Saturday, April 11, 2009

Farewell Damian McBride

Well, it appears that Damian McBride's position has become untenable and he's had to resign. Personally, I find this incredibly worrying. I can't judge exactly what he did because I haven't seen the emails and have little more than Guido's account on the BBC (and Derek Draper's counter story) to go on, but the question really has to be asked whether this has deserved all the media attention it's received.

As far as I can tell what was sent were plan's for a negative campaign against various Tory figures, a discussion of potential ideas. A lot will depend on whether any of these ideas saw the light of day (there's suggestion that a smear against Nadine Dorries MP did, although I'm not sure what the actual details are), if they didn't all we have is a series of private emails (that should have stayed that way) discussing hypothetical stories, not something that I'd say deserves major news coverage.

What I find more worrying is (and I know, it's becoming a recurring theme in my posts) that the media and a Tory blogger have managed to control decisions in government. A worrying aspect of news stories is the way that they are often considered in terms of volume of coverage rather than weighted according to their details.

For example, the recent stories about Geoff Hoon, Tony McNulty and Jacqui Smith are stories of government figures maximising the benefits they gain from the various perks that their jobs provide. These stories have generated considerable public anger, but in terms of seriousness can be considered minor matters next to the recent allegations about members of the House of Lords taking money in exchange for particular changes to the law, a story that appears to have died a death.

The media and bloggers like Guido have been shaping political debate in this country to surprising effect and while politicians have been put under ever more scrutiny, rather than restoring trust in politics it hs simply made it far easier for this unaccountable group of people to further undermine trust in politics.

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