In Your Face

In Your Face
Thought provoking opinions on topical issues.

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Don’t Be So Cocky

The Hutton report, the gestation period of which was almost akin to that of an elephant, finally entered the public domain on Wednesday. Readers of The Sun were treated to a sneak preview a little earlier.

Hutton, as we all know, kept very strictly to the parameters of his enquiry; and did not comment on the reasons as to why the British government decided that Saddam Hussein was a greater threat to world peace than say, North Korea, Iran or Osama.

He exonerated the government from any wrongdoing over the death of Dr Kelly; instead he laid significant blame on the BBC’s handling of the reporting of the alleged “sexed up dossier”.

As at the time of writing, three central characters in this sorry tale have resigned; Gavyn Davies (Chairman of the BBC), Greg Dyke (Director General of the BBC) and Andrew Gilligan (the reporter who wrote the dossier story).

I do not propose to comment on the quality of the Hutton report, its conclusions or on the actions of the BBC.

However, I will make a few observations:

  • Within 48 hours of the release of the report; we see that three people have resigned, of their own accord, and with as much honour as one could expect under these circumstances.

  • Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s’ ex spin doctor, rushed to the airwaves (almost punching the air with joy) to decry the BBC; and to express an almost gloating satisfaction over the report.

  • Tony Blair managed to restrain his comments, but his grin said it all.

  • The Labour Party in the House of Commons on Thursday did not contain their utter glee at the outcome; and barracked Michael Howard (leader of the Conservative Party), hissing and booing as he tried to speak.

  • We see here two contrasting outcomes; resignation with honour at the BBC, cockiness and arrogance from the Labour Party.

    I would remind the Labour Party of the following:

  • How many politicians have resigned with such good grace, and with such speed when their judgement/performance has been criticised? Normally they have to be dragged, kicking and screaming from office.

  • Arrogance and cockiness tend to come before a fall.

  • Beware Tony, don’t be so cocky.

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