Isn't Will Hutton's logic here just so lovely?


We'd probably have to invent Will Hutton if he didn't already exist for his logical twists and turns are something of a national wonder to behold. On the subject of FIFA he's noticed that it's not the purest of organisations, not as white as the driven snow:

This is a disgrace. Based in Zurich, Fifa is the governing council of world football, with 209 national member football associations. Yet even though it has global reach, power and income, earning $4.5bn this year from the World Cup alone, it is run with less transparency than a car boot sale. Football, and the world, needs better.

The president is elected by a simple majority of the 209 members. There are no checks and balances; no accountability to a governing board; no transparency over key issues such as pay; no protocols for the publication of reports like those of the former New York district attorney, Michael Garcia. Once elected, the president of Fifa can run the organisation like a tribal chieftain, dispensing favours to seek ongoing support from the tribe’s varying factions and brushing off criticism. His position is unassailable.

Well, yes, OK, perhaps being part of an organisation where not everyone accords with the British notions of fair play and honesty might not be all that wise a decision. Possibly we migfht leave then, or refuse to deal with it until it starts to live up to those values we deem important.

It underlines the larger point: we have to live up to our values and make common cause with those who share them. Yet the Conservative party is gearing up to fight the election on a nativist programme of leaving the European Convention on Human rights (ECHR) and moving ever closer to exiting the European Union.

But we mustn't leave an organisation that doesn't accord with British notions of fair play and honesty. Actually, doesn't even agree with the basic and fundamental underpinning of our system of law (as Lord Woolf so notably pointed out). If Hutton didn't exist we would have to invent him, wouldn't we? Otherwise where would we find our logical equivalent of the Red Queen, where an argument means whatever he says it does rather than that plain and honest meaning.