Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Dodgy Dossier Comes Back to Haunt Blair

Tomorrow's editions of the New Statesman will carry a story about the suppressed first draft of the Iraq dossier, written by John Williams, the former Mirror journalist and now Head of Press at the Foreign Office. It is a follow-up to Martin Bright's story in November. The Information Commissioner is to rule imminently on the FCO's refusal to release the draft under the FOIA and he may either a) order release (subject to appeal) and b) state clearly that the draft was part of the process. The gist of the story is that the draft could well be smoking gun on the inclusion of the 45 minutes and more.

To coincide with the article, a WEBSITE is being launched, which tells the whole story about how spinners like Williams were on the inside the drafting process and how what happened (think Gilligan/Kelly) happened as a result. It is said to be thoroughly researched and authoritative, with no conspiracy theories or unnamed sources. It is the work of journalist Christopher Ames, whose article will appear in the New Statesman.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that we (the British public) were spun into this mess, as TB & the govt were previously spun into their position by other parties.

We have to clear this matter up as it has eroded trust in govt and it makes the beacon that was once our democracy less credible in the eyes of others elsewhere.

The PLP needs to show that it has the balls to do this. I cannot think of any event that has done so much damage to the British democratic process.

TB should leave parliament in shame. Only then will it be possible to regain the trust of the people.

Geoffers said...

I've just skimmed through the dossier website and it seems a pretty credible piece of work. I'm just doubt whether it'll make a blind bit of difference. It should, but I think it won't.

Chuck Unsworth said...

Well I hope it serves to be acutely embarrassing for Blair and his henchpersons. It's a good start, anyway.

mutleythedog said...

Blimey - just been reading the website - seems pretty conclusive to me.

Errrr ... why is everyone else anonymous??

Anonymous said...

There are some easy vote winners for Cameron, one of which is a need to clear the decks and put the sleaze boot it. What other horror stories have they actually managed to bury? It is not possible for the next government to be trusted should something similar happen. Its not a blair hunt its got to be done. If the turnout next time is low, with no real policy choices the mood will quickly turn neg for any future govt.

Anonymous said...

It is the one of the issues I think the trad Tory is actually is worried about. can they trust DC not to do exactly the same and get seduced by power.

Watching the inside story it is so clear what happened, how could someone so out of his depth ever been elected. Looking back to that first 9 months and first sleaze with ecclestone.

paxman talking to the empty chair ......

if we ha only seen it at the time

Anonymous said...

Why is an ex-tabloid journalist writing government dossiers about our possible entry into a war in the first place? It just seems wrong. One day, Britney's boobs, the next, WMDs.

I know this seems churlish after that oik bully Campbell's reign, but why is the government full of bloody journalists?

verity said...

Anonymous 4:13 - Plenty of us saw it at the time. Lots of us saw that Blair was inadequate, much too self-congratulatory and rather stupid.

garypowell said...

The only good thing about this bit of government lies. Is that it is the only bit the BBC might be interested in.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

The key phrase on the website is:

"The claim that the Joint Intelligence Committee wrote and approved the dossier is a fabrication."

But weren't some meetings of the JIC chaired by Alastair Campbell? And if so, could not the committee delegate the drafting to one of his caterpillars?

To my mind, it is Scarlett who really let the side down. He should have said, "Nobody, but nobody, tweaks my intelligence reports and I am not going to sit on any committee chaired by Alastair Campbell or any other spin doctor."

Anonymous said...

So where is Cameron in all this? Does he feel boxed in by IDS playing rally round the flag boys at the time? Speak out DC! I know many Tories who voted LibDem afterwards, especially those who had looked down the wrong end of a gun barrel. I think they'll either vote LibDem, UKIP or stay away.