Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Powell Should Not Publish His Memoir So Soon'; What about the Vetting Procedure? Lord Armstrong and Jonathan Powell

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Powell Should Not Publish His Memoir So Soon'; What about the Vetting Procedure? Lord Armstrong and Jonathan Powell

Article excerpt

FORMER Cabinet Secretary Lord Armstrong is highly critical ofpoliticians, civil servants and government cronies who increasingly rush intoprint with their memoirs long before the official period of discretion is up.

Alastair Campbell and David Blunkett spring to mind but it's Tony Blair's chiefof staff Jonathan Powell who has got up his nose with the announcement of hisbook on the Northern Ireland peace process, Great Hatred, Little Room, MakingPeace in Northern Ireland , to be on 3 April to coincide with the 10thanniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

Publisher Bodley Head claims: "He has had access to private diaries andgovernment files that won't be declassified for 30 years." Robert Armstrong,who coined the phrase "economical with the truth" during the Peter Wright trialin Sydney in 1988, says: "It's all right for politicians to write their memoirsafter a decent interval but I'm not sure it's a good thing for public servantsto write them at all. …

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