Tuesday, 24 August 2010

A scandal in need of a story

Two offer their different perspectives on where the Northern Ireland Water story is at and where it could go - Mick Fealty and David GordonAs the story has developed the Belfast Telegraph, which (I think) exclusively revealed the procurement issues, took something of a sceptical stance while the rest of the media pack has bigged up what happened after.  While Slugger O'Toole has been pushing that there was much more to the story and nudged the MSM to look again.

One fo the few advantages of being part of the political class is you get to know more of the possible ins and outs beyond what is in the public domain (often for very good legal reasons).  The behind the scenes tussle has largely been the conspiracy theory versus the cock-up theory.  To be fair to the conspiracy theorists what has been entering the public arena has done more to bolster their case than those who tried to play it down but no silver bullet yet.  However, when you put all that is floating about together it looks a like a cock-up that was used for conspiratorial ends.

Beyond the moves and dodges going on what about the average member of the public?  The scandal has a problem. To date it is a series of FoI's, emails, letters, leaks and a large cast of characters, Chris Donnelly picked this up in his thread name.  There is not presently a narrative or story to it all linking the chain of events together without it the story will not have the impact on public opinion that some would wish it to have.  Granted some may be playing it safe until they get more evidence but without it the important question of why remains unanswered.

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