Monday, December 04, 2006

The hypocrisy of Tony Blair

I don't agree with everything that Matthew Parris writes. Earlier this year he wrote a spectacularly bitchy column about "the indefinably ghastly Chris Huhne" which I still haven't forgiven him for. But his piece this weekend on Tony Blair's gushing tribute to the late BBC radio man Nick Clarke was right on the money.

Here's an extract:

"Yesterday I telephoned a BBC press officer. Did Mr Blair ever accord Nick Clarke an interview on The World at One, I asked? A tight-lipped “we think not”, was the reply. She did not say why but we both knew. The aim was to punish Nick for his polite insistence on getting answers by starving his programme of senior interviewees.

So spare us the “Nick”, would you, Prime Minister? Spare us the “best elements” stuff. Your old mate whom, now he’s breathed his last, you call “Nick” was the man whose career your people tried persistently to undermine; the man whose programme I have myself heard Alastair Campbell mocking during his matey chats with the Westminster press corps."

It wasn't only distinguished broadcasters like Clarke who were subjected to this freezing out treatment, either. It operated at all levels of the Lobby and no-one was exempt from it.

On one occasion, a former editor of mine was told that his newspaper could have an interview with the Prime Minister, so long as it was not carried out by me. Thankfully, he refused to be subjected to such blackmail.

Hat tip for graphic: Comment Central.

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1 comment:

The Ripper said...

thanks, very interesting indeed...I wrote a story titled "Tony Blair: Political Chameleon" on my website please have a look when you get a chance...Mike