Comment at end
22nd February, 2010
Torture, Part 1 – Miliband Vs Kampfner
David Miliband: ‘For a taste of some of the falsehoods masquerading as fact in the reporting of the Binyam Mohammed case, one good example is John Kampfner’s claim in the Daily Mail that the Obama Administration wanted us to release the seven paragraphs at issue and we begged them to say that they wanted them kept secret. It’s complete fiction.’
The Foreign Secretary has taken to fighting back against the press’s ‘falsehoods’ at his official Foreign Office blog.
Now – I want you to stop and think about this for a moment.
This government is SO all-powerful, So dictatorial, SO controlling of the media and broadcasting outlets that one of its most senior cabinet ministers, the Foreign Secretary (generally considered THE most senior position under the Prime Minister) has felt compelled to use his blog to denounce the irresponsible, mad meeja’s slant on stories of major importance to the country.
Why not just send out a press release?
Why not indeed. Simply because our supercilious and know-all press will just ignore it as of no relevance. As they have ignored several important developments in recent times, which I will mention here if time permits.
And the other side of this argument – that of John Kampfner? It’s here, if you must.
Kampfner wrote a book on Tony Blair which was praised in anti-Iraq war circles, ignored in the more circumspect. Someone gave me a copy as a gift. WHAT? You didn’t think I’d BUY it!? I thanked them graciously, sort of, and have read fractions of it, dipping in and out when I need to pull myself back from feeling too positive about people. When I feel the need to get into a … how can I put it … a bit of a Brown mood.
Kampfner’s article at The Mail on Mohamed’s case is a continuation of the bias within his book – “A stain on this nation’s name.”
Yes, the title suits you Sir, and your newspaper.
Kampfner, Daily MAUL comments – 57; Foreign Office, Miliband blog comments – 4
Complainers shout louder than the satisfied. Miliband is right, Kampfner is WRONG.
Miliband 1, Kampfner Nil.
More from Miliband’s blog – one more denial and one reminder:
“Any suggestion that we knew anything about the murder in Dubai before it happened, including about the misuse of British passports, is completely untrue. As we have said already, the Dubai authorities told us about the role of the British passports on 15 February, several hours before their press conference. We told them the following day that the passports used were fraudulent. The head of the Dubai police has also made clear that Embassies were not contacted until shortly before the identity of the suspects was revealed.”
“130 years ago my predecessor, Lord Salisbury, opened diplomatic relations with Romania. Then the map of Europe was not yet finalised, and our countries still had two World Wars to endure. But today, as partners in the EU, our ties are stronger than they’ve ever been: Tony Blair was the first European leader to offer political support to Romanian EU membership; we provided expertise and financial support to assist their accession – particularly on justice reform and the fight against corruption; and Romanian and British troops are fighting bravely together in Southern Afghanistan – indeed, Romania upped its troop contribution at the recent London Conference. I have visited Romania twice as Foreign Secretary.
THE STATE WE’RE IN – THE FOURTH FIRST ESTATE?
More of that in ‘Torture, Part 2’, when time permits. Other little things are pressing right now, including Brown’s appearance at the Iraq Inquiry. Of course you won’t have to wait until a week next Friday to hear this witness’s evidence. It’ll ALL be foretold by our know-all press over the next week or two, needing countering.
No temper tantrums now Gordon.