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Andy Coulson: The ‘Illegal Phone Tap Transcripts’

by | 4th, October 2010

I HAVE a feeling that David Cameron’s chief spinner, Andy Coulson, will be soon exiting Number 10.

He resiliently continues to claim that as a one-time News of the World editor he knew nothing of the illegal phone tapping of various politicians and celebs that plagued the paper on his watch.

There is no evidence that Coulson is a liar. But some media commentators are doubtful (eg Andrew Neil, Roy Greenslade); anyone who knows anything about newspapers raises a proverbial fan to hide their smirks.

Now Channel Four Dispatches tomorrow will add to Coulson’s woes by reporting the words of a senior journalist who once worked with him: it’s alleged Coulson knew of the tapping, listened to intercepted voicemail messages and read tape transcripts.

Coulson, as others have attested, was a methodical editor: he feared libel. So he familiarised himself with the source material to allay his fears. This has a ring of truth to it.  (For more read here)

Can you imagine any top flight newspaper editor not wishing to be certain in his own mind that he is not being spun a pretty tale by his flogged hacks?

Which brings me to the bloated TV filibusterer Kelvin MacKenzie. He has been assiduous in his public defence of Coulson, as you’d expect of a man who crawled around Rupert Murdoch for years as Sun editor, and continues to crawl around him as a Sun columnist (not a bad one, either).

A few weeks back he appeared on a BBC news show and asserted that as editor he did not always ask his journalists where a story came from. All he concerned himself with was whether the story was a great one.

This kind of buffoonery does no one any favours, least of all Coulson. But at least MacKenzie says something. Coulson’s boss, the PM, has been loudly silent on the matter while an assortment of his junior fellow travellers in the Tory party have attempted to politicise the matter and thereby trivialise it.

I fully expect Coulson to stand down soon, probably on a Friday after the announcement of something bigger by the government. No shame will be attached to his departure, the PM will praise his ex-spinner’s fortitude and professionalism and wish him well.

A job in another kind of PR awaits Coulson even if, some might say, jail would be the more suitable destination.

Note: Still, there is no proof Coulson knew of the hacks.



Posted: 4th, October 2010 | In: Key Posts Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink