Isnt it funny the difference a word can make. A bare faced lie becomes a spin and is somehow more acceptable. As far as Mr Blairs apparent addiction to Mr Campbell goes, surely Blair would be better off without the man that stops him from ‘doing God’ and seems according to todays times to have influenced the security forces to spin a little web of their own…….
The government is seen as having spun the threat from Saddam’s weapons just as it spins everything else. People do not believe the WMD claims, just as they do not believe claims that the National Health Service and other public services are improving. They suspect, usually correctly, that such claims are based on a highly selective use of statistics. People do not believe the government when it says the new European Union constitution will leave our sovereignty untouched.
The debate over WMD and the extent to which Mr Blair exaggerated the evidence beyond what the security services were comfortable with go to the heart of this government’s approach and demonstrate why, despite its electoral success, it remains unloved and engenders suspicion rather than trust. The picture that emerges is of a government that uses and manipulates the official machine in a way that its predecessors did not.
The slate was supposed to have been wiped clean after Labour’s first term. That, we were told, was a time when, new to government, the party had not been able to shake off the spin habits acquired under the expert guidance of Peter Mandelson and Mr Campbell in opposition. The second term would be different, with spin replaced by honesty and delivery. The dark arts would be abandoned. Would that it were so. If anything the culture of spin is more ingrained than before, as the WMD episode shows. Mr Mandelson is long gone from the government. Fiona Millar, Mr Campbellu201