The revelation that Steve Hilton, the man known as “David Cameron’s brain”, was arrested in 2008 following an expletive-fuelled row with train staff reminds us what a bad week this could have been for the Tories.
Judging by his arrest at Birmingham New Street Station, he wasn’t paying close attention to Cameron’s conference speech just hours earlier.
It’s not just the crime or even the antisocial behaviour. It’s the angry, harsh culture of incivility that seems to be all around us.
And here’s Hilton’s curt rebuke to a ticket officer:
But he isn’t the only Tory aide whose actions are at odds with Cameron’s words.
Here is the Tory leader on workplace bullying:
Stamping out bullying in the workplace and elsewhere is a vital objective. Not only can bullying make people’s lives a misery, but it harms business and wider society, too.
But that commitment to punishing the bullies didn’t extend to his top aide Andy Coulson, who was found guilty of . . . workplace bullying. Coulson’s old employer, the News of the World, was ordered to make a record £800,000 payout to the former football reporter Matt Driscoll after Coulson’s bullying behaviour was found to have triggered Driscoll’s depression.
Despite the unprecedented size of the payout, News International’s non-aggression pact with the Telegraph and the Mail meant the story was barely reported.
Before lecturing the rest of us on “the broken society” Cameron might like to start with his own aides.