Wednesday, 26 February 2014

PIE are Squares

Corruption. In the seedy world of politics you need do no evil to be branded a witch, as Harriet Harman, sorry Har’person’… whoops, I mean Harper’kin’ has found out. Give a job to a relative, hush up embezzlement of petty cash by a colleague or say nothing about an indiscretion of the heart or unusual predilections and you are guilty by association. But that stuff never goes away completely and is the bedrock of investigative journalism peddling scandal to the prurient masses. I don’t believe for one moment that Harman ever supported the aims of the Paedophile Information Exchange - maybe she thought they were just a bunch of boring old men who like kids - but I’m more easily persuaded that she was fully signed up to the cultural Marxist agenda of breaking down societal norms under cover of the equalities agenda. Right on, comrades! But was she cynical, or was she just naïve?

To claim naïveté in her late twenties, after a decade or longer of manipulative left-wing political activism, might cast doubt on her judgement, but an admission now that the National Council for Civil Liberties supported affiliations with dubious causes merely to bolster their numbers and coffers is cynicism verging on the sinister. So which was it, Hattie? Duped or duplicitous? And why, when it could have been killed off in 2009 when the information was last widely promulgated, did she not stop it dead by a simple admission of youthful stupidity and an expression of regret?

Even last week, even after a period of prevarication and being backed into a corner, she might still have got away with a simple cheap apology on Newsnight. It need have cost her nothing; she could have denounced her past claiming that is was a different age and she was high on the zeitgeist. Apologies come so easy to the insincere; Tony Blair even apologised for slavery for goodness’ sake. But no. Instead of playing the game the public wanted her to play – in more skilful PR hands this could have been presented as a display of her integrity - she clumsily dismissed it as nothing but a smear campaign by the Daily Mail and said:

“I’m not going to apologise because I have nothing to apologise for. I very much regret that this vile organisation, PIE, ever existed and that it ever had anything to do with NCCL, but it did not affect my work at NCCL.”

What a shame then, that the Daily Telegraph immediately kept the story alive by casting further doubt on her claims:  Like a child covering up a simple lie with a slightly more elaborate one and then having to concoct a wholly unrealistic series of events, instead of getting off the hook she managed to wriggle further onto it. Time and again we see this. What is it in the DNA of politicians; what monstrous egos must the Archers and Stonehouses and Thorpes and Huhnes of the world possess that they are unable to simply be honest and direct?

Shadow Minister for Children?

Maybe it’s because it works more often that it fails? Maybe for every fallen attempt to cover up dubious doings there are ten examples of successfully sweeping the dirt under the carpet. We talk glibly and make jokes about the lies of politicians, but what if we only get to hear the half of it? And what if the stuff we don’t know is so much more underhand than what comes to light? So, as scurrilous as it seems and as personal as their attacks often are, maybe the Daily Mail is on the right in all of this and instead of backing off they should be encouraged to keep on digging. It’s entirely likely, in a reversal of the generally accepted saying, that it’s not what we know, but what we don’t know that really hurts us.

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