January 31, 2004


It appears that the Government are the only ones who actually believe the findings of the Hutton report. For my Stateside readers, this is the report on the inquiry concerning whether the BBC's Andrew Gilligan incorrectly exposed the Government faking and "sexing up" intelligence information concerning the war in Iraq and how the name of Dr David Kelly was revealed at the source of information, which led to his apparent suicide. Is that convoluted enough?

Lord Hutton, appointed by the Government, came up with the conclusion that the Government - wait for the startling revelation - did nothing wrong. While they are busy demanding apologies from the BBC, the Tory front bench, and anyone else who might have suggested that they have the moral backbone of a jellyfish, the public don't buy it. It has led to the resignation of the chairman of the BBC board of governors Gavyn Davies and the corporation's Director-General Greg Dyke.

Even with their own man at the top of the day-to-day operations (Dyke was a big New Labour supporter prior to his appointment as D-G), the Government were unable to keep it in line. As a result, the Government is looking to set more controls to make sure any reports about it are 100% accurate. That would be 100% accurate in reciting the Government's official position as the truth.

When comparing the BBC and the Government, it is hard to pick a favourite. The Beeb is not unbiased. Whilst I have been ambivalent about the war, the Beeb has pursued an anti-war agenda generally and anti-Bush agenda unabashedly. Nonetheless, this bias may have driven it toward the investigative journalism that exposed the Government.

Even though most people believe the Beeb, or at least believe it more than the Government in this particular instance, this doesn't seem to matter one bit to the Number 10 Spin Machine. After all, just because only 27% of the public believe the Government in the wake of Hutton, this probably will not be enough to keep them out of power at the next election.

Posted by david at January 31, 2004 10:57 PM | TrackBack