22 July 2011

Entropy: how things fall apart

You think that you’ve reached a satisfactory conclusion. Then people keep tugging at the loose ends.

Thus the Murdochs after their parliamentary appearance: all questions answered, more or less satisfactorily. Time to move on, they must have thought. Then it emerges that young James - allegedly - did not get one of the answers quite right. Two of those said not to have done something now claim that they had indeed done that something. Then there is the mysterious computer left in the car-park; where exactly are the police going with that?

Similarly, after his parliamentary tour de force, Cameron must have breathed a sigh of relief. Matter dealt with, at least for the couple of months of the parliamentary recess. But new questions keep emerging; he is now under pressure on the issue of Coulson’s security vetting.

Then we have the entirely different issue of the EU’s apparent agreement on what to do about Greece and the wider problems of sovereign debt. A complicated issue and a complicated response. But how long before it starts to unravel (like all the previous agreements on this matter)?

We should not be surprised: entropy is an entirely natural process. Those afflicted with scandal simply need to keep on keeping on, in the hope that eventually we will grow tired of the story and all its ramifications. But in the case of phone-hacking, as in the case of the Eurozone sovereign debt problem, there is a long way to go before the stories get put to bed.

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