You get into a closed society like Westminster politics, says Whittam Smith, and you develop a contempt for the people outside. The hierarchy of the Catholic church is also a closed society- which tells us all we need to know about the Pope and his disrespect for abused children. The kids were "them", the abusers were "us". You have to be a very strong and free-thinking person to be on the inside of a closed society and not be overwhelmed by its chumminess.
I like The independent. It's a brave, high-minded paper. It's columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is someone I always read. And now it has been sold- at a give-away price- to Alexander Lebedev- the former KGB man. If we had been told- thirty years ago- that a British national newspaper would one day be owned by a former KGB man we'd have thought our informant was prophesying a Russian victory in the Cold War. History is weird. The weirdest things happen.The least predictable. And we're so calloused by living in the time stream that we hardly notice just how weird they are.