These is a lack of subtlety evident in the use of “public inquiries” to whitewash governmental wrongdoing. The appointment of Sir Peter Gibson, the former Commissioner for the Intelligence Services, to head the judge-led inquiry into UK complicity in torture was a brazen act of corruption. Sir Peter has a choice; either he exonerates ministers and the security services, or he finds himself guilty of corruption or gross incompetence. He has already, in his capacity as Commissioner, certified as correct the conduct of the intelligence services in the period he is now “investigating.” If he had any honour or genuine intentions, he would have turned the inquiry appointment down. There is no conclusion possible but that Gibson accepted the appointment with neither honour nor good intentions.
It is equally astonishing that Judge Leverson accepted the leadership of the inquiry into News International when he had at least twice been a guest in Elisabeth Murdoch’s home. I simply cannot understand why in these circumstances he does not feel he must refuse the appointment. The concept of honour appears to have disappeared entirely from public life.
This was very predictable. Thirteen days ago I blogged “Murdoch’s main priority on this visit will doubtless be to work with Cameron to get the right safe judge appointed”. Power people like the Murdochs do not entertain people merely because they like them; everyone around that dinner table is there because they hold power or influence. If you wonder why precisely the Murdochs were cultivating judges, of course you now have the answer. Ordinary people have to wake up to just how real is the shroud of corruption cast over British society.