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Shurely Shome Mishtake?

Simon Campion-Brown misses the logic

Did anyone out there, like me, find something decidedly weird about Prime Minister David Cameron’s ‘apology’ for employing Andy Coulson at Number 10, following the guilty verdict reached against Coulson in the much-covered phone-hacking trial?

As I saw it, it seemed to amount to:

“I – and others involved – did indeed ask him about phone-hacking and he assured us that (1) he knew nothing about it and (2) it did not happen on his watch when working for News International. We accepted this assertion in good faith and decided to give him a second chance. However, now [following the guilty verdict against Coulson], because this assertion has been proved to be false, I accept that our decision to employ him was wrong. It was a bad decision, one that should never have been made and – as I always said from the outset I would – I am now apologising for that bad decision.”

Woooh – hold your horses!

Wait a minute. Let’s just examine the logic of this.

If you employ someone in good faith on the basis of what someone tells you in a job interview and subsequently something the interviewee said proves to have been wrong, that doesn’t make the decision a bad one.

Or, to be more specific, such a bad one that it requires you to issue an apology.

[Mind you, with the benefit of hindsight, it might make it an ill-advised, or an ill-judged one, but that’s a different kettle of fish].

It seems to me that the only proper basis upon which David Cameron might be said to have made a ‘bad decision’ in employing Mr Coulson is if – at the time of making it – there was sufficient evidence or suspicion available to him which would have made sensible employer ‘hold fire’ from appointing him, at least until the position was clarified one way or the other.

Perhaps that’s what Mr Cameron is apologising about … without, of course, wishing to actually say so because that might make him politically vulnerable.

See here, via YOUTUBE

About Simon Campion-Brown

A former lecturer in politics at Keele University, Simon now lives in Oxfordshire. Married with two children, in 2007 he decided to monitor the Westminster village via newspaper and television and has never looked back. More Posts