Actually, the outing of Lord McAlpine's name was the best thing that could have happened to him in the circumstances. It put an end to the low-level chunnering about him on the internet and allowed him to exonerate himself in a statement that brought the establishment and its tame media into lockstep around him. He said in an interview yesterday that the damage to his reputation has been permanent- which is nonsense. What has happened is that he's been elevated from being a barely remembered political fixer of the Thatcher era into a sort of plutocratic Jesus- with his erstwhile mockers and tormentors (George Monbiot for instance) prostrating themselves before him.
It's remarkable how instantaneous and uncontested his triumph has been. The BBC has just handed him £185,000 of licence payers money even though it very carefully didn't name him in its sloppy Newsnight Report. ITV will be falling over itself next- even though Philip Schofield didn't name him either. After they've dealt with the TV people his lawyers will be going after the Twitterati. One witch hunt is being answered by another.
John Ward suggests on his blog that Lord M (who really doesn't need the money) might consider donating his enormous winnings to Children in Need. Now wouldn't that be a touching gesture!