June 27, 2003


The oppressive Blair regime again aims to stifle dissent:

Alastair Campbell unleashed an extraordinary onslaught on the BBC yesterday for lying, bad journalism and having a hidden agenda against the war with Iraq. Tony Blair’s communications director turned a rare public appearance intended to defend government handling of Iraq intelligence into a ferocious attack that startled the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

He said that he and Tony Blair had demanded an apology — and would go on demanding it — over persistent BBC reports suggesting that the Government had asked the intelligence services to “sex up” their report last September on the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons — particularly by suggesting that they could be deployed at 45 minutes notice.

“I simply say in relation to the BBC story — it is a lie,” he said, adding that in the run-up to the conflict “there was an agenda in large parts of the BBC . . . there was a disproportionate focus upon the dissent, the opposition to our position.

I like this Campbell fellow. And in response:

The BBC said last night: “We do not feel the BBC has anything to apologise for.”

It regretted that Mr Campbell had chosen to accuse it of lying.

”The BBC” said? ”It” regretted? Is the BBC some form of cyborg, capable of speech and rudimentary logic functions? Does it have emotions? Who instructs it? What does it eat?

Posted by Tim Blair at June 27, 2003 01:15 AM

BBC - Borg Broadcasting Corporation.

Posted by: Roger Bournival at June 27, 2003 at 01:20 AM

prepare to be assimilated

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 27, 2003 at 01:22 AM

It's nice to see some backtalk from the PM's office toward the BBC. A shame the Beeb doesn't seem to appreciate such 'dissent.'

Posted by: Flynn at June 27, 2003 at 01:28 AM

It seems apparent that the BBC "eats" the truth, and after proper digestion, emits the "news". (I guess that analogy "stinks", but it fits....)

Posted by: John McCrarey at June 27, 2003 at 01:47 AM

What does the BBC "eat?"

Well, I have an idea, but it's really not a polite thing to say in mixed company.

Posted by: Ryne McClaren at June 27, 2003 at 02:51 AM

What does the BBC eat? Someone should ask the mates on the Royal Ark...

Posted by: Tongue Boy at June 27, 2003 at 03:12 AM

"It regretted that Mr Campbell had chosen to accuse it of lying."

How quintessentially British. Strong language at the Beeb would be "deeply regretting" something.

Posted by: Juanito at June 27, 2003 at 03:42 AM

"It regretted that Mr Campbell had chosen to accuse it of lying."

How quintessentially British. Strong language at the Beeb would be "deeply regretting" something.

Posted by: Juanito at June 27, 2003 at 03:42 AM

The BBC eats the compulsory TV and radio license fee.

Time for the Brits to put it on a diet, I think.

Posted by: KevinV at June 27, 2003 at 06:18 AM

One also cheers Campbell on this but not altogether happily: this, on LP's domestic regime, the master of lying otherwise referred to as spin?
Talking about communisto liars, Bolt has done handy work on the Vic. Labour Cain-Kirner-Bracks governments, over their wicked actions of the scrapped, for now, Mitchell River Dam.

Snitches from a stacked committee's report, indicate what first rate spivs they are. They should be spitted.

Posted by: d at June 27, 2003 at 09:26 AM

Don't get too sorry for Alistair Campbell and Tony Blair. They have amnipulated and bullied the media for years, whilst presiding over one the UK's most incompetent Governments. Let the BBC crucify them, and then privatise it. It's called killing two birds with one stone.

Posted by: Toryhere at June 27, 2003 at 09:39 AM

As even your most rabid commenters point out, the Blair government - and Campbell in particular - are habitual liars.

People here might not like the BBC - but it still has a lot more credibility in the community at large than Campbell.

Posted by: Bon Scott at June 27, 2003 at 10:29 AM

No, Bon S., BBC doesn't have any more credibility than the LP spivs, which is why Campbell's blast is unhappy: one cheers but that it should be uttered by one of another large gang of liars is choking stuff.

Posted by: d at June 27, 2003 at 10:58 AM

If the final paragraph of your post does anything at all, Tim, it's not assisting your argument. Language includes a little more than, "The cat sat on the mat."

Posted by: Norman at June 27, 2003 at 12:31 PM

Good on Alastair Campbell. Why doesn't somebody give the ABC a similar tongue-lashing? Probably, because they'd get the same mealy-mouthed response.

Posted by: Fred at June 27, 2003 at 01:16 PM

Tim's meaning is clear enough, the final para does the work of saying, the BBC is not some mystical being ,it is the cads in the BBC responsible for lying bad journalism are just that, responsible and not an `It'.A distinction given in the contrast between the pronoun it and the noun BBC.Unless, by it the sense is a small baby, though in BBC's case, it is obese and huge, swallowing all sorts of garbage and crushing anything in proximity to it.

Posted by: d at June 27, 2003 at 01:18 PM

Or, Fred, an outraged whinge from Sister Sneer (aka Linda Mottram)

Posted by: Rob at June 27, 2003 at 01:18 PM

Why doesn't somebody put the ABC in its place in the same way?

Posted by: Maxi at June 27, 2003 at 02:45 PM

Ditto the ABC

Posted by: d at June 27, 2003 at 05:21 PM

>what does it eat?
Soon, its words.

Posted by: alby at June 27, 2003 at 05:35 PM

The BBC eats license fees.

Posted by: JohnJo at June 27, 2003 at 07:17 PM

The point of this attack by Campbell is that it is being reported here and there that the Beeb was fed this line -- that Downing Street did the sexing up -- by disaffected intelligence source/s who seek to scupper Blair. I'd say the BBC has a problem, since its source may well be tainted and by his/her nature, cannot be anything but anonymous.

How many members of MI5/6, I wonder, are fans of New Labour?

Posted by: Dave F at June 27, 2003 at 10:03 PM

What does it eat? License fees.

Does it have emotions? Yes - greed and self-pity.

Who instructs it? John Pilger and Noam Chomsky.

Is it capable of rudimentary logic functions? No.

Posted by: Clem Snide at June 28, 2003 at 12:01 AM

Fair go, Clem. Even the BBC isn't as bad as that pair.

Posted by: Norman at June 28, 2003 at 12:31 PM

Lest we forget John Kampfner, whose "War Spin" doc was the most cynical piece of spin I have ever seen. It is now discredited totally, but the BBC will not sack Kampfner, of course.

Funny thing, now the Iraqi doctors are admitting that the Fedayeen attempted to execute Pfc. Lynch (they originally planned to blow up the ambulance with Jessie inside) and make it look like the US did it, and that she escaped death by a very narrow margin indeed (the Iraqi ordered to kill her thankfully discovered his conscience/sense of self-preservation).

So, she was in no danger and the rescue was silly and unnecessary!
In fact, the criticism one could levy at the US army is that they were a day too late.

Posted by: Asquith at June 28, 2003 at 02:53 PM