Judaeo Christian tradition recounts what maybe the first recorded incident of a public official claiming ‘plausible deniability’.
The Pontius (ruler) called Pilate presided over a troublesome outpost of the Roman Empire called Judea. However, the local population had their own cultural leaders who often confronted the Roman rulers who had supplanted them.
Pilate found himself one day presented with a difficult decision. He had before him a man found guilty of murder and another whom he believed innocent of all crimes. It was the time of the Jewish Passover festival and tradition had it that the praefectus/governor of Judea would to commute one prisoner’s death sentence by popular acclaim.
The local rulers hated this Nazarene upstart called Jesus and wanted him put to death having tried him and found him guilty of blasphemy and treason against Rome.
Pilate was not so sure. He wanted to do what he believed to be the right thing and release the innocent man Jesus, but the crowd were baying for his blood and demanding the murder Barabus be released.
The situation was turning ugly and so when Pilate saw he was getting nowhere, he publically washed his hands in a bowl of water stating, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. It is your responsibility!” (The Bible – NEV)
The President of the FIA, John Todt, has recently admitted he should have acted to ensure the cost of the new V6 Turbo Hybrid engines was more affordable for customer teams.
He now claims to be ready to address this problem, though his current plan concluded, “I need good advisors so that we can go through with the challenge.”
Sounds rather vague.
Todt also believes the general costs in F1 are too high and there is a consensus that the distribution of F1’s income is not equitable and exacerbates this problem.
However, the president of the FIA has no intention of even questioning the income distribution issue with the bigger teams or Bernie Ecclestone.
“If people expect the FIA to change the distribution of the commercial rights, then it’s true that I give up,” said Todt.
“It would be completely irrelevant for me to say ‘I’m going to speak to them’ because those are the rules.
“How should I allow myself to claim something that is not within our responsibility?”
But the callous indifference didn’t stop there. The killer blow was yet to come.
“Now, new agreements have been signed and they are much more favourable to some teams than to some other teams.
“So we are facing people who are very happy to have signed, and we are facing people who are very unhappy to have signed.
“Saying that, there is a common thing – they have all signed.”
And so saying, he washed his hands – and swept out.