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The Coulson story won’t be buried – but will it matter?

21 January 2011

1:36 PM

21 January 2011

1:36 PM

There’s not much chance that the Andy Coulson story will be buried in tomorrow’s
newspapers. Blair’s appearance at the Chilcot Inquiry will scatter a handful of earth across it, as will AJ’s travails. But it’s not as though people outside the Westminster bubble will fail to
notice all this. Watching the 24 hour news channels now, it’s all Coulson, Coulson, Coulson.

In which case, this is bound to inflict some damage on the government in the short term. The public is not inclined towards liking, or trusting, spin doctors. And Andy Coulson leaving Downing
Street through a fug of phone-hacking allegations will not do anything to change that. Questions will be asked about David Cameron’s judgement in appointing Coulson in the first place.

What will matter more to No,10, though, is how this plays out in the longer term – and that depends largely on what happens next. Cameron is saying now that Coulson did an "excellent,
excellent job". But if his departing aide is tied more closely to malpractice at the News of the World, then that testimony will appear more questionable. If not, then today’s events may soon
drift from public memory.


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