Who runs Britain? Not the people or their politicians

Prime minister David Cameron
Prime minister David Cameron
Mo Farrah after missing out on a gold medal
				 Picture: Adam Davy

VERITY LUSH: Leave me to browse the make-up counter in peace

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Lies, spies and sleaze. Never before have we been lied to and spied on so blatantly.

This is largely because we are living through the digital age of exposure where the hacking into phones and use of eavesdropping techniques are rife.

But this isn’t the only reason. Somehow we’ve been weaned off the human milk of honesty to suck the teat of toxic bile.

Politicians have always lied. Yes, there’s the smug Blair and his 45-minute frightener and dodgy dossier taking us to war in Iraq.

But the Pandora’s Box of pestilence is now in the hands of moguls who stand higher than MPs and make the notion of democracy a sick joke.

No doubt David Cameron was hoping that the resignation of his director of communications Andy Coulson would distance himself from the scandal of alleged illegal snooping into the private lives of public figures – from Princes Harry and William to Gordon Brown, from celebrities such as Sienna Miller and Steve Coogan to John Prescott.

But what has happened is that it has opened up the sewers, rather as the fall of communism in East Germany exposed the dark secrets of the Stasi.

This isn’t just about Coulson or the News of the World. I’m quite sure that other national papers have been doing the same thing, from hacking phones to accessing bank accounts.

The silence of the party leaderships, the police and much of the media is deafening.

The reason is clear. Few have clean hands. What about some police officers allegedly divulging privileged information to tabloid newspapers in exchange for cash?

As for political parties, their leaders calculate that the backing of Rupert Murdoch’s empire holds the key to winning and retaining power.

Murdoch menaces any government that stands in the way of his commercial ambitions or offends his neo-conservative agenda. The odd campaigning MP knows that he or she faces the threat of being dragged through the mire.

The question we should ask is: ‘Who runs Britain?’ It certainly doesn’t appear to be the British people or its elected politicians.