Accountability and Being Thrown Under the Bus

It's fascinating.  Depressing, but fascinating.

As I sit and watch the UK Parliamentary hearings of the Home Affairs Committee, it's amazing to watch the genteel way that those who know how to play the game so willingly throw their colleagues - and others - under the bus.

The former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police (aka Scotland Yard), Sir Paul Stephenson, did so by implicating - but never directly, of course - two of his former subordinates and, oh, possibly, the Prime Minister's senior staff.  Which, of course, keeps that key question alive of what the Prime Minister knew - and when - about those whom he chose to surround himself.

Next came Dick Fedorcio, the Director of Public Affairs and Internal Communications for the Met.  He's not famous or powerful so the Committee members felt free to make sure he stayed under the bus under which he had already been thrown.

Now, we have the previously highly regarded John Yates (aka, in his heyday, Yates of the Yard!) saying that he was no more than a "post box" in order to take himself out of the firing line from the previous two witnesses.

So much for having been seen as a hero.

In Britain, their use of the language is an art form.  Argumentation and debate, in particular.

But it doesn't matter.  Because throwing under the bus is throwing under the bus - and that's what everyone is doing to everyone else right now.  Which doesn't serve justice at all.

The phone hacking allegations against Rupert Murdoch and his News International organization are bad enough.  They caused this hearing to be necessary.  As a result of their reported too close relationship with the police, everyone is implicated.

Granted, a lot of people who should have known better made bad decisions - both public and private sector players.  But the decisions were made - and they're the ones who made them.

It's a sad fact that in the guise of "remorse," "hindsight," and "lack of knowledge" what we're really seeing is a lack of accountability by everyone involved.

And that makes trust harder to establish and maintain than ever.