I’ve held back from commenting on Metgate in any detail – partly because other bloggers, notably Jack of Kent, are doing it well and in measured detail, and partly because I want to see if this campaign actually goes anywhere and new evidence comes forward.
We are beginning to get a degree of clarity on this issue – and, it seems, that parliament may be the authors of their own misfortune on this if recent stories in The Guardian are right.
While we cannot expect MPs or others holding public office to have lived ‘perfect lives’- with no skeletons lurking in cupboards – one would have thought that those standing for high office would have worked out that the press will look into their lives – some to make mischief, others to test the value of the thinking and work of those who seek to govern. It is absolutely vital that we have a free press, but many would argue that with freedom comes a responsibility not to misuse that freedom for purely vindictive sport and the pursuit of a very specific commercial and power agenda? We would be a bit naive to take that latter point?
The story in The Guardian yesterday is interesting and extraordinary…
MPs backed down from calling Rebekah Brooks to Commons
Guardian: Cross-party committee allegedly abandoned plans to force News International chief to testify after being warned their lives would be investigated
A cross-party committee of MPs abandoned plans to force the News International chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, to testify last year after they were warned that their private lives would be investigated, a former member alleged last night.
Adam Price, a former Plaid Cymru MP, told Channel 4 News that a group of committee members shied away from the “nuclear option” of issuing a warrant for Brooks to attend after a senior Tory warned that News International would “go for us”……
The allegation that News International attempted to interfere with the work of parliament came after Tom Watson, a Labour member of the committee, disclosed to MPs on Thursday that Brooks repeatedly refused to attend its hearings….
Watson added that he was told that Brooks vowed to destroy him after he led the Labour coup that persuaded Tony Blair to resign. “A very senior News International journalist told me at the Labour party conference in 2006, in the early hours of the morning, that his editor would never forgive me for resigning as a minister in Tony Blair’s government and that she would pursue me for the rest of my political career until I was destroyed.”
Is this how we want our country governed – where MPs operate in a state of fear and loathing? Where MPs back down? I’m not at all sure we do – but, there again, we are not in the firing line of retribution and the sword of truth. It looks as if we are getting closer to the denouement where there will either be evidence or there won’t be.