Friday, January 21, 2011

Andy Coulson was Cameron’s conscience

Like Lear’s Fool, Andy Coulson was at David Cameron’s side constantly; whispering wisdom, imparting insight, with pointed quips and intelligent utterances which all kings need to hear if they are to rule effectively.

He was not Cameron’s conscience in terms of personal morality: the Prime Minister has made it clear that he adheres to a ‘fairly classic Church of England faith, a faith that grows hotter and colder by moments’. So his conscience is well and truly seared by Anglican conviction.

But Mr Coulson possessed all the antennae of a modern political strategist of calibre, who was unafraid to tell his master exactly what he thought, in ways that Cabinet ministers may not or dare not.

This was the traditional role of the Court jester or fool.

Who was usually not, by any means, an idiot. He was frequently the personification of political truth and strategic reason. He served to show his master or mistress not only those who bring treachery and deceit, but also those who prefer loyalty and love. He was there to guide and advise, nudge and empathise.

One might have hoped that Mr Coulson would be at his master’s side for many years to come, if only to tell him that he is showing signs of insanity, of madness, of poor judgment and arrogant megalomania.

Margaret Thatcher did not suffer fools.

Even when they attempted to shield her from the inevitable.

And she paid the price.

But Mr Cameron has no intention of prematurely dividing in three his kingdom.

He does, however, display an alarming lack of sensitivity, decency and common humanity in dealing with Cordelia.

The Prime Minister does not need a mere journalist-savvy employee: he needs someone who will say to his face: "Then I prithee be merry. Thy will shalt not go slipshod.” Someone who will not only commentate, but intervene.

With precisely the same bluntness and familiarity which Mr Coulson doubtless exercised in his conversations with his master.

And be kicked like a dog, humiliated and treated with utter contempt, even by the one to whom all allegiance is due. It is the task of the Fool to ‘labour to outjest (the king's) heartstruck injuries’.

The role demands the combined skills of the strategist, journalist, psychologist, therapist, counsellor, playwright, actor and priest.

We in the audience or congregation underestimate the impossibility of the task and rarity of the character.

Lear’s Fool mysteriously vanishes from the stage after the storm scene.

The concern for Mr Cameron is that his fool has bowed out before the thunder and lightning of the imminent hurricane.

O nuncle, court holy-water in a dry
house is better than this rain-water out o' door.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Voyager said...

A court case against NoW journalists returns to haunt Coulson just as Vince Cable reveals his bias against Murdoch.

News International wants to acquire SkyTV but Cable exposes his bias and Jeremy Hunt gets the job. Concentration of News output is the concern with News International owning News of World, Times, Sun and Sky News....so NI offers to sell Sky News.

Cameron spends Christmas with News International.........

Coulson is a major problem

21 January 2011 at 16:25  
Anonymous Confucius said...

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.

21 January 2011 at 16:53  
Anonymous Oswin said...

It takes a real man to listen to a wise, and brave 'fool' ... or similarly, a Devil's Advocate.

Perhaps the surfeit of fools within Parliament preclude a fool on the hill?

An interesting perception, Your Grace.

21 January 2011 at 17:19  
Blogger Autonomous Mind said...

'Andy Coulson was at David Cameron’s side constantly; whispering wisdom, imparting insight, with pointed quips and intelligent utterances which all kings need to hear if they are to rule effectively.'

Your Grace, I must humbly disagree with you. The individual at Cameron's side doing the whispering is Steve Hilton. And much of it lacks intelligence.

Coulson merely attempted to prevent Cameron being dragged off too far into Hilton's fantasy world.

There will be celebration in the Hilton household this night. The voice of reason who was broadly in touch with reality has been supplanted. Cameron's drift leftwards will now gain momentum as we can be sure a 'wet' will be appointed whose counsel will not stray far from endorsing every moronic idea Hilton comes up with.

Coulson was the conservative. That is why so much effort was put into nailing him by the Guardian, the BBC and the Labour machine. Time will bear this out.

Your servant as always.

21 January 2011 at 22:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Andy Coulson was at David Cameron’s side constantly; whispering wisdom"

When it comes to offering wisdom to Cameron - who is on track to be the worst Tory PM of all time - I suggest increasing the decibels.

Marcus Foxall

21 January 2011 at 22:55  
Blogger Gnostic said...

They say you should judge a man upon the calibre of the people by which he surrounds himself.

When it comes to Cameron, oh dear...

22 January 2011 at 10:42  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

The role demands the combined skills of the strategist, journalist, psychologist, therapist, counsellor, playwright, actor and priest.

Sounds like your CV Cranmer, have you applied?

22 January 2011 at 11:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real acid test of how in touch Cameron is in his first 8 months, was the fact he believed wasting 2 days and huge political capital in the full view of international media in Zurich, could lead to getting The Soccer World Cup. Every informed person knew it was hopeless. Getting only 1 real vote was a staggering humiliation and it has set the tone that he is a loser....unless a miracle happens such as him getting and heeding an advisor such as Cranmer.
Cameron might make an adequate PR man to a Prime Minister but so far lacks the moral gravitas that this role demands in the age we are going through.

22 January 2011 at 13:43  

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