David Cameron's grovelling makes for a sorry sight
David Cameron was profoundly sorry. He was also extremely sorry. His apology was unreserved. It was also full and frank. At least, that's what he said it was; more than once, in fact. Yet his face, throughout this extreme, profound and unreserved apologising, was oddly stern.
If your TV had been on mute, you might have assumed that he was demanding an apology, rather than offering one.
Yesterday, after Andy Coulson was found guilty of conspiring to hack phones while editor at 'News of the World', Mr Cameron apologised for hiring him as his spin doctor.
The most interesting thing about Mr Cameron's apology was the reason he gave for hiring Coulson. Why had he done it? "I gave someone a second chance, and it turned out to be a bad decision." Did the appointment reflect badly on him? "Well, I gave someone a second chance, and it turned out to be a bad decision."
It was a bit like a job interview where the interviewee is asked what his or her greatest weakness is, and he or she replies with a subtle boast – "I'm a perfectionist", for example. In this case, Mr Cameron's failing, in his view, was that he was just too kind for his own good. He just wanted to give one last shot to some poor guy down on his luck. And look how that guy had repaid him! This wretch had taken advantage of Mr Cameron's excessively good nature! Well, lesson learned, and no mistake.
Hoping to capitalise, Ed Miliband recorded a statement of his own. "David Cameron brought a criminal into the heart of Downing Street," said the Labour leader, trying not to sound pleased about it, and failing. Such is the nature of life in Opposition: economic growth is a source of gloom, the conviction of a prime ministerial ally a source of joy. (© Daily Telegraph, London)