Iain Dale has offered much needed assistance to Charles Crawford, as Charles struggles to promote the New Labour doctrine that “Torture is Good”.
I think Iain ought perhaps to have checked with William Hague for the line on this one, but we’ll let that go. Anyway, Iain has given Charles a link on “The Daley Dozen” with the plug “Charles Crawford is not an FCO lickspittle, whatever Craig Murray might say.”
So to what does Iain Dale link to prove that Charles Crawford is not an FCO lickspittle? To a bold criticism by Charles of British foreign policy? An attack by Charles on Milliband’s lack of effort on human rights, or on supine British policy over the Israeli attack on Gaza?
No, those don’t exist. Iain links, to “prove” that Charles is no lickspittle, to Charles’ attack on me to further the FCO position of supporting torture. Iain thus shoots both himself and Charles in the foot with one bullet.
I have increased respect for Iain Dale since he recently joined the long list of Tories coming out against Trident 2. I don’t choose friends by their political views. Charles Crawford is a perfectly nice bloke as well. That is the problem when governments do things like institute torture policy. The public servants who go along with it are not monsters but ordinary people.
Charles had attacked me about a dozen times on his blog, if you include his feeble series of “reviews” of Murder in Samarkand, and is acting in a thin-skinned way when I mentioned him for the first time, in the context of his support for the government’s torture policy.
But Charles Crawford’s huffing and puffing cannot disguise his failure to answer the question I put to him. When he was British Ambassador to Poland, did he know about the CIA secret prison near Sczytno Szymany, about torture in it and about the extraordinary rendition flights through that airport? Until he answers those questions, there is nothing else to discuss with him.