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16 August 2005

Charles Clarke on the Today Programme

Charles Clarke was once again made to face John Humphries on the Radio 4 Today Programme this morning. The BBC report of the interview between a great mind and a cabinet weasel has been written up for the BBC News web site, except the BBC write-up isn't quite the full story.

In fact, from the off, it tells precious little about the nature of the interview in which Humphreys had Clarke on the run from the off.

According to BBC News headline, "Clarke believes bombings linked".

Is that what he said? Well, no, of course it's not otherwise it wouldn't be 'news'.

What he actually said, and in response to whether or not evidence to support a link was available:
"Evidence in the judicial sense? No, we don't, er....

[Interjection from Humphreys: Do you believe they were linked in any way?]

I think it would be very, very surprising if they weren't linked in some way, but, er, the word that we used earlier, 'evidence' is... is an issue.

There is not a direct linkage yet formally established to be able to make that assertion, er, directly"

This doesn't mean that Clarke believes there is a link, just that he would be surprised if there wasn't one. End of story.

Mr Clarke, Mr Clarke, if there ain't no, er, that word we used earlier, er, evidence, there ain't no link.

Wouldn't it be reassuring to think that members of the cabinet at least had the common decency to keep with one of the precious few facts of 7 and 21 July as reported by at least one broadsheet in the last few days?

The interview concluded with Humphreys looking to gauge Clarke's position on free speech - as if any government elected by only 20% of the voting public would support any form of free speech - and Clarke delivered the goods:

"Of course [everybody's free speech is the same], er, er, and er, the, and that's an absolute issue.

But I also think speech has implications and that's what has to be examined and that's how we deal with it."

And with those words journalists, editors, bloggers and anyone else that has the ability to speak is tipped off as to what is already happening with regard to how we will all be 'dealt with' in future in the allegedly free and democratic UK.


Martin said...

I spotted this one too. 'Evidence is an issue'. Er, no Charlie, evidence is the issue, this is a criminal investigation after all.

Interesting as well that the man should tell us that freedom of speech is 'absolute'. Since when was that the case?

The Antagonist said...

Perhaps this 'absolute' freedom of speech comes with the powers of Home Secretary which Clarke referred to during the interview repeatedly, and rather dictatorially, as, 'My powers.'

Perhaps this absolute freedom of speech is the same absolute freedom of speech which allows Clarke to withdraw from passing comment when the facts behind the murder of an entirely innocent man break quite so publicly.

A cascade of blatant lies from the top down, from 'Sir' Ian Blair to the trigger-happy plain-clothes CO19 officers.

Let's see if they get away with white-washing this mass-deception of the public.