In the midst of all the allegations of bullying emanating from Downing Street at the moment (personally I’d be surprised if any incumbent of Number Ten never lost their cool) there continues to be precious little scrutiny of the Conservatives’ relationship with Andy Coulson, former News Of The World editor and David Cameron’s Communications Director. Of course, no one should be remotely surprised about this given the media’s ongoing failure to ask any searching questions of the Conservatives, despite their continuing position as bookies’ favourites to form the next government.
Nevertheless one might expect a bit more interest from newspapers and broadcasters around the murky recent past of the Tories’ answer to Alastair Campbell. I know that the vast bulk of the print media is in the Tories’ pocket, that the BBC is too scared of an incoming Cameron government to rock the boat, that ITV News are more interested in their continuing evolution into a free-to-air version of the Daily Mail, and that hardly anyone watches Sky News anyway, but aren’t we entitled to expect that front page coverage of real bullying allegations (linked to actual law-breaking) should extend beyond The Guardian?
Coulson’s difficulties (see the Guardian coverage here) don’t represent the only unpleasant odours seeping out of the Cameron Project at the moment. An egregious record on expenses (moats, duck houses and Anthony Steen) sits all too comfortably with Gideon’s social-climbing and squalid grasping on Deripaska’s yacht, not to mention the non-dom status of Zac Goldsmith and the endless unanswered questions about Lord Michael Ashcroft.
Add all of that to their continuing incompetence in the arena of economic policy and the absence of any constructive ideas on crime, unemployment, meaningful political reform, foreign policy and a whole host of other areas and you might be forgiven for thinking that perhaps a little scrutiny wouldn’t go amiss. Don’t hold your breath though – even if you do smell the odd rat.