Our day got off to a lively start. By 7.ooam five of us codgers had released the hens and were lining the main road to watch the Olympic Torch pass by. We were far from alone. Hundreds of locals turned out, many bedecked in Union Jacks, two appearing as a pantomime horse. I didn’t fathom that supposed connection, but did wonder if the local constabulary has ever before been applauded so heartily. Once what looked like the entire force had driven past, the torchbearer appeared. No one seemed to know who he was, some suggested Werrity.
It was the Brits at our very best. One has the impression that a revolution here would only draw support if it was staged out of television hours, and that our basic instinct to form orderly queues and to applaud would remove most of its sting.
As we trudged back Bill drew our attention to today’s Telegraph. If any organ could be expecetd to extol the virtues of Jeremy Hunt after his marathon session at the Leveson Inquiry this was it. But today’s cartoon occupies many a column inch and shows Hunt peeping out from Rupert Murdoch’s pocket and saying that “the only thing to do was to be scrupulously impartial”. Our own view is along those lines, but we do tend to regard young Jeremy as a Blue Peter presenter somehow forced into playing the part of a minister. It really is unfair, we are convinced that he would make an excellent job out of teaching the art of making space-ships out of bog rolls.
We watched a lot of the Inquiry yesterday. We never need much of an excuse not to go home early and this was great entertainment. One couldn’t help wondering whether Lord Leveson was reflecting that he was being mistaken for Lewis Carroll’s White Queen, who was capable of believing six impossible things before breakfast. Clearly the Blue Peter man has been driven to levels of absurdity unknown by the desperate need to open up the two most plausible explanations for his strange behaviour; that he is a plotter or he is a complete idiot. Like James Murdoch he veers somewhat to the latter, which after all is safer.
But there was arrogance too. Despite the overwhelming evidence of his personal bias in regard to the Murdoch bid, he insists that he oversaw matters impartially. Uncle Vince Cable could of course make exactly the same claim, but he was quickly removed by our dear leader when it was evident that his bias was not in the direction of his Chipping Norton friends. Interestingly, it emerged that George Osborne was instrumental in getting the role transferred to Hunt, his text message read “Hope you like the solution”. So Georgeous George will now be up before the beak.
As you would expect from a pal of our dear leader, Jeremy Hunt is an excellent proponent of spin. But he faced an uphill task in fighting off Robert Jay, QC. The gaping gap in Hunt’s case is the mountain of compromising phone calls, texts and emails, including some with Boy Murdoch in person. What was more, the mountain grew faster after (yes, after) he took on Cable’s task. Many of the texts were distinctly matey.
And Hunt repeatedly expresssed himself astonished at the mountain of exchanges between his assistant, Adam Smith, and News Corp. It seems that the gallant Smith was being bullied to the extent of five calls per day. Hunt described Smith as brilliant and always attuned with his own thinking. Minutes later he claimed that Smith was expressing views that were far removed from reality. But either way the Blue Peter man made clear that he had considered resignation but then decided it would be better were Smith to do so. It was a conclusion worthy of the coalition’s economic strategy; when in a hole sack the staff.
The whole day became a demonstration of absurdity, Black Adder at his best. Yes, Hunt was a supporter of the Murdochs and, yes, he personally congratulated them when the bid passed the European barrier. And yes he did say only Ofcom to beat now. But he was absolutely neutral despite what the wretched Smith implied in his daily bouts of madness of which he knew nothing.
Of course this was not an investigation of Hunt’s compliance, or otherwise, with the ministerial code. Had it been, the learned Judge would have donned the black cap before the first tea-break. A minister is totally responsible for all that happens in his department. Guilty, just as the captain of a ship that ran aground would be, even if he was asleep at the time. So why did our dear leader immediately announce that there is to be no investigation?
Easily answered. Cameron is due to face Mr Jay and dare not leave himself open to questionning about his decision to appoint Hunt. Logic says that both of them were part of a plot, one foiled only by revelations about Millie Dowler. However the popular view this morning seems to be that they are both idiots. So thats all right then.
But they are not quite as daft as they appear. Yesterday the rich-boys decided to announce the 34th U-turn whilst the focus was on Leveson!
Yesterday’s show reminded me so much of the old story about the poacher caught by the gamekeeper whilst carrying a deer. “You’re nabbed”, said the latter. The former glanced back and hurled the carcass down whilst crying “how the hell did that get there“.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY!
“What is the greatest obstacle to experiencing reality? Identification with your mind, which causes thought to become compulsive. Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don’t realise this because almost everybody is suffering from it, so it is considered normal. This incessant noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseperable from Being. It also creates a false mind-made self that casts a shadow of fear and suffering”….. Ekhart Tolle in The Power of Now.