Thursday 14 January 2010

The wages of spin

I thought that Alastair Campbell performed well during his grilling by the Iraq enquiry; but I wouldn't have expected otherwise. He's a master at his trade, and that came across. The question is, though, how credible is he? All those years as a spinner have destroyed his credibility for many people, even if he's actually telling the truth.

In principle, I've never had an issue with an attempt to present a decision, policy, or whatever in the best possible light. Faced with a 1 litre container which has half a litre of water in it, there's nothing at all wrong with trying to present it as half full rather than half empty (or the other way around, if you're the opposition). But there's a great deal wrong with trying to present it as 'almost full', let alone 'overflowing'. And far too often, the spinners cross the line between selecting the most 'relevant' facts, and presenting them in the best possible light, and inventing 'facts' which support the story that they want to tell.

A strong and confident performance may look good on the news bulletins; but if it's based on untruths, it will eventually fall apart. Given the underlying untruths which seem to have been at the very heart of Blair's decision to go to war, I don't think that any performance on the witness stand, however adept, will salvage Blair's reputation on Iraq.

Ultimately, the wages of spin is disbelief. Making statements which are not credible, or which are later shown to be simply untrue, destroys the credibility of those who make them.


Spirit of BME said...

Little Johnny Chilcott`s boys did not give him a "grilling" in the version I saw.In fact the whole farce is known up here as Chilcott`s chat.
Your concern about Ali Campbells credability and honesty ,shows that your approach to politics is far too honest.
Ali is not concerned about being honest -there is no money in that ,its about being controversial, pots of money in that and another book.

Anonymous said...

It's a farce a waste of time and money let the people decide on election day.