Murdoch’s Leveson statement that Brown phoned him and declared war on his company has been derided by the BBC who like to suggest he is lying….and claim John Major’s statement backed up Brown.
Whatever the phone records show Mandelson says there definitely was a phone call…and other calls Brown often made to ‘vent his feelings’….
Mandelson: ‘There would have been a number of [phone calls]— I mean, Gordon did not hold back in talking to Rupert Murdoch. He did telephone him, he had every right to do so, and when he thought that he was being traduced, as he did, by the Sun, he wanted to give vent to his feelings about that.’
Jay: Okay. You say in your book that Mr Brown was stunned by the news that the Sun had shifted allegiance, and that this grew greater, as it were, over the forthcoming weeks. Was it your assessment that Mr Brown was personally embittered by this?
Mandelson: I think he was greatly upset by it. I don’t think he should have been surprised, but he took these things very personally.
And as for John Major it seems even he may not be quite as honest as he is portrayed…apparently Truth is a grey area for Major
Why mention all this? Because the BBC, happy to call Murdoch a liar, has taken to its bosom its old enemy, the arch political spinner who used to be the ‘liar who took us into an illegal war’…step forward one Alistair Campbell.
The Today website has Campbell as its main story highlighting his claim that Murdoch rang Blair to urge him to go to war quickly….
‘Tony Blair’s former director of communications, Alistair Campbell, has said Rupert Murdoch telephoned Downing Street before the invasion of Iraq, in 2003, to warn of the dangers of delaying Britain’s involvement.‘
Mind you he says he did not actually hear the call himself but he did see Blair’s irritated reaction to the call.
The BBC were happy to take his word that Murdoch made such a call and said such a thing.
It was therefore Murdoch’s fault that we went to war.
Ignoring the fact that it was Blair’s policy to be a ‘Liberal interventionist’…ie go to war to impose democracy on ‘tyrants’ and that it was Blair himself who persuaded Bush to go down this road and not be isolationist…. Blair was already totally convinced about the need to go to war and had already committed Britain, subject to Parliamentary approval, to go to war in Iraq….remember the ‘Downing Street Memos’?
Text of the Christopher Meyer Letter – March 18, 2002 memo from Christopher Meyer (UK ambassador to the US) to David Manning (UK Foreign Policy Advisor) recounting Meyer’s meeting with Paul Wolfowitz (US Deputy Secretary of Defense).
‘1. Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, came to Sunday lunch on 17 March.
2. On Iraq I opened by sticking very closely to the script that you used the Condi Rice last week. We backed regime change.’
And…Blair and Bush ‘agreed’ on Iraq regime change in private April 2002 Crawford Ranch meeting.
So Blair was fully committed already…and Murdoch phoning sometime in March 2003 could hardly have been influential as the war began on March 20th. It can be assumed the decision to go to war was already pencilled into Bush and Blair’s diaries long before then.
In other words it perhaps could be suggested with some confidence that Campbell’s claims are merely an extension of Labour’s war against Murdoch and an attempt to smear him by association with the Iraq War….note Justin Webb’s attempt to tie Murdoch in with the ‘Neo Cons’ and US Republican Party….‘was he doing someone elses work…lobbying for the ‘Right’?‘
Campbell says ‘I am not saying remotely that there was anything like collusion.’…but he is just ‘putting it out there’…no smoke without fire….the Spinner knows how minds work.
Not only is this a piece of black propaganda but it illustrates the mendacity of the BBC who opt to call Murdoch a liar but present the slippery tongued Campbell’s word as Gospel when it suits their agenda.
A three line comment in Campbell’s diary has been spun into a major story about Murdoch’s attempting to influence government policy (and thereby lying at Leveson about never asking politicians for anything), and being in league with US Neo-Cons and lobbying on their behalf.
A more ridiculous story it would be hard to find….unless you listen to the Today programme regularly…..though the recent ‘Royal Jubilee Bus Farce’ still must top the bill for most ridiculous story ever to have graced a prime time current affairs programme.