Friday, February 03, 2006

Hilary's Finest Hour

Those of us who think Hilary Armstrong has outlived her usefulness may like to recall this famous encounter between New Labour's Chief Whip and the rebel MP Paul Marsden at the height of the controversy over the war in Afghanistan, in which La Armstrong (1) denies the existence of spin doctors, (2) claims that war is not a matter of conscience, and (3) compares opponents of the war to appeasers of Adolf Hitler.

Here's the full transcript in all its glory.

Armstrong: "Look, Paul, those that aren't with us are against us."

Marsden: "You won't even give us a free vote on whether we go to war - it is a matter of conscience."

Armstrong: "War is not a matter of conscience. Abortion and embryo research are matters of conscience, but not wars."

Marsden: "Are you seriously saying blowing people up and killing people is not a moral issue?"

Armstrong: "It is government policy that we are at war. You astound me. We can't have a trusting relationship if you keep talking to the media without permission. You must stop using the media."

Marsden: "That's a bit rich coming from people like you and Downing Street when Stephen Byers' spin doctor Jo Moore says September 11 is a good day to bury bad news."

Armstrong: "We don't have spin doctors in Number 10 - or anywhere else."

Marsden: "You aren't seriously telling me that you don't have spin doctors. You are losing it, Hilary."

Armstrong: "You wait until I really do lose it. I am not going to have a dialogue with you about that. It was people like you who appeased Hitler in 1938."

Marsden: "That's the official line now is it? We are all appeasers if we don't agree with everything you say?"


Anonymous said...

This would have been the Afghan war?

Toque said...

Ha ha. I love it!

skipper said...

Thanks for reminding me of this Paul, though I seem to rercall also Mr Marsden used a bit of imaginative license in recollecting the transcript. But why let the truth sully a great story?