The Catch-Up Service

John Rentoul

Big Five 0 16 June 09 003 300x204 The Catch Up ServiceMost important, Alastair Campbell received a reply from David Cameron, 28 July:

The Prime Minister’s statement about you was no more than political knockabout which got a bit carried away.

I can see why Campbell was so polite, but if I could just say: What a pile of insulting yellow custard. The Prime Minister, in the House of Commons, where words are supposed to matter, accused a former public servant of falsifying government documents. He has now accepted that Campbell did not, yet in convoluted terms that convey no hint of apology. Low, discourteous and dishonourable.

Also while I was away:

Steve Hilton’s plan to abolish maternity leave, by George Parker and Jim Pickard, FT, 27 July.

Tom Harris MP on why hard work should be rewarded, Labour Uncut, 27 July.

And they left the Questions to Which the Answer is No machine on again, hoping that I would not notice:

Did sci-fi writer Robert Ettinger pave the way to immortality?

Number 686. Thanks to Tom.

Lots more to come.

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  • tykejim

    Most of these ‘lies’ are just quibbles/differences of interpretation, but even if I accepted all of them (which I don’t) none represent the falsification of a government document that Cameron alleged. I do like your mealy-mouthed reference to “his reported charity support”, btw. Campbell has been a very active and significant supporter of charities for a very long time, and your contempt for him as a person reflects a lot more on you than it does on him IMO.

  • porkfright

    No-hardly beside the point. It is central to the fact of the possible criminality under international law in general and war crimes in particular-to be decided not by you nor I but by those who have charge of these matters.

  • coventrian

    So when Campbell and B£air claimed the evidence proved ‘beyond doubt’ that Iraq had WMDs – they were being truthful?

    I think not.

    That is THE point.

  • porkfright

    Riots, criminality, looting and arson-and Mr. Rentoul gives us Iraq rehashed.

  • coventrian

    So it is a ‘quibble/difference of interpretation’ whether Iraq had WMDs?

    I see you have nothing to say about the dodgy dossier that was ripped off the internet.

    As for Campbell doing a lot for Chariddy – funny how that has coincided with making himself very rich.

  • tykejim

    They were telling the truth so far as they knew it. But again, that is not the issue as concerning Cameron’s allegation, which was about the falsification of government documents. The only example that Cameron has been able to suggest is the second (so-called ‘dodgy’ dossier), and the failure to attribute source material. Cameron has accepted that failure; but it does not amount to falsification, as Cameron has acknowledged.

  • tykejim

    It might be central if there was any evidence that Campbell had falsified government documents. But there isn’t, which is why Cameron hasn’t been able to produce any

  • aardvark10

    So please tell us which ones you accept and which ones you don’t, and give your reasons. Then answer the other question, which you ignore. At least the author of iraqdossier has done some extensive research, which I guess you haven’t, and to call these “quibbles/differences of interpretation” reflects a huge amount on you, in that you are happy to accept distortions of the truth to justify a war.

  • coventrian

    If passing off a ripped off, out-of-date and sexed up PhD thesis as an intelligence document doesn’t count as falsification to you then there is little use in arguing.

    As for, “They were telling the truth so far as they knew it.” Maybe you have a point. Perhaps Campbell and B£air just have no concept of truth at all. Do you?

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