Sunday, 23 January 2011

In the end Coulson had to go

It was inevitable really that Andy Coulson would resign from his post as communications chief to David Cameron and the Tory Party.

This phone hacking story simply wouldn't go away. Everytime it kept coming back, it made it more difficult for Coulson to stay in his job - this is why he had to go.

I've heard a few comments saying this story doesn't really matter. Nobody outside of the Westminster Village even knows who Andy Coulson is.

It's a fair point - for a lot of ordinary voters, Coulson's resignation doesn't mean much. I on the other hand have been following this story for sometime, it's the media geek in me!

You can read my previous thoughts on this story by clicking on the links below. My opinions haven't changed much.

What's interested me are the reports on Coulson's influence within the Tory Party

Here's someone from a working class background, who grew up on a council estate in Essex, and was a former editor of the News of the World. He kept David Cameron and the Tory leadership in touch with the lives of ordinary people.

Related blog posts

Tabloid phone hacking

Journalism back in the gutter!

On Friday, the BBC's Nick Robinson mentioned this, and so did Channel 4 News in their report of Coulson's resignation.

This evening, I've just been listening to Pienaar's Politics on BBC Radio 5. They had an interview with the Conservative back bench MP David Davis who raised the same point, and argued how Coulsen's resignation was a blow to the image of the Tory Party under Cameron.

It's common knowledge that David Cameron, George Osborne and other senior figures within the Tory high command come from privileged, elitist backgrounds.

It shouldn't really matter what peoples backgrounds are, as long as they can do the job, but in reality it doesn't look good for the Conservatives when the majority of its senior leaders all come from Eton or Oxbridge backgrounds.

The impression that emerges about Andy Coulson was not only was he very good at his job, but he also brought a grittier, tougher mindset to the Tory leadership. He was someone who was there to remind Cameron and his inner circle about the real concerns and thoughts of ordinary people.

The criticisms levelled at Tories could easily be made against all politicians both in the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats. Many of our MPs seem to come from the same narrow educational and social background.

What's going to be interesting to see is firstly how the Tories communication strategy evolves without Coulson in charge, and secondly where will this phone hacking story go from here. I just know we haven't heard the last of it.

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