ED MILIBAND'S constant dogging of the PM's judgement to hire ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson as a spin chief in No 10 when he became PM backfired today as MPs were summoned back for a one day extravaganza to discuss "hackgate."
Miliband's backfired plan came as MPs were recalled by the PM on their first day of the Summer recess to debate the whole scandal.
Hackgate as it has been called, has wiped off the map, for now, "normal" political issues with MPs, as they gloat at attempting to tell the media what to do and how to run their ship. Even the struggling state of the EURO currency, and the fact that the British economy still potentially faces stormy waters are not enough to make MPs salivate over having their pound of flesh with media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and how to shift the balance of power back to them.
But also, if you are Captain of the Labour ship, then it must feel like you are on a jolly cruise, and making hay while the Sun shines. There's always a calm, before the storm?
Before the PM made a statement to the Commons, a straw poll by Sky News had more than 50% 9f the public polled believing that the demoralised PM had been damaged by "hackgate". And yet, after his statement, and the fact that he was quizzed for more than 2 1/2 hours by MPs, a poll revealed that he had reversed that, and more than 50% who voted believed he had not been damaged by the hackgate scandal - despite his "error of judgement" to employ Coulson.
In the statement, the PM attempted to get on the front foot by announcing who would be on the panel of the judge led inquiry, which will be ajudicated by top Judge Lord Justice Leveson.
The panel includes, Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty, an established Human Rights campaigner, two prestige journalists, including ex-C4 News political editor Eleanor Goodman, and a local Cop from the south-west region, all with expertise in their field and will bring a wealth of expertise to examine the complicated and tangled relationships between the demoralised press, police, and sanctimonious MPs.
David Cameron was constantly dogged by Labour MPs on his decision to employ Coulson, and, despite explaining his position, (which he has done two weeks on the trot), they were still intent on trying to get the PM to make a "full apology" to parliament - (and, if not better, destroy the coalition in the process - no chance of that though, as at the moment, this coalition must feel like it can survive anything.)
The PM told MPs that he was very sorry, but re-iterated his point he had made in Prime minsters questions last week that if he had been lied to by Coulson, then Coulson will face the full force of the law, and would have already purjured himself in any future criminal investigation.
The PM told MPs: "I have an old fashioned view, and that is a person is innocent until proven guilty."
He went on to try and explain that he had detached himself from the BSkyB deal that the Murdochs were hoping to take 100% of the business. The deal fell through as the Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt was forced by Labour and critics to refer the bid to the Competition Commission, which won't report back for months.Cameron told the Commons that he had detached himself from the BSky B deal.
Labour's leader, Ed Miliband, who has tried to re-invent himself as the fresh-faced "it wasn't me guvnor" opposition leader tried to distance himself from being called the "son of Brown," attempted to wield a sharp dagger into the PM today, but today he could have missed his big chance to cause friction among the coalition over Coulson.The Lib Dems were relatively passive, but it's in their interests to keep the coalition in tact.
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg sat in the Commons with a wry smile, knowing that, while the two parties were warring over who had schmoozed Murdoch more over the last 20 years, also in which Cameron had made a jibe that the party opposite that, "I have never held a slumber party, and never seen ex-News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks in her pyjamas," this would be great ammunition for him, or whoever replaces him, for the next election. To be fair, David Cameron acted with humility, and did say that the Deputy PM did warn him about Coulson, but he took responsibility for hiring the most talked about ex-hack in politics. Who will remember the name Coulson in 20 years time? He was the man that......
It's convenient that the Labour Party are making a huge play of "hackgate." It's the one issue that they can wield power, embarrass David Cameron, and pretend they have no responsibility for. Unlike the economy, they would be struggling to find anything to jaw about.
For the Labour Party on "hackgate," it is indeed, "war war, and jaw jaw."
Where was Gordon today? With his grandstanding of last week, and his so called passion on the issue which he claimed, why all of a sudden does he sulk back into a corner?
"GOTCHA," Balls and co.