Coulson-gate: your LDV reader, day 2

by Stephen Tall on July 10, 2009

Yesterday on LDV we rounded-up for you the Lib Dem blog-posts covering the scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch’s News Media Group following the Guardian’s expose of their illegal activities. Day 2 of ‘Coulson-gate’ has seen more desptaches from Lib Dem blogs:

Cameron, Coulson and a lot of writs… (James Oates)

Coulson is horribly exposed and Cameron would be making a grave error of judgement if he decides to keep him and then finds that he is submerged in a blizzard of litigation- even without criminal prosecution. As with the tangled affair of George Osborne last summer, Mr. Cameron may find that loyalty has a price for his own credibility. The Tories can not yet be so confident that they can dismiss this – and to try to do so looks like complacent arrogance.

News International – how much did they know about bugging? (Mark Valladares)

Either Andy Coulson is an entirely honourable man, who took responsibility for illegal acts committed under his leadership, or he knew he was guilty and wanted to get out before the rest of the illegal acts were exposed. … So. Mr Cameron, will you ask him, or do we have to? And if we get the answer I fear we might, are you and your colleagues going to shut up about Damian McBride?

Phone hacking scandal – two key questions (‘Costigan Quist’)

Is it really credible that Coulson could have allowed the investigators to be paid off, could have sat in meetings going through these stories, and never have known about illegal phone tapping? Coulson, who wrote in 2005 “we spend a lot of time talking about stories, thinking them through and trying to second-guess any problems”. … If we let it go, how long before another media outlet decides that illegally invading people’s privacy is a legitimate way to gather information?

The wheels begin to come off the Cameron juggernaut. (Nader Fekri)

Coulson is vital to the Cameron Project, while others are “modernisers” he reminds “Dave” not to forget the bread and butter issues of Tory politics, crime and tax, and good relations with the mass-circulation tabloids. Now it turns out that as editor he was “unaware” of any shenanigans going on in his paper. Hmmmm. Watch this space!

Worth highlighting, too, a couple of non-Lib Dem blog-posts that caught my eye:

The phone-hacking scandal no-one wants to talk about (Sunny Hundal)

This is deep-seated corruption and collusion at the highest levels and it seems that no one wants to open this can of worms. The police have come back and said there’s nothing new to investigate – but Nick Davies rightly points out how they’re trying to muddy the waters and avoid going down that route. Well done to the Libdems for not letting them get away so easily. It’s even worse that the BBC, which should be using its significant journalistic resources to find out more, has already pushed the story down the agenda. It’s a terrible day for the British media and our institutions.

A confession (Tom Harris)

IT TURNS out that all my staff have spent the last eight years illegally tapping the phones of my constituents, then using my office budget to pay off those who found out. But obviously, as their boss and the person with ultimate responsibility for my staff and the budget, I knew nothing about it. So everything’s alright then, yes?

Feel free to add links below if you think I’ve overlooked some diamonds.