I am not minded to spare too much sympathy for the out-going BBC Director General George Entwistle. A pay-out of a full year's salary of £450,000 for a job that he has held for a couple of months sticks in the throats of the thousands of us who have faced genuine redundancy in the past few years. But I also can't help having a couple of pauses for thought:
Firstly - If it had been an ordinary person rather than a Tory grandee who had been falsely accused of paedophilia - would justice have been quite so summary ? I am thinking of the twenty years that it took 96 ordinary football fans to clear their names after having been slandered. And a slander not arising from a bungling incompetence but from a malicious conspiracy between police and press - for which there are still quite a few heads waiting to roll. I guess scouse football fans just don't have quite the same leverage as Lord McAlpine.
Secondly - Entwistle went, quite correctly, because he was the boss of an editor who fucked up having sub-contracted an investigation to an outside firm. Sloppy journalism and sloppy management. But then that's what happens when the media rushes to placate pitch fork-wielding vigilantes demanding that 'something must be done' in response to the Jimmy Saville affair. Exactly the same mob who are now baying for the blood of Entwistle.
Most importantly none of this does anything for getting justice for the victims of what is undoubtedly a far-reaching paedophilia conspiracy .