Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

"Battle Victory - 'Good News Story"'. (Don't Believe It)

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

"Battle Victory - 'Good News Story"'. (Don't Believe It)

Article excerpt

It is a little-known fact that the Ministry of Defence has more spin-doctors than any other government department, with only the Home Office coming anywhere near its numbers. Geoff "Buff" Hoon certainly needs all the help he can get at the moment. But when you see an army commander tell us live on television that a battle victory in an obscure town no one outside Iraq has heard of is a "good news story", then you know that spin has taken over even in the armed forces. How on earth can anything to do with this war be "good news"?

The reason why one of our war leaders can come out with such a crass comment is because there has been very little good news to report, unless you read the Sun.

The big problem for Alastair Campbell and his team is that there is no way that they can control events on the battlefield, and there are simply too many hacks covering the war for him to influence them all. …

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