Letter from the editor: The story that keeps giving


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The Independent Online

The mounting pressure on the Met’s Sir Paul Stephenson after revelations of his Champneys stay and his various links with Neil Wallis was set to lead this morning’s news agenda. Until...

Rebekah Brooks’ surprise arrest was an odd twist in this bewildering story. Its timing — just two days ahead of the select committee hearing where she is due to appear alongside Rupert and James Murdoch — appeared suspicious, and not only because it came two days after her belated resignation from the company she loves. Just what was the Met’s motivation in the timing of this unusual Sunday arrest — which surely jeopardises any such appearance? To keep Sir Paul off a few front pages, said the cynics.

In this murky saga, questioners emerge with as little credit as the questioned. Major players retain a staggering propensity to hubris. It should be painfully clear to all principals and their advisers that now is that rarest of times when an outraged public is genuinely engaged in wanting to establish the truth. Or burn witches.

U-turns persist at a headless chicken’s pace — be they from Wapping, the police or the PM. Are Britain’s most powerful political leaders, media bosses and police officers ignoring their vaunted public relations and legal advisers, or are they just getting terribly bad advice?

What has tangibly changed is that all parties have now switched to full crisis management mode, moving from reactive to a more proactive footing. This means it is inevitable that yet more dramatic developments will ensue daily.

As I write, i Towers is agog at Stephenson’s resignation. He will be on the front pages after all. It is the story that just keeps on giving. What on earth will happen today?