In Touch Of Evil, one of the last great examples of film noir, crooked Police Captain Hank Quinlan finally gets caught planting evidence and framing suspects, although it turns out that the suspect arrested for the car-bombing, seen at the end of the long tracking shot at the film’s opening, actually did the deed. The ends may have appeared to justify the means. But they did not.
Fart in lift inquiry covers over the cracks
A similar line is now being taken by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his newly anointed teaboy Alex Wickham following the Sun’s revelation that Tory MP Brooks Newmark, formerly the subject of a Sunday Mirror splash on his sending an explicit photo to someone he thought was a young woman, had sent another explicit photo to another young woman (this time a real one).
But, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, there was only one thing wrong with this: it was bollocks. For starters, it does not explain why Wickham’s fictional creation “Sophie Wittams” went after at least six other (then) Tory MPs. Mark Pritchard, Nick de Bois, Charles Elphicke, Mark Reckless, Robert Jenrick and Jesse Norman may still be looking for an explanation for that.
And unless Wickham had anything to do with the Sun’s story today, there is little point in him citing it in his defence – although he appears to do just that. This time, the woman concerned was a genuine presence, and so “consent” can be assumed to have been given by Newmark: no claim of entrapment would be entertained. The means behind two stories appear to be totally different.
This has not occurred to Staines, who declared “Stick that up your complaints line [IPSO]. Told you he was a wrong ‘un”. The Great Guido still doesn’t get it: it is not Newmark who IPSO wish to investigate. It is the manner of the sting on him.
Wickham is also away with the fairies on this most basic of principles: “Hopefully now people will start to realise the reasons behind the original investigation. Narrow legitimate target, clear public interest”. And to that I call bullshit. The end still does not justify means which may have breached the IPSO code – and the law.
Staines seems to believe that what his teaboy did was right: “We knew and I believe the whips knew what a creep with women Newmark was – he is getting psychiatric help now FFS, we did a public service”. And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, nobody is defending Newmark’s conduct. That is not what is in doubt. It is about how the Fawkes blog achieved its ends.
And two, it’s dispiriting to see that Staines and his rabble take the same cavalier attitude to mental health issues as they did with David Ruffley. Newmark has signed himself into psychiatric care for several weeks. That is not something to treat lightly. The Great Guido is bang out of order. Another fine mess, once again.