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Thursday, January 29, 2004
The Hutton Defence

Clearly the Hutton Report didn't kill two birds with one stone, as the right must have dreamed, or even kill one of them, wounding as it has been to the BBC. What is has produced instead on left-wing blogs is a wonderful new way to respond to charges of wrong-doing: the Hutton Defence. When caught red-handed and by a senior judge, who has elucidated your mistakes over hundreds of pages, you freely admit to it. Clever, eh? Then those whose political assumptions are virtually part of your charter can all explain just how wonderful this proves you are. "Who else would freely admit to something like this, not even a year after the event, without a scrap of evidence to prove your guilt besides a comprehensive report by a man like Lord Hutton? Can you imagine News International doing that? I can't." And of course, such newspapers not having committed such offences, there is no way of disproving such claims about their reactions if they had.

Best of all, it seems to work retrospectively, too.

'What a bastard that Jimmy Carter was! Can you imagine him resigning like that if he'd been up to his neck in a Watergate scandal? Hah! Say what you like about Richard Nixon, but he never sank that low.'

'Martin Bell? The high and mighty white-suited little git! Neil Hamilton showed his true qualities after cash for questions, resigning from the government and all. What did Bell ever do?'


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