February 02, 2004


"Who killed David Kelly?" asks P.P. McGuinness. His answer:

The BBC, in its overweening institutional arrogance, killed David Kelly.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Tim Blair at February 2, 2004 11:51 PM

As much as I love to trash the Beeb, the irrefutable fact is that David Kelly killed David Kelly. End of story.

Posted by: Independant George at February 3, 2004 at 12:29 AM

Think George has that right -- Kelly killed Kelly. It's a very sad story, but it's unreasonable to blame the BBC or the government. Hutton apparently took the government to task for its manner of informing Kelly his name might become public, but it certainly wasn't the objective, or even the likely outcome, that this could cause Kelly's death.

"Overweening institutional arrogance" at the BBC is on full display now -- impressive it is -- but it didn't kill Kelly. It might, however, kill the BBC.

Posted by: IceCold at February 3, 2004 at 02:13 AM

I couldn't agree with the above posts more. I've had to work with several clients who've suffered unnecessary guilt for loved ones who've killed themselves. The decision to commit suicide is tragic, in part due to its selfishness. However, that doesn't make the BBC's conduct any less unprofessional.

Posted by: Jerry at February 3, 2004 at 02:41 AM

As an aside, that's why I always get irritated when I read quotes by the Sylvia Plath loonies who insist on blaming Ted Hughes for her death. She had severe depression long before he can along, and besides, he was not responsible for her mental health in any event.

Posted by: Jerry at February 3, 2004 at 02:43 AM

Apparent suicide in a park? Must've been Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: Sean O'Hara at February 3, 2004 at 02:56 AM

The BBC is a major contributor to his death if it is not just outright guilty.

Gilligan should have retracted his comment. He had plenty of opportunity but I think he loved being in the limelight, rather like an Australian fellow called Wilkie.

Posted by: Michael Gill at February 3, 2004 at 09:37 AM

P.P. McGuinness has a minor credibility problem:

Three years ago he assured me that the web-site for the brilliant journal he edits (Quadrant) was 'about to happen'.

Six months ago he printed instructions in the dead-tree version for contributors and subscribers for the 'forthcoming' web-site.

Still waiting. What did you know and when did you know it PP ? The only saving grace you have is the absolute brilliance of Quadrant, still seemingly imbued with the spirit & tone of James MacAuley.

Posted by: Arik at February 3, 2004 at 12:09 PM

Who killed David Kelly?
Two views from Ireland

John Waters On the Corruption of the Media
Having genuine convictions, Waters does not feel the need to bow to "the climate of piety". No one but someone who has so passionately and persistently sought to focus attention on the causes of the increase of suicide in young Irish men could have had the confidence and authority to write
(Irish Times July 28, 03):

David Kelly was a grown man who, through conviction or egocentrism, stumbled into the kitchen and found the heat unbearable. To suggest that anyone is "responsible" for his death is, literally, childish. But childish is what public discussion increasingly becomes.

Kevin Myers on the Corruption of the BBC

Kevin Myers (Irish Times Sept 19) laments that the "dry rot" of such arrogance led the BBC to abandon "one of the central principles of journalism - the word-perfect reporting of a wholly protected source".

Worse, "the deep-rooted institutional corruption" of the BBC left it clueless about "the profound constitutional implications" of broadcasting a report accusing the British Government of deliberately lying to the public.

But of course, in the semi-undergraduate, right-on, look-at-me, I'm-so-important culture of the BBC, matters of constitutional law, and of duty to tell the truth, and only the truth, had now come to bear little weight."

Myers takes no pleasure in his prediction that the Hutton inquiry will make "utter mincemeat" of the BBC:

For the BBC has done not just a disservice to itself: it has done a far graver disservice to journalists everywhere.

But unfortunately, Mr Myers, from the tone of its current reporting it doesn't sound like the BBC is any more ready to be listening to the likes of you:

current reporting Gilligan questioned over 'anomalies' Concerns have been raised about apparent "anomalies" in BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan's electronic notes of his conversation with Dr David Kelly.

Concerns. Anomalies.

Read the whole thing.


Posted by: Bran at February 3, 2004 at 12:14 PM

committing suicide is the ultimate selfish act.
Did Kelly think of his family when he did this act?
Of course not

Michael that chap Wilkie has been more on Iraq than anyone else!

Posted by: Homer Paxton at February 3, 2004 at 01:21 PM


Quadrant is on the net. It's taken a while, though...

Posted by: TimT at February 3, 2004 at 08:07 PM