the death of David Kelly

Richard Harris rhh1 at
Mon Jul 28 06:44:45 MDT 2003

>From the Spectator, a well known right wing magazine in the UK.


A despicable and cowardly diversion
Rod Liddle defends Andrew Gilligan and says the government's confected
outrage has led to tragedy
There was a strange sort of hiatus between Andrew Gilligan's report on the
Today programme that Alastair Campbell had 'sexed up' some of the evidence
about Iraq's threat to the West, and Mr Campbell's rage at being so accused.

It lasted for nearly four weeks. Immediately after Gilligan made his report,
there was a brief letter of complaint from Campbell - not an unusual
eventuality - but nothing more; just this rageless lacuna.

In the middle of the interval, Mr Campbell and the Prime Minister met BBC
executives and the editors of the Radio Four news programmes, including
Today, to discuss various stuff: the euro, foundation hospitals, the battle
against crime, and so on.

...  So, anyway, they sat down and had their briefing with Campbell and
Blair. And here's the thing. The name of Andrew Gilligan was not mentioned.
The famous Today report was not mentioned. Weapons of mass destruction were
not mentioned. Nobody said a thing about this appalling, destructive calumny
broadcast by Mr Gilligan, the one which, peculiarly, a week or so later,
drove Campbell and Blair and most of the Cabinet into paroxysms of confected
outrage. There they were, the Prime Minister and his chief of
communications, faced with the perpetrators - and they said not a word. On
the BBC's side, nobody was much surprised by this, because there had been
little complaint from Downing Street in the press, either. So far.

Maybe it was, you know, politeness on the part of Alastair and Tony. That's
a possibility. But the likelihood has to be that they didn't know they were
really angry just yet. In other words, the decision to be very, very angry
came later, when unpropitious circumstances demanded it. And those
unpropitious circumstances were the convening of a potentially extremely
damaging select committee hearing into Campbell's role in the compiling and
presenting of intelligence evidence.

Richard Harris
26 St Martin's Close
Kent   UK

work: r.harris at
day: 020 7423 0000
eve: 01227 470924

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