no when pressed by MP Dennis Skinner.
Well, remember when Bill Clinton said he never had ‘had sex with that woman.’
The same thing really. Both men were a little economical with the truth thinking they could hide behind a tissue of faintly intelligent strung together words that really meant nothing. They lied.
It took cabinet bagman Jeremy Hunt to tell the public on Wednesday night that Mr Cameron had actually discussed this highly charged topic with a Murdoch boss, if not Rupert himself.
So, the Prime Minister hides behind a cocktail of disingenuous words and then the coat tails of one of his junior ministers. What a chicken, what a creepy yellow spined…well, creep.
Why didn’t he have the guts to offer the simple truth to camera and shrug and say…’Folks, yes, I did talk about the subject.’
The PM has now lost the most important ingredient of being a leader: trust.
As for other matters such as the select committee proceedings which now seem like ancient history because this story is so fast moving and wide ranging:
I refer to my friend Phil , the Leeds second hand car dealer , for a precise summary of the Murdoch proceedings.
He has two things to say: Number One is he is offering a great deal this week only on Fiestas. All include electric windows and AC.
Number Two is he feels that the televised select committee circus operated on the Manuel Principle. You remember Manuel the Spanish waiter from Fawlty Towers: ‘I know nothing. Eet is ‘im who knows ever’thing.’
I will skip the first quote as it takes in depreciation and dubious brakes. But I will stick to the second statement.
Both James and Rupert Murdoch seemed blithely ignorant of how their company worked. Head honcho Rupert, despite being (whether you like it or not) one of the most experienced and adept businessmen in the trade, simply did not take in that there had been a maelstrom in the making in the UK mothership . He pleaded a Manuel ignorance of many vital matters.
His number one in the UK, his son James, despite having his finger on the pulse of the operation he runs, did not know who signed or gave approval to a series of matters. You would think he would have (or his PRO) would have figured out what was going to be asked and checked out the facts.
His angle was either: ‘Good question. I’ll have my people check it out forthwith.’ Or else: ‘I’ll be damned if I’m going to tell you anything that I uncovered when I demanded a full internal inquiry into this criminal behaviour and who allowed payments to the crooks and how much my company is paying in legal fees for these crooks.’
I’ll leave it to you to figure out which of the alternatives James chose.
But whichever one he did choose and whatever steam is left in Rupert’s 80 year old brain (and I assume there is a lot left), Phil from Leeds (‘..that offer of the Fiesta lasts till Sunday midnite…’) has it about correct. It is the Manuel Principle. Or what some judge said is a matter of collective amnesia. ‘I know nothing.’
Let’s get it straight: News International knows everything. It is a professional operation that knows where the bedbugs are crawling, where the vermin are creeping and where the poison is infecting and who is up to what. To even suggest that either James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch or their chief UK henchwoman Rebekah Brooks was not aware of crimes and unethical professionalism is beyond simple belief.
Finally, an uncomfortable truth for all your sport lovers. Yes, you are angry over the deception, evil and the deranged criminal activities of News International. Yes, you can fume, rant and shout.
But will you give up your Sky subscriptions? Will you sacrifice watching cricket or rugby for an ethical point that is so important?