Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Don't Believe It

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Don't Believe It

Article excerpt

"Short never raised war with Blair"

Has Alastair Campbell finally lost the plot? The shrinking band of Blair loyalists was instructed to take to the airwaves and attack Clare Short with the most crass line ever dreamt up by the PM's chief spin-doctor: "She should have spoken to Tony first."

Does Downing Street really expect us to believe that Short hasn't been telling the Prime Minister every day that she did not agree with war unless it had UN backing?

The best spin lines, as ever, came from the twice-disgraced ex-minister Peter Mandelson. "I think people will ask why she is choosing to say this, why she is choosing to say it now in such language..."

For most of us, it is obvious why Short spoke out in the way she did. Tony Blair has not been listening. The International Development Secretary knows that the only time people in No 10 take any notice of anyone else's views is when they hear them on the radio or see them on TV. …

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