Richard Ingrams: Resigning can be the prelude to glittering success


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

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Senior Change Engineer (Network, Cisco, Juniper) £30k

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...

Day In a Page

Read Next

i Editor's Letter: A huge step forward in medical science, but we're not all the way there yet

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
David Cameron has painted a scary picture of what life would be like under a Labour government  

You want constitutional change? Fixed-term parliaments have already done the job

Steve Richards
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album