Monday, July 18, 2011

Integrity Intact - But Not His

How the mighty doth protest their innocence. It is, after all, too painful to express regret for stupidity. Particularly when one holds a highly responsible position for which his presumed intelligence has fitted him to, and he is held in high esteem, as a result. With the resounding title of a knighthood, matching cerebral rectitude to patrician deliberation.

Sir Paul Stephenson has resigned his post with Scotland Yard. However, this is a mere formality. In so doing he acknowledges that the public is furiously angry. The public feels rather let down by their top security agent, in fact. And, as Sir Paul stated previously, such a perception is difficult to battle, even if they are wrong, and he did not fail in his public duty.
"Let me state clearly, I and the people who know me know that my integrity is completely intact."
Obviously, the man is wrong, wrong to the point of mildly delusional. He needs a reality check but he is obviously not amenable to one on a personal level. For he believes his behaviour has been impeccable, and the scandalous decision-making attributed to him completely misses the point; he has acted honourably and with no reason for regret.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, perhaps recognizing himself in Sir Paul's dilemma, declared the resignation to represent "a very sad occasion for him. I wish him well for the future." And doubtless Sir Paul wishes David Cameron well for the future. Even while he took a stab at savaging the Prime Minister's reputation just a tad.

Interesting, the revelations that come to light: who knew the Metropolitan Police Commissioner was able to take a five-week break from his duties, and everything would run smoothly in his absence? That five-week absence just happened to be a gift at a luxury health spa. It works very nicely, having an in with someone who is a PR consultant, like former deputy editor of News of the World, Neil Wallis.

Each was gifting the other; Sir Paul paying Mr. Wallis a handsome thousand pounds daily for his contractual appointment to Scotland Yard, advising Sir Paul, and the compliment capably returned by Mr. Wallis arranging for Sir Paul to have an all-expenses-paid stay at a luxury spa. But heaven forfend that anyone take from this the absurd notion that anything was legally amiss.

Morally, ethically, well perhaps. For the police force which had decided that there was nothing amiss in a cellphone hacking accusation six years earlier, and which re-opened an enquiry into the very same activities, still saw its head of operations hire Mr. Wallis two months after he left the tabloid newspaper which was at the centre of the investigation.

Details, details; they are so unnervingly irritating. "I may wish we had done some things differently, but I will not lose sleep over my personal integrity." Well, that's a huge relief. Now, back to the Prime Minister ... ? Who was in fact emulating his predecessor in his choice of media adviser. And isn't that fascinating, that David Cameron was himself a PR hack in an earlier incarnation?

As in it's all in the family kind of thing? If the Prime Minister could hire an ex-News of the World editor, what could possibly be wrong with the head of Scotland Yard doing the same thing? "Unlike Mr. Coulson, Mr. Wallis had not resigned from News of the World or, to the best of my knowledge, been in any way associated with the original phone hacking investigation", said Sir Paul.

Oh dear, oh dear.

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