Watching David Cameron's press conference today, in which he squirmed like a stuck pig over the Rupert Murdoch and Andy Coulson scandal, I tried to suppress a feeling of schadenfreude. One day, when I have the stomach for it, I will write about my own experiences of the tabloid press and the Press Complaints Commission, the latter being so accurately described by Ed Miliband yesterday as "a toothless poodle". Andy Hayman, the police officer in charge of the first investigation in to the News of the World phone hacking is another subject that arouses strong emotions. Towards the end of my career I spent fifteen months as a communications officer working with a police force previously headed by Hayman, and I look forward with much interest to the forthcoming enquiry into that first botched investigation.
Many times, in fact some would say too many times, this blog has dwelt on the insidious power of the media. But this week's scandal is not just about a newspaper. It is about the way that the medium has taken control of the message, whether it be in the press, television, new media or content owners. The virus has spread far and wide and we must now seize this opportunity to start eradicating it. Not just from the press, but from every corner of civilised life that it has penetrated.
* Soundtrack is Birds, a contemporary take on traditional Persian music by a trio led by composer and setar player Hossein Alizadeh. At £3.45 for 50 minutes of sublime music the MP3 download is irresistible. This extract from Alizadeh's setting of the poetry of Majzoob Tabrizi (who was Rumi's teacher) is so relevant:
Scrub all hatred from your breast, wash it clean seven timesBirds was bought from a market stall in Ceret, France! Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk Also on Facebook and Twitter.
Only then can you drink cup upon cup of love's wine