Friday, December 15, 2006

No coincidence

I must be getting less cynical in my old age, but in retrospect I was far too kind to New Labour in yesterday's post on whether the Government might have been guilty of burying bad news under the cover of the Ipswich murders and Lord Stevens' inquiry in the death of Diana. It's now absolutely bleeding obvious that this is exactly what they were doing.

According to the Daily Tel's George Jones and others, Scotland Yard has made it clear that the timing of yesterday's interview of the Prime Minister over the cash-for-honours affair was determined by Downing Street, not by the police.

Another Lobby doyen, Trevor Kavanagh, writes in his Sun column: "We all guessed weeks ago that this would be the perfect day for Mr Blair to invite the police in – the day the world would be transfixed by the [Diana] report."

Somehow, though, I don't think even a gnarled old cynic like Trevor really thought they would actually do it. And neither, I confess, did I.

free web site hit counter

7 comments:

Stephen Rouse said...

What's even more extraordinary than their actually trying this on is the fact that a cursory glance at this morning's news stand shows they were largely successful. Honorable exceptions were the Telegraph and the Guardian, clearly confused whether to go with Blair or BAE. I suppose I should have known better. Ten years after her death, the lady still shifts papers more effectively than the potential undermining of British democracy.

Bryan McGrath said...

I'm sorry, but it wasn't just 'Knacker of the Yard' turning up at No. 10.: I have thought for sometime that Ian 'I'll sign anything put in front me' McCartney will take the fall within the Labour Party.

It was also used to bury the BAE/Saudi aircraft deal. I was actually watching the Parliament TV channel (yes I am that sad that I put it on when five minutes of adverts start on a commercial channel) when Alstair Darling was kicked into touch by Mike O'Brien making the 'covering' statement for Lord 'I'll agree to anything, just as long you put it in writing, Tony' Goldsmith was doing his turn in the Lords

Woffle said...

If they were largely successful, that' surely as much the papers' fault as Tony's.

The Metro showed the way to go if you really think it was 'Take out the trash' day - simply write a big headline about burying bad news, and underneath list all the bad news that's being buried...

james higham said...

Not jsut spin, not just cynical opportunism but spitting in the face of the public. I always believed Blair was like this from the conference immediately prior to his accession but now it's stunning how it's not even cleverly done. They simply don't care any more.

Anonymous said...

If Trevor was so clever, why didn't he write it then?? Not exactly a doyen would you say Paul?

Stephen Rouse said...

On reflection, I start to wonder if they haven't been extraordinarily subtle. There has been so much comment about media manipulation, which actually interests very few people, and not enough about the Blair questioning and BAe. Did they deliberatley create a burial story in order to bury bad news?

Paul Linford said...

Anonymous

I think you make my point for me. If Trevor K had genuinely believed that Blair would actually do this, he'd have written the story. But like me, I suspect that he didn't really think the Government would sink quite that low.

The comment "we all guessed weeks ago that this would be the perfect day etc" makes it sound to me like the whole thing was a joke that went round the press bar one evening. Of course, many a true word is spoken in jest.