Tim Blair


New Criterion



Thursday, May 27, 2004
TWO BEAT-UPS IN TWO DAYS! Henny Herald's productivity is spiking, but she needs to coordinate her campaigns better with soul-sister Auntie ABC.

First there's the supposed chasm between Blair and Powell the role of Coalition military forces in self-governing Iraq after June 30.

To give this story any credence you have to believe that Tony Blair is seriously proposing that the fate of his military will be put in the hands of a foreign government, a bizarre idea.

Apart from that, the only difference between the statements of Blair and Colin Powell is the flavour of the rhetoric.

Auntie's AM gave the concoction a big push through an uncritical interview with UPI's Martin Walker who froths at the mouth.

ABC On-line gave the idea support with this head-line:
Iraqi government to have full control: Blair

which reader Alan Brain has found, by googling, did not come from their BBC and Reuters sources. The text of the story shows that Blair was talking about "final political control", a vastly different proposition, while old Grumpy sends a copy of the same ABC On-line story with this headline:
Blair parrots Bush on Iraqi 'sovereignty'

Nice of Auntie to give us a choice. Blair is dissenting from Bush (Walker)or parrotting him, or perhaps both at the same time.

It's very confusing. But not as confusing as this bit of Auntie spin:
His [Bush's] major speech yesterday was intended to resell his administration's policy on Iraq to Americans - and lift those [poll] figures.

But in what must have been quite a setback, most of the major US networks chose not to run it live, nor in prime time.

Can you work it out? If Bush's pronunciation is bad enough to deserve headlines in itself, how could full live coverage have helped his cause? He should stick to the 20-second grabs.

And then there's today's yarn about the Australian government having prior knowledge of the Abu Ghraib shenanigans. The odds are that, too, will prove a fabrication, but by the time that happens, the mud will have dried.