Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Not in the Clear

The government are furiously spinning that Campbell has been cleared by the foreign affairs committee report [PDF]. Well the report itself would really be a not proven. Effectively it's saying that "we can't condemn anyone until we've asked the right people, and the right people won't answer the questions". The most pathetic pro-Government intervention comes, unsurprisingly enough, from the Tory MP Nicholas Fatty Soames:

I happened to bump into tonight the chief of the security and intelligence services. I asked him if the stories were true that the government has fudged or in any way interfered with the flow of secret intelligence.

He assured me that the stories were totally and utterly untrue.

So Nick, why can't the committee members talk to them even if it has to be in secret? (And what is it with all these ex-Portillistas so busily backing New Labour?)

One fact to remember is that the committee vote was in the end on party lines with not one Tory or Lib Dem voting for it, with the (Labour) committee chairman constantly having to cast his vote to prevent critical passages getting into the report and scathing criticism still managing to get into the report.

So instead of "Parliament clears Campbell" perhaps it should read "Labour Party clears Spokesman (just about)".


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