Thursday, 21 June 2012

Campbell, Mrs Blair and the signed Hutton Report

I hadn't envisaged writing about Tony Blair's former spin doctor Alastair Campbell today.  However a well penned piece by journalist Miles Goslett has changed that.

Mr Goslett has written a number of thoughtful articles about the death of Dr David Kelly before.  The publication this week of the latest volume of Alastair Campbell's Diaries has led to the linked article ... and a reminder of one of the most tasteless episodes in modern politics that I can recall.

In his article Miles relates the fact that Campbell and Cherie Blair signed a copy of the Hutton Report and that it was auctioned at a labour party fund raising event for £400.  But it wasn't simply that that Miles found utterly appalling, it was the fact I think that Campbell says in his introduction to the book: 'I never met David Kelly, but I think about him often ...' whilst using the death as a promotional tool for his book.  It's Campbell's obvious hypocrisy allied with that signing of a copy of the Hutton Report that is so stomach churning.

As for Cherie Blair I have long wondered whether she has any real concept of good taste.


  1. Iain Dale was very interested in this in his blog. (for political reasons no doubt) Anyhow:

    Interesting comment here:
    Paul Linford said...

    Knowing how journalism works, I am assuming the Mail on Sunday will have asked the Kelly family for a comment on this, and I am assuming that the request was declined. I would surmise that this was the reason the story didn't get such a great show in the MoS, and also why it hasn't been that well followed-up by the rest of the Dead Tree Press.

    I imagine the Kelly family are absolutely sick of the whole wretched business. Their reluctance to comment does not, however, lessen the degree of crassness and insensitivity shown by Labour.
    May 23, 2006 11:35 AM

    See also this post:, the one with the cryptic xsk 45 comment.

    Another comment here Anonymous said...

    Has it ever been established who the copy of the report belonged to? I emailed Hazel Blears and Gus O'Donnell a week ago to see if it was stolen HMG property but didn't get a response ....
    May 30, 2006 4:18 PM

    As the BBC reported:
    The auction [at the Arts Club, Mayfair] was attended by a number of government ministers.

  2. The signed copy of the Hutton Report wasn't raised by Cameron at PMQs on 24.5.06 but Tory MP Robert Goodwill asked Blair about it. This from the Guardian: "Tory Robert Goodwill asks if the Hutton report should be sold with autographs to raise money for a political party? "I do not believe any offence to anyone was intended," replies Mr Blair - confirming the story is true, at least."