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Sunday, July 27, 2003
Blame the messenger
A few days ago, I blogged about useful ploys to help politicians extricate themselves from difficult situations. Blow me down; I've just come across another. This measure is to be used when your government is about to be caught out having failed with previous ploys to distract attention from the main, embarrassing item on the agenda: accept the blame but insist that the messenger is equally guilty for having caught you out.
The spin must stop. We must burst the Westminster bubble. Politicians and journalists are both guilty of making politics a turn-off for voters, argues Peter Hain.You can read the whole article here.
Now, I do not for a moment suggest that the press never gets things wrong. I think that this article may convince you that The Mail and the Murdoch press are, as usual, way off beam. But when a politician starts to say that politicians and journalists are equally guilty, you have to recognise that there's some manipulation going on.
Let's deconstruct the meaning of 'Politicians and journalists are both guilty...' What the reprobate means is that the government has already admitted to the plagiarism of part of a dossier. It's been abundantly clear for some time that the case for war was specious. Huffing and puffing has only made the matter worse. We've got 'em bang to rights. So Mr Rascal Hain wants to share the blame. The effrontery of the man. Perhaps I can quote him once more:
It's time for a little more integrity and a little less hypocrisy.Dead bloody right, Peter. How about coming straight out with it and saying
We the government did our damnedest to convince the nation that Saddam Hussein represented an immediate threat to the West because of his weapons of mass destruction. Actually, we really did this because *.... We were wrong to try to convince you on the basis of the flimsy evidence. (Some of) The Press were right to keep questioning our judgement. They were right; we were wrong. Sorry.I shan't be holding my breath, though.
[* Fill in an appropriate reason. Here are a few suggestions: we wanted to try out some new weapons; we knew it would be, relatively speaking, a walkover; we wanted to ingratiate ourselves with the delightful White House administration; we thought we might be helping 'stabilise' the Middle East; we can't tell the difference between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein...
Try making up one of your own. It's not very difficult and it's bound to be more supportable than the official reason.]
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