Richard Ingrams: Resigning can be the prelude to glittering success

Notebook

Share
Related Topics

David Cameron has suffered a telling blow with the loss of his much cherished press adviser.

But in a world where nothing succeeds like failure, Andy Coulson has no reason to fear for his future. He should take heart from the example of his labour predecessor Alastair Campbell, who ended up resigning but who is now riding high, publishing books and even appearing regularly on the BBC, an institution which during his career at Downing Street he did more to damage than anyone else in our time.

Or let Coulson reflect on the career of his fellow former tabloid editor Piers Morgan, also forced to resign, in his case after publishing fake photographs of British army atrocities in the Daily Mirror. Morgan, just like Coulson, had seen two of his reporters put on trial and one of them sent to prison, not for phone hacking but for profiting from the buying and selling of shares which they themselves were tipping in the Mirror's City pages. And, like Coulson, Morgan insisted that he hadn't known what was going on even though he had bought the shares himself. And in any case, he insisted, the authorities had cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Today Piers Morgan is also riding high, publishing books and diaries (just like Campbell) and appearing on TV on both sides of the Atlantic to the acclaim of all the critics. Coulson maybe downhearted right now but all the signs suggest that he could have a shining future ahead of him.

Be prepared for the cyber war

While generals and politicians argue about the future role of our armed services, a few clever men have been quietly suggesting that the wars of the future will not be fought on the battleground but in cyberspace.

Not too much attention is currently given to these prophets of doom. But when one also reads that whole areas of our life, like the supply of energy, are nowadays entirely controlled by computers, it isn't hard, even for those of us ignorant of the science involved, to see how vulnerable we are to hostile interference.

Not much attention, either, has been given to the news that the cyber war has in fact already started. It has been reported, if not officially confirmed for obvious reasons, that American and Israeli scientists working side by side have managed to introduce a computer worm known as Stuxnet into the computers being used to create Iran's nuclear enrichment facility, thus causing it to malfunction. If the Iranians can produce a nuclear bomb, as is claimed, they can presumably knock out a few computers without too much difficulty. And the UK, which has very publicly allied itself with America, and also with Israel, could well become a prime target. And it won't wash to complain about the war, seeing that it was our side that started it in the first place.

Still refuse to believe all the hype

I have made it a rule in life to assume that when everyone is agreed that such and such a play, a film or a book is an undoubted masterpiece, it won't be any good and should therefore be ignored.

I have seldom come across such general unanimity as there is at present about the film The King's Speech. Not only have all my friends and colleagues already been to see it, they all of them have nothing but praise for the story, the stars and especially the Bafta nominee Mr Colin Firth.

How is it that a film about the late and distinctly uncharismatic King George VI, and his struggle to overcome his stammer, can be of any special significance compared with all the other stories you could make a film about? Is there perhaps an element of snobbery that explains the appeal of this film? Such considerations are irrelevant considering that my main objection to the film is just that everyone thinks it is brilliant.

And you haven't even seen it, my critics will say. I have to agree but I will only remind them how right I was last year about Toy Story 3. Because here again was a film about which everybody, the critics especially, raved. But because I had so enjoyed Toy Story 1 and 2 I broke my rule and saw it. And it was all a terrible disappointment. I should have known better.



React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Operations Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am currently recruiting for an Operati...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, Security Cleared

£100 - £110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Ham...

Senior Digital Marketing Executive

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Junior Developer- CSS, HMTL, Bootstrap

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading company within the healthcare ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Prime Minister David Cameron walks on stage to speak at The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference on November 4, 2013  

Does Cameron really believe in 'British Values'?

Temi Ogunye
The Lada became a symbol of Russia’s failure to keep up with Western economies  

Our sanctions will not cripple Russia. It is doing a lot of the dirty work itself

Hamish McRae
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz