A quick look at the Guardian

Blair and Coulson, stung by a wasp or a bee?

Policy wonk being hacked? Policy wonk being hacked?
As a child I was told that a wasp can sting as much as it likes whereas a bee can sting only once, then it dies. Is this true? No matter; it could be the situation the Guardian is in. Apart from the BBC no section of the MSM has worked harder on the Andy Coulson case. So his departure from the Cameron inner circle at No 10 must have brought the Guardian joy, given them a buzz if you like, so what happens now? Following the successful sting, the very health of the Guardian comes into focus as well as the life of the political spinner. It's said that the sales figures of the Guardian are going down at an alarming rate; how long can this go on? It's wise to remind ourselves that Coulson denies any wrongdoing and would appear to be innocent until proven guilty. You may regard this as either a tiresome tradition that means nothing or a corner-stone of good legal practice, feel free to choose.

Also feel free to wonder at the lives of the assorted celebs and smart people who are not smart enough to live without a mobile phone. The Coulson case goes back years and is not the first case of this sort. It would seem smart people have yet to learn that mobile phones are not totally secure and have been leaking data for years. We also have to wonder why Cameron wanted to employ a house trained version of Alistair Campbell. It was, so we thought, going to be so different when Cameron came to power. Perhaps we were taken in by the spin, started well before the General Election? Ah well, that 'heir to Blair' thing again!

There's no point in getting into a BBC/Guardian analysis following Peter Sissons comments about the impartiality, or not, of these two news outlets. Both Autonomus Mind and EUReferendum have done that for us. There is no need to look at the role of the media who talked up Coulson, that is done by Critical Reaction; HERE and HERE .Incidentally it looks like the same people are leading the talk about his replacement too. However, the points made by Critical Reaction are very good and worth reading, not hostile for the sake of it but their question -

Other than not winning the election, what has Andy Coulson ever done for us?

Gung-ho warriorGung-ho warrior
- does warrant an answer. Naturally the left-wing press want this story to run for its own sake, but Tory voters really do deserve answers about the Cameron top team.

The point of this post is to wonder who will take the place of the Guardian if it dies. There is a shortage of good campaigning media in the UK. The ID card and associated databases so beloved of the last government were skewered by a combination of forces but in the crucial early days it was the Guardian that led the way. What was interesting was how the efforts of David Davis MP on this were either ignored or misreported by the right-wing press. We have posted on this before, the excellent Big Brother Watch was given very little help. The point thus coming across to the floating voter prior to the general election was that on civil liberties the Tory party were against ID cards because Labour were in favour, that's all. The commitment looked fragile, it seemed as if they were being pushed and were not leading.

So if the Guardian goes who will replace it? The Daily Mail is an equally good campaigning newspaper and, as it also provides silliness and celebrity gossip, has a better record on sales. There's no reason why it should not try to exploit the vacant territory. The Guardian, will it be missed? Oh yes! The Guardian readership loathe the Daily Mail but as so few of them are buying the paper, with a bit of fancy sales talk this might not matter as much as it seems. On a wider front, no it won't be missed at all. In fact it could be reincarnated in a web plus magazine format. The Guardian has made many mistakes of late, in a way the Coulson case was one of them. Having invested so much time in Coulson when the Chilcot Inquiry had Tony Blair in for the second time they had to make a choice. So they went for Coulson. How funny, Coulson, a man they have only ever sought to knock down beats Blair, a man they now knock down but only after years of propping him up. It makes them look foolish.