HACKGATE DAY 470: Was Leveson’s arm twisted into making his opening statement today?

Judge’s bizarre timing under fire, Cameron’s veracity in doubt

I found Lord Leveson’s opening statement to the enquiry that bears his name this morning quite extraordinary. And I find it impossible to believe that no political pressure at all was brought to bear in ‘helping’ his decision to make the statement.

Having had a counsel elicit devastating evidence the previous day regarding meetings and emails – about which both David Cameron and the unspeakable Jeremy Hunt misled Parliament – for the first time in a process that has taken several months, Leveson felt obliged to ‘clarify’ the significance of the evidence. In fact, what he did was to dilute it by inference.

He may of course be proved right to have done so, but (a) he doesn’t know that now and (b) to intervene on this one occasion just three hours before the subjects of that testimony were to face a barrage of justified questions about propriety at PMQs was at best bizarre, and at worst a judidical attempt to interfere in the workings of Britain’s sovereign body.

David Cameron was quick to seize upon Leveson’s remarks when facing the Opposition leader’s damning observations shortly after noon in the Commons, arguing that Miliband should “let the enquiry take its course”. But there are two gaping holes in this argument: why didn’t Leveson let the enquiry take its course, as opposed to intervening in such an inexplicable manner? And how can there be any excuse for a Minister who tells the House he is releasing all the correspondence about the enquiry…but is later shown to have left out all the incriminating bits?

The problem the Prime Minister faces in this instance is that there is barely a British citizen left who believes his account of the relationship he enjoyed with Newscorp and its senior executives. He refused to give a straight answer to the ‘Christmas lunch’ questions…and his reluctance is now explained in the worst possible way. He refused to damn Andy Coulson…and is now seen to have defended the indefensible. He blithely suggests that he and Rebekah Brooks were not close….omitting to mention that he and Mrs Cameron once left their late son on a beach in the sole care of that woman. He insists that there was no ‘quid pro quo’ between Newscorp support for the Conservative Party in 201o….but is then discovered to have discussed that support with James Murdoch, to have fired Vince Cable for his opinion about Murdoch (now entirely vindicated); to have replaced him with a man whose own website hailed Rupert Murdoch as a genius; but when that replacement’s impropriety comes to light, he defends him to the hilt…rather than firing him.

This sequence of events leaves only the Christmas Tree Fairy ready to accept that David Cameron was unbiased in the way Murdoch’s BSkyB bid was treated. And as for an email emanating from Hunt’s office saying that the goal was to arrive at ‘game over’ for opponents of the bid….how else is one to interpret that other than Jeremy Hunt acting as a glorifed rent boy for the Murdochs?

Hunt, being an amoral idiot, says he has done “nothing unethical”. This merely goes to show he has no concept of the meaning of ethics in such a context. When Newscorp’s lobbyist Frederic Michel referred to Hunt’s tip-off about progress as ‘illegal actually!’ James Murdoch told Leveson Counsel Robert Jay, “Look, I don’t understand the niceties of Westminster…it was obviously just a joke”. But there is no greater sick joke in 2012 than the way these profoundly disgusting people – Murdoch, Michel, Hunt, Cameron – expect us to believe such obvious rubbish.

We should not see these soon-to-be cadavers cavorting about on the scaffold as in any way unrelated to the social, fiscal, financial, and economic problems of the West in general and Europe in particular. They are all part of the same decadent, obscenely degenerate Undead running the affairs of our unfortunate planet Earth: Blankfein, Lagarde, Sarkozy, Draghi, Merkel, Geithner, Putin, Swan, Gillard, Mandelson, van Rompuy, Diamond and a few thousand others determined to do for us – we know not why. But until they are all a distant, nigthmarish memory, we will never have charge of our own destinies again.

A closer look at what The Slog is on about