Are we? To both trained and untrained eyes on Tuesday, we seemed a very small country indeed. There appear to be only around 50 senior personnel, with those not working three jobs - combining shilling for the Met, say, with running interference for Rupert Murdoch and advising the Tories - guilty of the most glaring lack of ambition.
Britain strikes me as a big country. At the very least it punches well above its weight class. But this does point to another issue that made Britain vulnerable to News Corp's meddling, and that is the comparative smallness of its press corps. Washington teems with international journalists covering American politics for domestic and international outlets, and across the world armchair analysts have opinions on the subject. That's because as a world power--not necessarily the world power; the world is increasingly multipolar--the politics of the United States are internationally relevant. (Also, a pretty good spectator sport.) If the American press was thoroughly corrupt, or even just inadequate, people could turn to the outside sources. It's always good to have extra sets of eyes. Occasionally a nuisance for the politicians, but one of the takeaways is that they can look after themselves.
How to bring in the commentariat? Difficult, but scandals always gin up interest. That goes for the current one, too. It may turn out to be part of the silver lining.