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A couple of examples of journalistic dishonesty, one trivial, one serious

Posted on 16 July 2011 | 8:07am

A couple of weeks ago I spoke at the Local Government Awards hosted by the Municipal Journal. The event was well-organised, very enjoyable, and the hosts kind enough to say that my speech had been the best they had had.

A day or so later the Londoner’s Diary in the Evening Standard reported that I had failed to address issues of local government (not true) and that I had been heckled when pointing out that Michael Gove seemed allergic to praising State comprehensive schools.

Now on the scale of things, not a big story and not a big deal. However, Mike Burton, the editor of the MJ, was moved (not by me, before you ask) to write to The Standard to point out that they had been very happy with the speech and also that the heckling had been by one person only, and that the said person was Harry Phibbs, once a far-right young Tory and now a Tory councillor and contributor to the … Londoner’s Diary.

Once it became apparent Mr Burton’s letter was not going to be published, he sent it to me. Then by one of those strange coincidences the Standard asked me to write the diary for their magazine. 800 words of whatever I fancied. I did so, and included at the bottom the following paragraph … ‘The Standard’s Londoner’s Diary recently reported that I was heckled during a speech I made to the Municipal Journal’s Local Government Awards. The MJ editor has written to the paper explaining that the sole heckle came from Tory frother Harry Phibbs who writes for the, er, Londoner’s Diary. Journalist makes his own news shock. The letter hasn’t been published so thanks for the opportunity to point this out.’

You can read my diary, as published yesterday, here … and guess what, you won’t read anything about Mr Phibbs or the MJ dinner. The paragraph was dropped without consultation. As I have been saying for many years, the papers love giving it out, but they’re not so good at taking it. It is one of the reasons they are in such a mess now.

Now to the rather more serious matter of Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the second piece of dishonest journalism I wish to report to you, from a source familiar with such a concept, namely Andrew Gilligan.

Helped by his frequent appearances on a non-challenging (to him at least) broadcast media, he has been busy parading himself as champion of a free press and peddling the  view that his story about Iraq and WMD was ‘right’. His story was that we – and specifically I – had inserted false intelligence into the WMD dossier Tony Blair presented to Parliament, knowing it to be untrue, and against the wishes of the intelligence agencies. Every single part of that story was false, and remains so now.

He was condemned by both MPs and by the Hutton Inquiry, and rightly so. Indeed Lord Hutton pointed out that even if it transpired there were no WMD found, the allegations Gilligan made remained false. Before he is allowed back into a TV studio, I suggest interviewers go back and read Gilligan’s evidence to select committees and to Lord Hutton, and also read their conclusions, and then perhaps desist from being rolled over in his dishonest rewriting of history.

Meanwhile, as members of the DCMS select committee get ready for their quizzing of the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks, I hope they are not forgetting the importance of making sure that the debate on standards and practices is not restricted to News International.

It is remarkable how little focus there has been on the Mail and the Information Commissioner’s report on the trade in illegally obtained information via a network of journalists, police officers and private detectives. Louise Mensch, Tory MP, your time is coming.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SquirlD Shirley Davis

    Ah Alastair, my response today is simple and naive – full of admiration that you ‘keep up’ with everything in your field in such detail. Where wrongs have been made, whilst the damage caused cannot be undone, they can be atoned for by employing another simple device: printed and/or spoken apologies and/or corrections.

  • Ian Sullivan

    Please keep it up, AC. You remain an often [lone] voice of reason, required now to combat the smug triumphalism of those that have a fixation on NI & Murdoch. Rusbridger might be busy casting himself as the saviour of our discourse, but we all know that’s as bullshit as his reasoning for supporting the fkcn Libs. 

  • Stevenr18966

    Good stuff Alistair – see also Polly Toynbee’s article in today’s Guardian re The Mail etc. Today is the first time I’ve ever bought The Guardian and I’ve been reading broadsheets for 25 years. Apart from the odd tosser such as Michael White their coverage of all this has been excellent – the hacking live blog is streets ahead of what the BBC and others are churning out (though The Independent and Channel 4 News are good at times). Interesting to see that today’s Telegraph is leading on the Cameron/News Int/Chequers aspect.

    Lying press execs and criminal
    investigators: let them burn.

    Corrupt and incompetent Police: let them
    burn.

    The LibDems won’t be keen on supporting the
    Tories if the economy is still faltering in a few months’ time and Cameron’s judgement
    is shown to be worse than it is now. Am looking forward to Cameron’s time giving evidence before Leveson. I’ll bet he isn’t!

    An American I know told me a few days ago
    that he’s sure Murdoch is going to jail in the US and that when he flies there,
    that’ll be his last flight anywhere. It made me wonder whether, after Tuesday,
    he’ll just happen to fly to a country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty
    with the US or UK.

  • Robert

    … rewriting of history…

    Didn’t some chappie get grilled by Hutton(?) for being found to have done that to his electronic notes when forensics took a look?

    Hopefully the forthcoming enquiry into journalists’ standards will introduce a requirement that journalists’ notebooks/records are given a legal status equivalent to police officer’s notebooks, his being the textbook example for whom the rule might be named?

    • MicheleB

      You can’t mean the hack who now spends his time on Torygraph blogs sounding as if he’s a founder member of the EDL can you?

  • Itsmotherswork

    I was at the MJ Awards and can confirm AC’s account. Although he does omit to mention that the biggest roar of approval in the room during what I agree was a very enjoyable speech was when he gave the Daily Mail a dishonourable mention all to itself.

  • marymot

    I always cringe when I see A Gilligan pontificating on for instance Sky News and remember the comments about him by the Select Committee and by Lord Hutton ( Lord Hutton who has had his name blackened so unfairly by the press.)  No-one can deny that his accusations on the BBC News sparked off the whole furore that ended with Dr Kelly’s unfortunate death.

    I so agree with today’s blog.

     
    bb

    c News

    • MicheleB

      I don’t understand how any organisation claiming to be about news can keep using him.

      As pointed out by Robert he has been proved to have tampered with the facts, isn’t that just what he makes his living accusing others of?

  • tykejim

    I’m afraid that the BBC are still at it. Their report of the ‘unguided missile’ comment ended with the following paragraph: “He (ie AC) played a key role in creating the document,
    which contained the controversial claim that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s
    weapons of mass destruction could be deployed within 45 minutes of an order to
    use them.” Spinning worthy of Mr Warne himself.

    • ronnie

      The BBC have been wheeling out Greg Dyke on the back of the hacking/resigning thing and he never fails to say ‘we were right – Hutton was wrong’. And whoever is the BBC presenter (Victoria Derbyshire last week) invariably lets it go with no challenge, either through cowardice or bias or, for all I know, institutional policy.
      Hutton was not wrong – Gilligan had and has no evidence to say that the government knowingly put false information in the dossiers, and the BBC were wrong to broadcast his claim. What has happened over the years is that claims like Dyke’s have been made so often, and been unchallenged so often on the BBC, that most people now actually believe them to be true – they believe Gilligan and Dyke are right. 
      This is actually to the BBC’s eternal discredit. Can somebody not get them to behave at least a little objectively on this subject?

  • Olli Issakainen

    I will start with Iraq.
    There was a good case to get rid of Saddam on humanitarian grounds as lives of 300,000 children were in danger because of the sanctions.
    As for WMDs, with the exception of Israel it was widely believed that Iraq had them. The then head of CIA was 100% certain and told this to Mr Bush.
    Saddam pretented that he had WMDs, and even one of his own generals believed that Iraq possessed them.
    Anyway, this is not relevant as industrialised countries can produce WMDs whenever they want.
    So there was also a good case to invade Iraq on the basis of WMDs. But this was not enough for the neocons in the US.
    They were so eager to get rid of Saddam that they accepted almost anything as “evidence”.
    And when Jospeh Wilson disclosed that Saddam had not tried to purchase yellowcake uranium from Niger, his wife Valerie Plame was outed as a CIA agent.
    According to the Guardian, which has done a lot of digging also on Iraq, Sir John Scarlett proposed using the notorious dossier to mislead the public about the significance of Iraq´s banned weapons.
    Sir John, then head of JIC, sent a memo to TB´s foreign policy adviser referring to “the benefit of obscuring the fact that in terms of WMD Iraq is not that exceptional”.
    The memo has been released under the Freedom of Information Act.
    Alastair Campbell told Scarlett that the dossier´s credibility depended on it being seen to be work of Scarlett and his experts.
    2004 Butler review found that the published dossier had presented a more certain case of Iraq´s WMDs than was set out in the committee´s reports.
    Scarlett´s memo was sent to Sir David Manning in March 2002.
    We now know from the Iraq Options Paper and Downing Street memo that there was not imminent threat from Iraq and that the intelligence was not perfect.
    It seems to me that SIS (it is not MI6!) was too eager to please politicians. The pressure to generate results led to the cutting of corners. SIS overpromised and underdelivered.
    The 45 minutes claim was officially discredited by SIS in July four months after the invasion.
    I do personally think that TB exaggerated the threat from Saddam and the strength of the intelligence.
    I understand that the media would have a field day if this is admitted, but we have learned from Phonegate that truth makes you free.
    Rupert Murdoch has now hired PR firm Edelman, and Ms Brooks has resigned.
    Mr Murdoch has also apologized, but once again it is too little, too late.
    David Cameron met with Andy Coulson at Chequers two months after his resignation! This is almost beyond belief, and I would not be surprised if Mr Cameron were to eventually lose his job because of his close links to News International as there appears to be an endless string of damaging revelations.
    That Jeremy Hunt was ready to give OK to the BSkyB bid without referring it to the Competition Commission must have been some sort of payback.
    Finally on the Daily Mail. We may have now got rid of the influence of the Murdochs, but what about Mr Dacre? He is about to gain much, unless the truth about intrusion to medical records and bank accounts by the Mail comes out.
    More than 50 journalists from the Daily Mail used private investigator Steven Whittamore 952 times. It would be very interesting to know for what purposes. Paul Dacre may have one or two questions to answer…

    Ps. Will the last person to leave News Corp turn off the lights? 

    • marymot

      Iraq may not have been exceptional with regard to WMD but was exceptiional when WMD were combined with a leader prepared to use them and who had territorial ambitions in the region. That is why Dr Kelly was reluctantly convinced the invasion was necessary and should not be left till later when it would become even more difficult.( See his sister’s evidence to the Hutton Inquiry)

  • ambrosian

    I don’t regard either of these as particularly serious (although I appreciate your personal sense of grievance) compared to the daily debasement of our culture and politics by the Murdoch, Mail and Desmond newspapers.

    In view of your interest in mental health, it’s worth recalling Rebekah Brooks’ Sun front page ‘Bonkers Bruno Locked Up’, for which she was was later forced to apologise. To its credit it was Sky News that reminded us of this yesterday.
    And it was Ann Leslie (who, given that she works for the Mail, is hardly in a position to take the high moral ground) who pointed out that Brooks was not a very good editor, having turned down the MPs’ expenses scoop because it wasn’t sexy enough.

    Also, I can’t help recalling that it was the Sun (I think under David Yelland’s editorship) that during the Blair Government made the ludicrous claim that Britain was being governed by a gay conspiracy. This was on the basis of one or two gay Ministers. It seems even more rich and risible now that we see laid bare the clandestine, almost Masonic web of relationships between the Murdoch media, politicians and the police that run the full gamut from relatively innocent networking to corruption and criminality.

  • http://twitter.com/smileoftdecade patrick graham

    Can we add from the regions who also read, and often have inside tracks on, UK media of all sorts…
    that police forces up and down the country regularly “give” journalists information about families in crime/murder cases and more that is supposedly confidential to them…the evidence is in what is published.

    Are they going to claim that they got it from an interested member of the public (who magically got it from the police) and that makes it all right?The journalists who seek and get this information are not innocent, and number many currently in employment with every tabloid rag in Britain.

  • tess

    TY for your post, interesting and informative. Now I am no political expert, just a keen observer who like Roy Walker advised on catchphrase, ‘says what I see’. DC has looked more stressed, tired and weary this week than at any other time since he became PM – he has a haunted look in his eyes, almost as if he can’t sleep at night. Now, could it could be because he is wrestling with his conscience as he ConDems hundreds of thousands of people to a decade or more of poverty, or it could be because he is worried about his ‘friends’. Maybe the fate of schoolkids who are not ‘academic’, you know, the very same kids Gruesome Gove has flung onto the scrapheap, are plaguing his dreams but somehow I doubt it.
    There has been a lot of talk over the last few days that not knowing is no excuse and we have seen people at the top of their games stand down from their positions in recognition of this but surely what’s good for the goose is good for the gander?A lot of feathers have been ruffled this last week or so but I don’t think it will be all over until the final feather is plucked and the bones laid bare.  

  • Ehtch

    To help US-UK relations in this matter, has anyone seen this stunning clip of Lynyrd Skynyrd at Kebworth open air festival, Hertfordshire from 1976? Mary Nightingale intoiducing it. It is a stunner. Pity what happened to them where the lead singer Ronnie van Zant and a couple of the girls backing singers got killed when their private aircraft went down in some yank southern marsh, with the rest absolutely stuffed with broken bones and internal injuries. The drummer, Artimus Pyle, who it is said the muppets based Animal the drummer on, ex vietnam, staggered to the nearest farm to raise the alarm, and got shot by the farmer! allegedly, but you can understand why, the hairy beast. You couln’t make it up. Anyway, here is the stunning clip from Knebworth from 1976,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUucLK3Lc88

    With journalism and newspapers, down my way, I have been depressed how the welsh paper the Western Mail has lacked balls in their reporting, and for many decades now. It all went downhill with appeasing Thatcher and the shutdown of coalmines. I remember it before, and they had hell of a good bunch of editors before through times.

  • SteveE.

    Since you’ve raised the topic of Iraq once more, could you tell us what it was that Tony Blair was seeking to clarify with Rupert Murdoch during his three phone calls in the week before the invasion?

    Even I, who as a Labour Party voted for Tone Bloke as leader, approved the dropping of Clause Four, and still believes the invasion of Iraq was justified, find it a little hard to believe that he and Murdoch were discussing troop deployments.

  • Robert

    I do not know, Michele.

    But whenever the chappie I’m talking about pops up on Sky News I nip over to one of the shopping channels instead for true, fair and unbiased conversation on important news of the day.

  • Stevenr18966

    A comedy songwriter could do an amusing version of the Dad’s Army theme:
    So who do you think you are kidding Mr Murdoch
    If you think Old England’s done.
    We are the boys who will stop your little game,
    Etc etc
    The graphics showing the invading arrows being thwarted could be replaced by his company logos.
    A bit of a 1970s TV throwback so it’d have limited impact. Even so, it could catch on……….

  • Ehtch

    OOPS, got my nightingales mixed up there, ANNIE Nightingale the BBC institution I meant, not the other ITN blonde beauty! : )

  • Whyshouldihavetoregister

    “As I have been saying for many years, the papers love giving it out, but they’re not so good at taking it.”

    Mutato nomine, de te fabula narratur. (Or in English, moaning about people telling lies comes ill from Blair’s liar-and-threatener-in-chief.) And, incidentally, I agree entirely with you about Andrew ‘Fat Boy Dim’ Gilligan.

  • Steve Howard

    If I were Alistair, which I am not. I would be seeking legal advice regarding the press conference release of Cameron in which he referred to Alistair, not by name but by what is afterall false reporting. I cannot recall the precise words but the referece was that PMs had always taken ex news men and ‘at least he didnt take one who wrote ‘dossiers’ clearly Alistair was the man who imediatley sprang to mind. Surely that remark was/is slanderous??

  • Steve Howard

    If I were Alistair, which I am not. I would be seeking legal advice regarding the press conference release of Cameron in which he referred to Alistair, not by name but by what is afterall false reporting. I cannot recall the precise words but the referece was that PMs had always taken ex news men and ‘at least he didnt take one who wrote ‘dossiers’ clearly Alistair was the man who imediatley sprang to mind. Surely that remark was/is slanderous??

  • ronnie

    Or to put it another way:
    Sir John Scarlett has never swerved in his acknowledgement that he is responsible for the dossier.
    Whether or not Iraq was ‘exceptional’ in its possession of WMD, what undoubtedly was exceptional was its continuous defiance of UN orders to disarm and get rid of the WMD everyone believed it had.
    The 45-minute claim was backed up by the JIC at the time of publishing.
    Presumably when you say your personal belief is that Blair exaggerated the threat you mean that he dishonestly and knowingly exaggerated the threat. I think you need to acknowledge that there is no evidence for this personal belief; it is denied by the man himself; and this denial is corroborated by Scarlett, Campbell, Straw and everyone who actually knew what was going on.

    • Alex

      Except that Saddam’s son in law did deliver piles of documents recording the destruction of Iraq’s WMD programme to the UN which the US and the UK chose to ignore.

      Spin it howver you like there was never any evidence of any continuing WMD programme because there was no programme.

  • ronnie

    Or to put it another way:
    Sir John Scarlett has never swerved in his acknowledgement that he is responsible for the dossier.
    Whether or not Iraq was ‘exceptional’ in its possession of WMD, what undoubtedly was exceptional was its continuous defiance of UN orders to disarm and get rid of the WMD everyone believed it had.
    The 45-minute claim was backed up by the JIC at the time of publishing.
    Presumably when you say your personal belief is that Blair exaggerated the threat you mean that he dishonestly and knowingly exaggerated the threat. I think you need to acknowledge that there is no evidence for this personal belief; it is denied by the man himself; and this denial is corroborated by Scarlett, Campbell, Straw and everyone who actually knew what was going on.

  • Gilliebc

    I think it’s safe to say that Andrew Gilligan is not a popular man or journalist in this country.  His blogs on the Telegraph site never get much of a response.
    I don’t know why he bothers.  I cannot abide the man and have no respect whatsoever for him or his views on anything.

    • Richard

      Point of information. Having been inspired by your critique to visit Gilligan’s website for the first time, I note that 85, 50, 33, 8, 28, 19, 12, 99 and 13 comments were posted in response to his last eight submissions to his daily blog, by visitors to his blog , an average of 40+ comments per contribution. 
      Contrast this with the number of responses published to Ed Milliband’s Blog. Er, um, 0,13,18, 11, 3, 11, 47, 5. Average 13!
      Even using Labour calculators that is only half the number of responses!
      But your analysis fits well, ”  His blogs…….. never get much of a response.I don’t know why he bothers.”

      Gilligan was guilty of pushing a  stick into the hornets’ nest and AC had the power.
      When the current forore dies down, no such concentration of power will exist in Downing St.

  • Gilliebc

    I think it’s safe to say that Andrew Gilligan is not a popular man or journalist in this country.  His blogs on the Telegraph site never get much of a response.
    I don’t know why he bothers.  I cannot abide the man and have no respect whatsoever for him or his views on anything.

  • Ehtch

    A track for your daughter Alastair, that has done her AS wotsits, via the marvellous Ladytron, vid made in Wales – the end scene is Rhossilli Bay, and the scene before is Betws Mountain, near Ammanford, but I digress, as I usually do.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BgZCmB6iZY

  • Ehtch

    A track for your daughter Alastair, that has done her AS wotsits, via the marvellous Ladytron, vid made in Wales – the end scene is Rhossilli Bay, and the scene before is Betws Mountain, near Ammanford, but I digress, as I usually do.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BgZCmB6iZY

  • Ehtch

    Andrew Gilligan? can I sware? His is MI5 through and through, and tried to take down the Labour government.

  • OnTheWayOut

    There was an illuminating article on Andrew Gilligan’s blog about Chilcott – he takes a quote that begins “there were concerns…” He then uses it to argue that this is the real smoking gun, and that the previous four inquiries were whitewashes because they hadn’t picked this up. I looked up the quote and I found that he left out a bit – it should have said “there were concerns that were subsequently amplified in the Butler report…”

    No wonder he left that bit out!

  • MicheleB

    Listening to today’s news and all the generalisations re ‘the Press’, ‘MPs’ and ‘the Police’ I wish that THE MEDIA would get more interested in detail and reject such vague garbage from their ‘sources’.

    I’m sure that most members of the Press resent any suspicion of their all being on the same level as some of NI’s employees so wish they’d refrain from passing on vague generalising gossip about other groups without admitting that that’s all they’re doing.

    Their simply putting stuff in to print or on the airwaves lends it an authority it might not deserve.

    We’ve seen what that broad brush behaviour has caused for all NoW’s ex-employees.

    When saddos like Brooks make sweeping generalisations without detail (as she did a few years ago and will doubtless do again in coming week/s),  they’re guilty of damaging whole institutions that we need to be able to continue to trust and want honest recruits to continue joining.

    Names (or any other identifying info eg: mobile numbers LOL) will surely be essential for anything to be believed from crowds we already know have lied again and again; I’m sick of cowardly vagueness – mega distraction/deflection  on the same industrial scale as the hacking. 

    Make them  prove they knew for sure that wads of cash were going to people other than proven-bent employees/contractors.

  • Ehtch

    Better video of Gordon Brown putting the knife right in on this business, from his experiences of the triangle of wallyness – News International-met coppers-tory government out of power – in the Commons the other day. It is powerful stuff, but as it shoud be, to show up this three corered triangle that has been insidious in liitle village London life for far long,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14144673

  • Michael Taylor

    Totally agree on the Information Commissioner’s report. There are quite a few other media organisations up to their necks in this. And what of the morality of illegally trading stolen personal data from MPs and the intell that landed in Julian Assange’s lap?

  • Mikepaulread

    There must be 60m electors in the UK, including most Labour voters, who think Gilligan called it right and have that thought confirmed every time you choose to diss him with a cheap comment.

    Your war is going with you to the grave, sunshine.

  • Richard Turner

    BS

  • http://twitter.com/o_Owindowsill A Man

    I’ll accept that you were not personally involved in redrafting the dossier and in inserting false intelligence into it. However I will ask you to admit that you were integral in misleading Parliament into a war without foundation.

    Mr Gilligan may have fallen short of your specific style of fact-presentation but when history judges us I think it will show who out of the two of you really committed the greater sin.

    With that in mind it is your appearances on TV that surprise me. What a lovely bunch the media-politico lot are.

  • Toffer99

    Thank goodness someone’s mentioned the Mail. Is it me? I was thinking. Has everyone except the Information Commissioner forgotten who scored the highest in his poll?

  • http://twitter.com/o_Owindowsill A Man

    Did it involve corrupt police officers, politicians and soul-less media types ? 

  • ronnie

    Ask yourself – if there was any evidence Gilligan ‘called it right’ (ie that the Government knowingly put false information in the dossier) don’t you think we’d have seen it by now?

  • ronnie

    Ask yourself – if there was any evidence Gilligan ‘called it right’ (ie that the Government knowingly put false information in the dossier) don’t you think we’d have seen it by now?

  • ronnie

    Ask yourself – if there was any evidence Gilligan ‘called it right’ (ie that the Government knowingly put false information in the dossier) don’t you think we’d have seen it by now?

  • Gilliebc

    “His blogs on the Telegraph site” was what I wrote.  Compared to other regular bloggers on that particular site Gilligan receives far fewer responses in terms of comments than others such as Oborne, Delingpole, Thompson, etc. 

    I’ve never visited Gilligan’s website and have to admit I’ve never visited Ed Miliband’s either, if he has one.  I would hazzard a guess that EM possibly blogs on “Labour List” or similar.  I visited Labour List a few times last year and thought it was an appalling site.  Unless one made a comment which was 100% within the party-line, one’s comment just doesn’t appear.

    I don’t tow the line of any particular party.  I can see good and bad in both main parties and like to comment accordingly.  Though I will say this, at the moment Cameron is having a rough ride.  He deserves it.
    Miliband is doing better in comparison.  He doesn’t necessarily deserve it.

  • Gilliebc

    “His blogs on the Telegraph site” was what I wrote.  Compared to other regular bloggers on that particular site Gilligan receives far fewer responses in terms of comments than others such as Oborne, Delingpole, Thompson, etc. 

    I’ve never visited Gilligan’s website and have to admit I’ve never visited Ed Miliband’s either, if he has one.  I would hazzard a guess that EM possibly blogs on “Labour List” or similar.  I visited Labour List a few times last year and thought it was an appalling site.  Unless one made a comment which was 100% within the party-line, one’s comment just doesn’t appear.

    I don’t tow the line of any particular party.  I can see good and bad in both main parties and like to comment accordingly.  Though I will say this, at the moment Cameron is having a rough ride.  He deserves it.
    Miliband is doing better in comparison.  He doesn’t necessarily deserve it.

  • Gilliebc

    “His blogs on the Telegraph site” was what I wrote.  Compared to other regular bloggers on that particular site Gilligan receives far fewer responses in terms of comments than others such as Oborne, Delingpole, Thompson, etc. 

    I’ve never visited Gilligan’s website and have to admit I’ve never visited Ed Miliband’s either, if he has one.  I would hazzard a guess that EM possibly blogs on “Labour List” or similar.  I visited Labour List a few times last year and thought it was an appalling site.  Unless one made a comment which was 100% within the party-line, one’s comment just doesn’t appear.

    I don’t tow the line of any particular party.  I can see good and bad in both main parties and like to comment accordingly.  Though I will say this, at the moment Cameron is having a rough ride.  He deserves it.
    Miliband is doing better in comparison.  He doesn’t necessarily deserve it.

  • MicheleB

    Yep, would he have been trounced by Hutton if he had ‘got it right’?

    He is a disorganised slob who overslept and had not prepared notes for a pre-arranged phone interview and spoke off the cuff.

    His slovenly reiteration, casting a slur on an expert (that we later duscovered to be Dr Kelly) and his version of insider info, is why he lost his job and hasn’t got another proper one yet.

    Catch up time for mpr.

  • MicheleB

    Yep, would he have been trounced by Hutton if he had ‘got it right’?

    He is a disorganised slob who overslept and had not prepared notes for a pre-arranged phone interview and spoke off the cuff.

    His slovenly reiteration, casting a slur on an expert (that we later duscovered to be Dr Kelly) and his version of insider info, is why he lost his job and hasn’t got another proper one yet.

    Catch up time for mpr.

  • MicheleB

    Gilligan has recently been outed for using several IDs to post supporting himself.

    One of them is ‘kennite’ that he claimed is his partner !!

    Try to be honest Richard (unless you really don’t realise that the internet is rife with multi-IDs posting to support themselves as well as by pros employed by blog hosts to whip things up).

  • MicheleB

    Gilligan has recently been outed for using several IDs to post supporting himself.

    One of them is ‘kennite’ that he claimed is his partner !!

    Try to be honest Richard (unless you really don’t realise that the internet is rife with multi-IDs posting to support themselves as well as by pros employed by blog hosts to whip things up).

  • MicheleB

    Unbelievable that there are apparently still people that ignore all those 000s of victims of WsMD poisoned by Chemical Ali

    as well as the declaration of extant hardware (filled and unfilled) declared to the commission since the invasion.

  • MicheleB

    Unbelievable that there are apparently still people that ignore all those 000s of victims of WsMD poisoned by Chemical Ali

    as well as the declaration of extant hardware (filled and unfilled) declared to the commission since the invasion.

  • Anonymous

    Campbell and Gilligan – unfinished business?
    By andrewsimon – Last updated: Friday, July 22, 2011
    by Andrew Mason
    It would appear that a new war of words has broken out between Alastair Campbell and Andrew Gilligan. Both men have very recently used their own blogs to launch personal attacks at each other, and the current upshot of this is that Gilligan has now challenged Campbell to sue him for calling him a liar.from
    http://www.iraqinquirydigest.org/

    When are you going to answer this challenge