i Editor's Letter: Exciting times


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The Independent Online


"When posh boys are in trouble, they sack the servants." It's not often that one turns to the reliably unreconstructed left-winger Dennis Skinner. But, the Labour MP's pithy summary of Jeremy Hunt's special adviser Adam Smith's decision to take the fall for his boss can't be beaten.

What does Smith feel about it? See page 5's photograph for the abject misery of the fall guy. Why has the PM been so supportive of the Culture Secretary, despite the damning email evidence, James Murdoch's testimony and Hunt's abysmal performance in the HoC? Could it be that Hunt himself may be being lined up as a fall guy in the none too distant future?

Exciting times – despite a little anticlimax about Murdoch Snr's trawl through ancient history at the Inquiry yesterday. If the day before was of thrilling national import, yesterday was for political wonks and media aficionados. Does Robert Jay have something more interesting up his sleeve than the minutiae of meetings in the 1980s? To be fair, I have some trouble recalling what happened in meetings last week.

But, we must not let Leveson overshadow the "double-dip" we were assured time and time again would not happen. If not for the Inquiry, the return to recession would be receiving wall-to-wall coverage. For the PM, what is the lesser of two evils: coverage of his alleged cronyism and worse, or coverage of a double-dip that is much more difficult to blame on Labour than the first dip? He must be so relieved Ed Miliband cannot land a killer blow. Nevertheless, strain is tangible – as evidenced by his Trump-like hair-do at PMQs. Hmm, that's for another column.