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

Recruitment Genius: Tax Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Progressive practice, punching ...

Recruitment Genius: Ruby On Rails Developer

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Web Developer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This an exciting opportunity to...

Recruitment Genius: Lift Engineer

£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Lift Engineer is required to jo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: Old London Bridge; how to fight UKIP; and wolves

John Rentoul
Muslim men pray at the East London Mosque  

Sadly, it needs to be said again: being a Muslim is not a crime

Yasmin Alibhai Brown
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible