Ed Milliband and Millie Dowler

Every speech I have heard made by Ed Milliband for the last two weeks has used the name of this poor murdered girl as a political weapon to try and attack the government. Quite sickening. He misses the point that there are real and immensely important problems, especially what looks like institutionalised police corruption, that need addressing.

And people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones:

  • All the alleged illegal activities that have come to light happened when the Labour government, of which he was a member, was in power and did nothing.
  • The Information Commissioner placed two reports in the House of Commons in 2006 detailing criminal activity by the press and his Labour government took no action.
  • Rupert Murdoch said yesterday that he visited 10 Downing Street far more often when Gordon Brown was Prime Minister than he had done under the current government. And that Murdoch’s kids and Brown’s kids played together.
  • Rebekah Brooks says she frequently visited 10 Downing Street during the Labour government that included Ed Milliband but has not visited 10 Downing Street at all under the new government.
  • Ed Milliband still employs Tom Baldwin, a former News International journalist, as director of strategy and communication. Even though he is the subject of serious accusations by Lord Ashcroft.

It is not just Ed Milliband who is trying to score cheap political points, fiddling whilst Rome burns, some of his Labour MPs on the two committee meetings yesterday were at it as well. Missing the whole point of the exercise and failing to actually do anything of value at an important moment in the whole affair. Pathetic.

Talking of the two committees. Firstly the Home Affairs Committee, this was an utter joke as self important, pompous MPs were made to look like fools by the highly experienced professional witnesses that the policemen dragged before them are. There was more grandstanding and political points scoring going on than intelligent, forensic investigation. Absolutely nothing of value was discovered. This was a huge missed opportunity, those police witnesses obviously know a lot that would shed light on events and the committee failed abjectly to elicit anything of value. Amateurs.

The Culture Media and Sports committee was more interesting. It had two members who were actually trying to do their jobs, Tom Watson and Louise Mensch, both of whom put on valiant and well thought out efforts that made their fellow committee members look a bit plodding and flat footed. However James Murdoch was absolutely brilliant and put on a display that will massively enhance his corporate career. Rupert Murdoch was also excellent and played the “old man” card very well whilst out thinking his inquisitors. This is why he has built a global media empire whilst the committee members are just MPs. Rebekah Brooks had an easy ride. Overall the whole event was a victory for News Corporation, they took the sting out of the current witch hunt and communicated their side of events very well.

It is worth remembering that this whole story has been whipped up out of all proportion by the BBC, the Guardian and the Labour opposition, each of whom have their own agenda and so each is following a course of self interest. The BBC have 47% of UK news reach and Murdoch is their nearest competitor, also he is not ideologically statist, which makes him an even bigger enemy. The Guardian is the centre of the noodle knitting tendency of the left in Britain, which is why it is a commercial failure, they desperately need big stories to sell papers, just as the News of the World did. And the Labour opposition have been so dismal in every possible way that they would grasp anything they could, even Millie Dowler, to make mischievous political attacks. So all three of these have to be listened to with a fair degree of cynicism.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, we are on the brink of financial melt down. Something far, far worse than the recent banking crisis is just about to explode upon us. Instead of mere banks getting into trouble, going bust and needing rescuing we are talking about whole countries. And countries that share the same currency as lots of other countries, guaranteeing contagion. This is infinitely more important than asking an 80 year old man how often an office water cooler is refilled.

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