The Game of Politics
They say politics is a game. David Cameron, aided by the Opposition, have not helped to disprove this with their reaction to the Andy Coulson verdict. Yet again, the political elite have let their party politics distract from the real story – the one that should, in fact, be dominating headlines instead. With the lessons of Leveson a distant memory, both politically and in the public pshycee, it’s a shame that the victims of phone hacking have to make a video urging those in charge to not lose site of the issue at the heart, and the cause, of all this.
That is this: for the first time in British history, or possibly anywhere, those responsible for the interception of communications have been held to account and are being punished. This is a landmark case, whatever your political inclinations on the matter. And yet, there has been barely any mention has been made about the consequences of the prosecutions or even what they mean, what they represent. Least of all have the crimes themselves and its victims been talked about.
Even the cost of the trials and the Leveson Inquiry as a consequence of it, have been pushed aside, with the media clearly viewing that an inquiry with a cost of £5m and a trial for two people costing over £100m, is not in the public interest as much as what new spin David Cameron has put on his employment of Andy Coulson. In sum, the reaction of politicians and the media has meant that the message at the heart of all this spent money has been lost in all the hyperbolic and meaningless rhetoric surrounding Cameron and Coulson that has no relevance to the actual story, meaning that the money was spent in vain.
This relentless participation of politicians in this game will cause, as per usual, an apathy and indifference of the public towards this incredibly important chapter in British history that is unique to politicians’ over indulgence in rhetoric that only matters – or makes sense – in their isolated, introspective bubble. Which is a shame, for this case has far reaching consequences, past the lives of the privileged and rich, right to the lives of the average citizen, but this message will soon be los, if it hasn’t already, if politicians and the media carry on ignoring the true essence of the story.
For one, Cameron’s eagerness to hold up his promise of ‘apologising’ should he be proven wrong about Andy Coulson, doing it as soon as possible with no regards to its consequences for the trial, is symptomatic of the priorities of the political elite in this saga, with the victims and the pain that the actions of this man not being mentioned even once.
The Opposition is not exempt from this either, rushing to criticise the Prime Minister for hiring Coulson- simply pointing fingers, saying the PM owed the public an ‘explanation’ as to why he didn’t take action when the allegations surfaced, and relentless pedantic questioning during Prime Minister’s Questions and the seldom missed TV opportunity to criticise Cameron for hiring Coulson, again neglecting the essence of the story.
This relentless game of political to and fro of the football that this has become shows, once again, that the priorities of the political elite lie in finger pointing and passing the buck – Cameron stating that the decision of Coulson not getting the highest security clearance was made by the Civil Service.
While victims and their families can rejoice, albeit conservatively, at the small slice of justice they have been served, they surely do not take solace in the fact that it is clear that those they had no choice but to trust to be in charge of their cause and deliver justice are interested primarily in playing the Game of Politics.