31.8.04

El lado oscuro de Tony Blair

Para los que piensan que los conflictos entre la clase dirigente británica se dirimen bajo el más absoluto respeto a las reglas del marqués de Queensbury, las memorias de Greg Dyke van a suponer todo un descubrimiento. El ex director general de la BBC ha publicado un libro en el que ajusta cuentas con Blair, su consejero de prensa Alastair Campbell y Lord Hutton.

Su cabeza voló por los aires cuando el informe Hutton acusó a la BBC de haber manipulado la información que denunciaba que el Gobierno sabía que sus conclusiones sobre la amenaza del arsenal iraquí eran, como poco, exageradas y, en algún caso, simplemente falsas. Blair y Campbell aprovecharon las parciales conclusiones de Hutton para librarse de la cúpula de la BBC.

The Observer ha publicado dos extractos del libro de Dyke. Las presiones del Gobierno británico quedan reflejadas en toda su crudeza. La némesis de la TV pública británica es Alastair Campbell, un ex reportero de la prensa sensacionalista cuyos manejos y malas artes dejan a nuestros Miguel Angel Rodríguez y Pérez Rubalcaba a la altura de los simples aficionados:

To understand how all this came about, one has to understand the whole psyche of Blair's Number 10 and the enormous power wielded by Campbell. In many ways Campbell is a political genius but over seven years he turned Downing Street into a place with overtones of Nixon's White House. You were either for them or against them. And if you opposed them, you became the enemy.

El juez Hutton no queda mejor parado, porque los ignorantes siempre tienen menos brillo que los malvados:

Hutton clearly knew little about journalism, had spent many years living closely with the security services, and was naive about the way Blair's Downing Street operated, all of which could explain why he made the mistakes he did. He certainly had no experience of running a major public inquiry. The nearest he'd come to it before was an inquiry in Northern Ireland in relation to drainage works in a river.

But does this explain why he did what he did? What I do know is that Philip Gould, one of the architects of New Labour and very much part of Blair's inner circle, was asked by one Labour peer before the Hutton report was published if he thought the Government faced a problem over the Kelly affair. Gould replied: "Don't worry, we appointed the right judge."


¿Y Blair? Dyke tiene el detalle de resumir las cartas que Blair envió al presidente y al director general de la BBC un día antes de que comenzara la guerra de Irak:

The letter to me, sent on 19 March 2003, said that while Blair accepted it was right that "voices of dissent" were heard, the BBC had gone too far, and he had been shocked by some of "the editorialising" of our interviewers and reporters.

He said:

"It seems to me there has been a real breakdown of the separation of news and comment... I know too that Alastair had been pressing you to ensure more reference is made to reports from inside Iraq about the restrictions under which the media operate..."

Blair went on to complain that our reports were full of complaints from "ordinary" Iraqis, but that there was no such thing in modern-day Baghdad as anyone who criticised the regime risked execution or torture. He ended by saying that he had never written to me or my predecessor in this way before, adding:

"I believe, and I am not alone in believing, that you have not got the balance right between support and dissent; between news and comment; between the voices of the Iraqi regime and the voices of Iraqi dissidents; or between the diplomatic support we have, and diplomatic opposition".

Later, Gavyn was told by a Number 10 official that Blair had not wanted to send the letters but had been persuaded to do so by Campbell, and later regretted it.


Los que están convencidos de que el modelo de la BBC garantiza la independencia de la televisión pública británica se quedarán bastante sorprendidos con el testimonio de Dyke. Al final, uno descubre que no hay modelo que pueda contener el voraz apetito manipulador de todos los Gobiernos, sólo cuenta la independencia de las personas y su capacidad para resistir las presiones. En España, los dirigentes de las TV públicas cometen los mismos errores que Dyke y la BBC. Desgraciadamente, carecen de su voluntad de independencia.

How Blair betrayed me, and the BBC. Part I. Greg Dyke.
How Blair betrayed me, and the BBC. Part II. Greg Dyke.
Hutton, al servicio del poder. Guerra eterna, 30 enero.
El triunfo del spin. Periodistas 21, 29 enero.
Informe Hutton.