The Return of #Hackgate…..
You have to feel a wee bit sorry for David Cameron, there he was, thinking his return from holiday would be a triumphant one as the adoring British people showering him with flowers and hailed the liberator of Tripoli and look what happens. Hackgate returns to bite him once again. Still, given the fact that it is like so many disasters in his premiership, self-inflicted then again maybe you don’t. Apparently, Andy Coulson was in receipt of numerous treats such as large amounts of cash and benefits while he worked for David Cameron.
Iain Dale and the usual Conservative suspects have tried to justify all this on the grounds it was a normal severance arrangement. Andrew Neil however challenged that on Twitter, stating he was always told that resignation would forfeit severance pay. I suspect this is a normal arrangement and the apologia’s for Cameron and Coulson really are running out of steam. Cameron’s judgment over Coulson is part of the derelict pattern of leadership he has over the last year and a half as Prime Minister. This is a potential weakness for Labour to exploit, if it can establish the right meta-narrative around its own leader.
However, I am still far from convinced even this will bring Cameron down. It does all have a drip-drip feel and as the revelations continue he is bleeding more authority both within his own Party and within the wider country. Nonetheless, the issue doesn’t have the purchase within the country that we imagine it does because it interests us politicos so much. In his weakened state he will be an easier target for his enemies within his own Party, specifically those on the right. They will however bide their time until the right pretext presents itself. I know many Labour people dream that this will topple Cameron but the simple fact is that it won’t directly; we have to be aware of that and make the main focus building a strong narrative around our leader and wait for the time when a weakened Cameron is brought crashing down by his own Party.