Coffee House

Embarrassment for Cameron, trouble for Hunt

11 May 2012

Rebekah Brooks’s testimony at Leveson was embarrassing for the Prime Minister — but no worse than that. I suspect that tomorrow’s papers will have much fun with the fact that
Cameron used to end his texts to her with the letters ‘LOL’ in the mistaken belief that it meant ‘lots of love’. But, as one friend of the PM’s pointed out to me,
No.10 would have definitely settled for that being the headline story this morning.

Jeremy Hunt, though, again finds himself in some difficulty thanks to a Fred Michel email which indicates that the Culture Secretary was seeking News Corps’ guidance on how to deal with
hacking. As with the previous Michel emails, the question is how much of it is the man known in Westminster as the ‘French polisher’ putting the best possible sheen on things? It was
another reminder, if one was needed, that Hunt’s own appearance at Leveson at the end of the month will determine his fate.

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Show comments
  • salieri

    I have not had occasion to thank teletubby before but gladly thank him now, for coining an unforgettable homeric epithet: The Visionary Balls.

  • ellis000

    Is this what the level of political discourse has come to? A judge led investigation into the press and hacking centres on what lol means? Give me a break – I use to look on the McCarthy hearings with horror but that is nothing compared to this trivialisation by Jay and Leveson. I am no Cameron fan but let’s end this farce for God’s sake.

  • rosie

    Verity: “He thought lol meant “lots of love”, despite everyone in the entire anglosphere knowing for at least a decade that it stands for “laugh out loud”.

    Not everyone Verity. To lots of us, LOL still means “lots of love”. The language totalitarians should calm down.

  • Verity

    Guru McKenzie – One devoutly hopes so. He cannot get anything … anything at all … right. He makes Gordon Brown look like Noel Coward.

    Even in personal correspondence … he gets it wrong. He thought lol meant “lots of love”, despite everyone in the entire anglosphere knowing for at least a decade that it stands for “laugh out loud”.

  • kevin

    Why dont they look at the influence of the BBC on politics.

  • Guru McKenzie

    Cameron is over !

  • Baron

    What outsider says @ 6.02, rosie backs few posts later and this:

    Brace yourselves, the BBC will grow more brazen, will serve grosser distortions, blatantly hide the truth for there’s now nobody left powerful enough to amount a challenge to the tossers.

  • TomTom

    Rupert’s Customers abundant on this thread. Bellyaching but Watching and Reading just like typical NoW readership. It is amusing to read all these comments about Leveson whose Inquiry like every other exposes the soft underbelly of the Pigs running the System.

    It is hardly worthy of comment, but it is a game of What The Butler Saw. Not bothering with TV or BBC Radio I don’t get to wallow in politicians’ excrement so I don’t mind Leveson at all – and hope it continues as long as the Saville Enquiry…….meanwhile British Regulators sleep as The London Whale heads for an $18 billion fleecing…..oh to be a Counterparty !!!

  • rosie

    Interesting that Mrs B confirmed what many of us suspected at the time: Whelan and Brown were the real pros at character assassination etc. compared to Blair and Campbell.

    And no suprise either that the guardianista didn’t pick up on that.

  • telemachus’

    Truly a red letter thread with my good friends thuc and andy both giving excellent posts.
    James you really need to stick it directly into dave.

  • telemachus’

    First my dear child I know not NH
    Second it is you who are naive if you think that the whole lot of Coulson, Brooks, Rupert, James and co are not in the same twisted knot
    Third I am proud to be in the company of Harman and the visionary Balls.

  • ellis000

    telemachus/Nick Hadjinakos. Try and keep up. Rebekah Brooks worked for News International, publishers of the Sun, NOTW and the Times/Sunday Times. The BSkyB bid was from News Corp and Mrs Brooks was not involved with the bid. But then, no leftie ever let facts stand in the way of their malicious and self-serving lies. You are in the good company of McBride, Whelan, Balls, Harman et al.

  • telemachus’

    M. Rowley
    I remember the phrase being applied to Murdoch.
    Is it really appropriate to be texting LOL to someone about to do a £8 Billion media deal. Not only is it not credible that Hunt was quasi-judicially independent but to have his boss on whom his career depends making verbal love to the chief beggars belief.
    I disagree with those who think Hunt should go.
    It is Cameron who should go.

  • Ostrich (occasionally)

    Ralph 11th, 5:18pm

    “the Miliband and Harman as going to look mighty stupid.”

    So – – – no change there, then.

  • M. Rowley

    Given his Westminster moniker, Jeremy Hunt should know that no matter how much you polish a turd, it’s still a turd.

  • telemachus’

    Andy Carpark
    May 11th, 2012 5:20pm
    I’m at one with my good friend.
    Any excuse to do down Mr Hunt, who so clearly has been fair and reasonable in all his dealings with his own good friends Rupert and James.

  • Chris lancashire

    Yep, still a pointless yawfest. No doubt riveting for you Mr Forsyth.

  • Fex Urbis

    She was very good at swatting away the early stuff, but as the questions got a bit tougher she looked shifty and dishonest.

  • Nicholas

    “Mrs Brooks scored a direct hit on Robert Jay QC when she pointed out that his questioning focused on precisely the sort of prurient gossip for which the Inquiry is tut-tutting about tabloid papers.”

    But the BBC didn’t report that. They reported instead that Mrs Brooks was being quizzed on the “unhealthy” relationship between the government and Newscorp. The years 1997-2010 have apparently disappeared without trace and we seem to have had Cameron as PM for 15 years. Heaven knows I carry no torch for Cameron but this inquiry and its allied BBC coverage is getting preposterous.

    It doesn’t help that Robert Jay QC is so repulsive in demeanour.

  • In2minds

    LOL = lots of lies?

  • rosie

    “As someone commented yesterday, the Inquiry has descended into the trial of NewsCorp on the charge that the The Sun is not the same as The Guardian.”

    You are too generous, Outsider, it has been like that since the off.

    The one they should be trying is the BBC. I couldn’t believe their summaries – even allowing for their blatant and brazen tunnel-visioned self interest.

  • Jeremy

    What strikes me most forcibly about people like Brooks is how shallow and trivial and banal they truly are, once stripped of a tabloid rag to shriek through.

    Why was anybody ever afraid of this overpromoted part-time receptionist in the first place?

  • Widmerpool

    After this it can’t be long can it before Hunt is flushed by the great reshuffle toilet? Granny May not far behind
    Dave has to be as ruthless as some previous Tory PM’s if he is to survive; he should be getting his blade on the wet stone for a Night of the Long Knives and soon so the reshuffle is buried by happy events that occur this summer.

  • rosie

    “In the main, DC”. How desperately disappointing this must have been to the BBC who had been trailing all week that there had been 12 torrid texts a day. Never mind, they are now building on that preparation of the groundwork with their pathetic out-of-context economical-with-the-actualites paraphrasing.

    All on the day we should be discussing what to do about Spain.

    I liked the way Mrs Brooks tried to remind the silly little guardianista that PMs and CEOs have serious work to do. He never got it though.

  • Thucydides

    You would have thought that even the local loons who have been shouting about how uninteresting and unimportant this is since hackgate started might have got the message by now – with a newspaper closed, senior Murdochites out of a job, criminal investigations ongoing, PM and cabinet members in trouble – that they are wrong. But no.

    Great stuff guys!

  • Bill Brinsmead

    Forsyth, Robinson of the BBC, et al should declare a conflict of interest.

    Telegraph Group [publishers of this site],joined the BBC, Associated Newspapers,Guardian Media Group and assorted Russians to oppose News Corp buying the remaining shares in BSkyB it didn’t own.

    All coverage by these bodies is slewed to their points of view and priorities. This is a disservice to us readers who have no axe to grind or grievance to air.

  • outsider

    Mrs Brooks scored a direct hit on Robert Jay QC when she pointed out that his questioning focused on precisely the sort of prurient gossip for which the Inquiry is tut-tutting about tabloid papers.
    As someone commented yesterday, the Inquiry has descended into the trial of NewsCorp on the charge that the The Sun is not the same as The Guardian.

  • alexsandr

    FFS we have a defecit out of control, a euro crisis, a possible falklands war 2 and people are wasting their breath on this fluff.
    GROW UP!

  • Noa.

    Friday evening.

    Pre wine bar blues…

    Thank god I didn’t fall asleep all the way through…boring though.. End on a suitably portentious note of doom.

    Blast! Where did I put the Mr Sheen?

  • James Strong

    Cameron is a fool and needs to behave more like a man.

    ‘Lots of love’ is a feminine phrase that women might use to each other.

    Men don’t use it to women unless they’re a certain type of dressmaker or hairdresser.
    Or the type of man who, in Cameron’s phrase, produces too many tweets.

  • Andy Carpark

    Anyone in whom this abortion of a post raises so much as a flicker of interest has already sunk to depths of intellectual and moral squalor from which they can hardly hope to rise. I therefore recommend that any benighted souls answering this description spend the evening knitting themselves a nice long scarf and then repair to the cupboard under the stairs and use said garment to hang themselves.

    To everybody else, a good weekend.

  • Ralph

    There is a lot riding on Michel’s emails, but not just for Hunt. If they turn out to be fantasy the Miliband and Harman as going to look mighty stupid.

  • RKing

    Typical woman…. didn’t know when to shut up.

    She should have had a few lessons from Coulson or even Piers Morgan who said even less!!

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