Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Never Ever Let The Dream Fade

"Politics is the means by which POLITICIANS influence, control and otherwise direct ORDINARY PEOPLE."

I wrote this in my first blog - as a rewrite of a statement by Charles Clarke. (

Perhaps all governments are like this but Blair’s government has reached new depths. One of their techniques is spinning and lying. We know they spin and lie but here I am rabbiting on about even more spin.

When the Lancet paper on Iraqi deaths was published last year the UK, US and Australian governments all rubbished its findings. Now thanks to the BBC ( the briefings and advice given to them is available.

The briefings said that the methodology was “close to best practice” and “cannot be rubbished, it is a tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones."

The government rubbished the methodology and the report saying variously:

"The problem with this is that they are using an extrapolation technique from a relatively small sample, from an area of Iraq which isn't representative of the country as a whole.” and

"We have questioned that technique right from the beginning and we continue to do so.

Surprise ! Surprise! The governments responses did not match the briefings.

Although now questions have been raised about aspects of the study, when they rubbished the study the government had only the advice from its experts to rely on. They ignored this advice and attacked the study by lying.

Obviously this is no surprise. We know they do it. The difference here is that we can see both sides of this example.

Is there no depth they won’t plumb to hide the truth, to confuse us, to fool us. Every spin, every lie reduces our democracy. I could say that virtually every act of this government reduces our democracy but that would be a slight exaggeration.

We need to get back to politics as Charles Clarke actually described it. I now he doesn't believe this but it is still a good description: "Politics is the means by which ordinary people influence, control and otherwise direct the society of which they are a part."

With this government we won’t get back, with a Tory government we won’t get back. We need a fresh start.

But that is a dream, an unrealisable dream!

Unrealisable it may be but never, ever let the dream fade.

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