The Guardian writes on how powerless Tony Blair has become to stem a tide of embarrassing disclosures, including the Tashkent Telegrams.
“Another renegade ex-ambassador, Craig Murray – forced out of his job in Uzbekistan for objecting to British/US complicity in torture – is defying the same act with impunity. Over the New Year, he published on his website many classified Foreign Office telegrams and, in a modern touch, has ensured their circulation to more than 4,000 bloggers.”
By David Leigh in The Guardian
A series of important battles is going on between the prime minister’s men and a growing number of more junior officials over who is allowed to censor whom. Censorship attempts always have their funny side. Everyone had quite a laugh last year when Lance Price, the one-time spin doctor, defiantly published his diary entry saying that “we are devising a glasses strategy”. The short-sighted premier’s new specs were to be laid “accidentally” on his desk and a friendly profile-writer allowed to spot them. But Blair wanted Calvin Kleins, while Alastair Campbell thought an NHS pair would play better. Sir Gus O’Donnell, the cabinet secretary, subsequently pronounced of these disclosures: “Making money out of private conversations is wrong” – which, considering the circumstances, was even more amusing.