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Friday, 10 September 2010

David Cameron and Andy Coulson

The strangest aspect of the News of the World phone-hacking case was why did David Cameron employ Andy Coulson as his Director of Communications, only six months after he was forced to resign because of the strong suspicion that he had ordered journalists to hack the phones of politicians. This straight away illustrated that Cameron was willing to engage in dirty tricks in order to win the next election. This was in direct contrast to the image that Cameron wanted to create of himself at the time. Why was he willing to tarnish his image with this appointment?

Could it be that Cameron had no choice in the matter? Is Cameron being blackmailed by Coulson? I suspect that the private detectives employed by Coulson were not only getting information for the News of the World but was also getting the dirt on Labour MPs for Conservative Party headquarters. If that is the case, can you imagine what impact this would have on the public if this information came out in court.

This theory became even more credible with the news yesterday that the only Tory on the phone hacking list was Boris Johnson. Cameron was at Eton with Johnson and the two have been deadly rivals ever since. Cameron believes that Johnson has the potential to challenge him for the leadership of the party.

Evidence that the government is rattled by the Coulson story was the announcement made by George Osborne of 4bn extra welfare cuts. This was not even discussed with other members of the cabinet. The only reason for the announcement was to take the Coulson story off the front pages. It did but this is a story that will not go away. Although it is extremely unlikely that Cameron will ever be named as being one of those who commissioned the phone hacking, it will do him long-term damage and will definitely tarnish his image as “Mr. Clean”.

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