Four breakdowns in the last three days all point to the same central flaw which is now endemic in British society. Public order policing is out of control and clearly would have remained so for many years had not the undercover police spy Mark Kennedy gone native. Phone hacking of public figures we also now see has been clearly out of control at the News of the World and its existence was covered up again and again by Murdoch’s News International, apparently also with the connivance of the police. Blair at his second appearance before Chilcot puts on full display his Manichaean view of the world as a struggle between good (the West) and evil (militant Islam), and his determination to let neither the views of his Attorney General his Cabinet, Parliament, or public opinion get in the way of implementing his own views and his total adherence to Bush. And Lansley’s NHS ‘reforms’, unmentioned either in the Tory manifesto or in the coalition agreement, boun ced even his immediate colleagues. These all have one fatal link.
They all reflect the more or less complete breakdown of accountability in today’s Britain. Who authorised the use of undercover police operatives to spy on environmental activists – hardly a threat to the security of the State – let alone sleep with them to glean intelligence? Who authorised the widespread phone hacking at News of the World – was it Coulson, and if so, with Murdoch’s approval? What is to stop a ‘Napoleonic’ Prime Minister from consciously blocking every avenue of dissent and turning a democratic role into an autocracy? And how is a rogue Minister to be brought under control when No.10 lacks either the interest or inclination to oversee his activities?