Who can you believe in 2?

In today's UK news there are two linked themes. The first concerns our old pals at the top apparently getting away with it yet again and the second, the fact that this was seen by me on the BBC - the source of my last piece of target practice. In the alleged "cash for honours" scandal, which has aimlessly rattled around now for 16 months, the BBC reported tonight on Newsnight that no-one was going to be charged because there was not enough evidence. I await tomorrow's papers with interest in order to see the precise wording from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and to see whether the BBC has shot itself in the foot again.

In my experience, which has some judicial foundation, cases are thrown out before hitting court because there is either simply no case to offer - polite legal speak for a load of bollocks - or because there is insufficient evidence to proceed. The wording of this last one is important - it means that there is evidence. A case may get dropped for any number of technicalities but the nub here is..........there is evidence. The CPS conduct two key tests with any case presented to them, provided they have sufficient resources to do so of course, but that's another story. They are the evidential test, which looks at the quality and quantity of the evidence, and secondly they look at whether it's in the public interest to proceed.

Bearing in mind that the actual scandal here is mostly related to the very serious offence of perverting the course of justice, I feel very sorry for the hapless senior police officers charged with investigating it. In very serious cases, officers will get a visit from the gods and be told "We badly need a result 'ere son - don't let me down me ole china". There follows several sleepless nights while you ponder on how best, legally, to nail the swine. However, imagine you were the one who has, with those words ringing in your ears, to interview quite a few people in or closely aligned to government, most of whom have either the political or financial clout to arrange a deniable black operation on you or your family. Bit of a poser eh? The presumption is, of course, that the badly needed "result" is a successful prosecution.......... or is it?

Anyway, after further disclosures today that the BBC has got lots of other things wrong and been caught cheating the public and that management have "lessons to learn", perhaps we may hear that some senior, sanctimonious, teflon-coated official somewhere has actually committed a crime for which they'll actually be punished. Oh look - there goes my Peshawar porker overhead.