Bernard Ingham believed that the world would be a better place without spin doctors and I guess he would know. Despite his blunt, plain-speaking Yorkshire persona, he was one of the great exponents of this political black art.
He has a point though and certain politicians, public servants and media magnates might well agree with him this morning. But just how good has the spin been over the phone hacking scandal?
We have a Prime Minister who is a former PR professional and who employed Andy Coulson as a highly paid adviser because of the latter’s supposed communications skills.
Sir Paul Stephenson quits as Metropolitan Police Commissioner because he also employed a former News of the World editor as his personal PR guru, while James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks have the supposed communication skills of the global News Corp behind them.
So why did they make such a bloody pig’s ear of the public relations on this issue? That is a major question mark against the competence of all those involved up to, and including, David Cameron.