Someone should have told the hacks and pundits at the Maily Telegraph that this week’s explosion of bile from the Daily Mail aimed at the deeply subversive Guardian was merely the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre losing his rag at being parodied as Hitler in the Berlin Bunker by Steve Bell. Because the paper has decided to join in the kicking, but not very convincingly.
The paper has featured an interview with Jack Straw, or rather, the BBC interviewed him, and the Tel lifted it, as this is cheaper and much less trouble. And picking Straw as an example is an astute choice, as he was a fully signed-up member of the move to go to war in Iraq over those pesky WMDs that never did get found, and the practice otherwise known as extraordinary rendition.
So what Straw would say when it came to keeping anything done by the spooks secret is a no-brainer: of course he thinks that is A Good Thing, and anyone doing otherwise, whatever the paper blowing the whistle, is certain to be denounced in the strongest terms. And so he has, using the pretence that he is a grown-up, while those at the Guardian are mere adolescents (no, don’t laugh).
“They're blinding themselves about the consequence and also showing an extraordinary naivety and arrogance in implying that they are in a position to judge whether or not particular secrets are not likely to damage the national interest. They're not in any position at all to do that”. Yes, only the spooks know The Real Picture, you see. But that’s another of those secrets.
The article then rambles on about supposed numbers of files found on the electronic devices taken from David Miranda at Heathrow Airport, as if the spooks have even got near cracking the encryption. In the meantime, Will Heaven takes to the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs to pretend that lots of public figures have passed seriously adverse comment on the Guardian’s behaviour.
Sadly, the only figures he can cite include Straw (again), a former head of GCHQ, Young Dave’s spokesman, Corporal Clegg (note that Vince Cable has not agreed with his party leader’s opinion), Andrew “Nosey” Parker, who made the speech that set the press off, although he did not mention the Guardian (minor point, eh?) and Oliver Robbins, Britain’s national security advisor.
Robbins is trying to talk up that detention of David Miranda, and the pretence that he was carrying “Up To” any large number of files of Very Very Secret Information, really, in order to make it look as if our spooks are not totally useless at cracking electronic encryption. Or, as it is sometimes known, a vested interest. Heaven appears not to have figured this out before cobbling his post together.
So he convinces the gullible, but nobody else. No change there, then.