Coffee House

Leveson continues, but it is a sideshow to the Euro drama

24 May 2012

Fred Michel’s testimony this morning at the Leveson Inquiry was
embarrassing but not devastating. The texts between him and Jeremy Hunt are cringe-worthy but my read is that the Culture Secretary is not in a weaker position than he was this morning. More
important for Hunt’s survival prospect is the appearance of his former spad Adam Smith this afternoon. The question is, did Hunt not know of the extent of contact between Smith and Michel?

Everything going on at Leveson, though, is a sideshow compared to the economic news and the storm brewing on the continent. On that note, it does seem odd that Nick Clegg is suggesting that the
seventy percent of German voters who would like Greece to leave the euro are irrational.

Clegg’s use of the phrase reveals more about himself than those who now, generally reluctant, advocate break-up. As Charles Moore notes in the magazine this week, the pro-Europeans have never
really engaged in argument about the Euro project but have simply convinced themselves that its opponents are irrational.

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  • rosie

    Every time the BBC comments on the Leveson inquiry vis a vis the BSkyB bid it should declare its conflict of interest. So should all the private organs similarly implicated. I don’t object to their ganging up per se, but they should be open and transparent (their favourite words not mine) about what they are doing and why.

    If they can find some higher public interest in their collusion, then let them explain to the public what that is.

    If there is indeed a higher public interest involved, then why all the smear and innunendo, why the selective quoting out of context, and the heavily trailed anticipations of guilt? Why the insistence on guilt by association?

    I can’t see anything wrong with Mr Hunt’s cool-headed and independent-minded assessment written to the PM. Nothing to be embarrassed about either.

    I realize it doesn’t toe the anti BSkyB bid alliance’s line though, and that it has therefore been seriously traduced by them all over the place.

    With enemies as base as this, who needs friends?

  • Fergus Pickering

    And my view. It is not, of course, the view of the BBC or indeed The Daily Telegraph or any other enemy of Murdoch who would stand to gain from his downfall.

  • Chris lancashire

    No TomTom, it’s my view.

  • Sir Everard Digby

    Mr Forsyth,

    As I have said before, you would make a good theatre critic – however mixing that skill-set with political comment is a toxic arrangement.

    Let us start with the Euro ‘drama’ I presume you mean by this: a situation or succession of events in real life having the dramatic progression or emotional effect characteristic of a play.

    The Euro is not a drama in terms of keep/eject the Greeks.

    What you are witnessing is a tragedy by which I mean:the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances’

    The main character being the EU.
    Its slaves,including Clegg are thrashing around and refusing to accept the inevitable -farewell Euro and with it centralised control of all things European.

  • TomTom

    “Leveson is a pompous, expensive, irrelevant and soon-to-be-forgotten total waste of time?”

    That is the view of Jeremy Hunt no doubt, but he is simply a shill for News Corporation and must adorn record labels as His Master’s Voice. Cameron reada his letter then gives him BSkyB to deal with….no wonder Osborne keeps public spending on an upward trajectory

  • Stu

    OOh look muther rest of t world is out of step cept our Cleggy. Says it all really 70% of Germans want Greece to exit the Euro but good old Euro toady Nick thinks they are irrational. What can you say.

  • Michael

    Surely it’s about time for the EU to be put on to the Liverpool Care Pathway? It is cruel to do otherwise.

  • Chris lancashire

    When will it dawn on The Spectator – and other commentators – that Leveson is a pompous, expensive, irrelevant and soon-to-be-forgotten total waste of time?

  • Fergus Pickering

    And of course the whole Leveson thing never mattered much and will be soon forgotten.

  • Liz Brown

    I suggest that clegover stays in Germany – he could lead the way in Merkels wondrous statement that we need workers to move around Europe……….we certainly don’t need clegover in Britain and could put his salary to good use

  • Carol

    Breaking news……….Hunt sent a memo to Cameron informing him he was in full support of this bid.
    By the by…….That was before Cameron handed him the job.

    Whooooooops :-):-)

  • Archimedes

    In Portillo’s documentary (not sure when it was filmed but probably 6 – 12 months ago) all the Germans he interviewed wanted Greece to remain in the Euro so it’s interesting how quickly the consensus is shifting. What happens when Greece refuses to leave?

    On the road again – Just can’t wait to get on the road again…

  • Bellevue

    Well, little Cleggy already has the EU pension (you know, the one that says he has to support the EU in all things in order to receive it).

  • Cynic

    [I]t does seem odd that Nick Clegg is suggesting that the seventy percent of German voters who would like Greece to leave the euro are irrational.” It might seem odd to you, but to those of us who see Clegg as a dyed-in-the-wool EU apparatchik wedded to acquis communautaire who is fervently desirous of ever closer union it seems par for the course.

  • Andy W H

    70% of Germans can’t be right. 40 million lemmings can’t be wrong. Discuss.

  • Paul Danon

    I’m not sure Europhiles have even convinced themselves that sceptics are irrational. In their inner thoughts, they may realise they’re trapped in a failed experiment. Their only hope is parroting the official line in the hope of a job in Brussels and pension.

  • alexsandr

    clegg -what an arrogant and ignorant fool. He needs reminding it is the electorate who give them their jobs, and they should never forget that.

  • Nickle

    Meanwhile with UK government debts at 7,000 bn not the reported 1,050 bn, the UK is just as bust. [You do want your state pension, civil service pension etc. They aren’t debts according to the government, which means they intend not paying them]

    ie. You can’t be a little bit pregnant.

  • SteveS

    Forgive me but I rather think that the Bundesbank is a whole lot more rational than a card carrying Euro Die Hard and former EU Commissioner who still maintains the Euro would be good for Britain when the time is right.

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