David Cameron's communications director, Andy Coulson, will come under fresh pressure to defend his editorship of the News of the World and his knowledge about the illegal activities of his journalists amid new allegations about the paper's involvement with private detectives who broke the law.Good to see that the Tories, confronted with a chance to make the decisive difference between them and Labour one of decent versus immoral corrupt spin obsessed dishonest corrupt wank off merchants, decide to try to beat Labour at their own stinking game.
The Guardian has learned that while Coulson was still editor of the tabloid, the newspaper employed a freelance private investigator even though he had been accused of corrupting police officers and had just been released from a seven-year prison sentence for blackmail.
The private eye was well known to the News of the World, having worked for the paper for several years before he was jailed, when Coulson was deputy editor. He was rehired when he was freed.
Evidence seen by the Guardian shows that Mr A, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was blagging bank accounts, bribing police officers, procuring confidential data from the DVLA and phone companies, and trading sensitive material from live police inquiries.
Coulson has always insisted he knew nothing about the illegal activity which took place in the News of the World newsroom, telling MPs last year: "I have never had any involvement in it at all."
Mr A cannot be named now because he is facing trial for a violent crime, but his details will emerge once he has been dealt with by the courts. Coulson tonight refused to say whether he was aware of Mr A's criminal background, or of his return to the paper following his prison term. He said: "I have nothing to add to the evidence I gave to the select committee." (1)
I suppose the counter argument would be that, if Labour can employ someone as sulphurous as Alastair Campbell, why shouldn't they? Which is effectively saying that if Labour can be corrupt, useless, incompetent, dishonest spin mongers who lie and cheat and steal, why not us?
Following that line of 'reasoning' just a little bit further, it become apparent that all the frothing righteousness provoked whenever the names Campbell or Mandelson are mentioned, the reason for the outrage isn't that they are venal, dishonest weasels, but because they aren't venal, dishonest Tory weasels - a tacit admission that it is all tribal, about making sure your team wins, and any silly notions about principles, giving people something positive to vote for, or what is best for Britain aren't a relevant consideration.
Seriously, how could anyone bare to vote for the Tories if it wasn't for Labour? How could anyone countenance voting Labour if it wasn't for the Tories?
1 - "Andy Coulson hit by new tabloid trick charges," by Nick Davies. Published in The Independent, 24th of February, 2010. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/feb/24/andy-coulson-news-of-the-world)