Corrections for the Daily Fail

June 7 2010

The Daily Mail (London), sometimes called the Daily Fail, just ran a rather obnoxious little piece about former PM Tony Blair's alleged consultancy with the Gaddafis in Libya. Their basis was a comment by Saif Gaddafi, Muammar's son, in which he called Blair "a personal family friend" and frequent visitor. Most importantly "he's adviser to the LIA, the Libyan Investment Authority. He has some consultancy role," Gaddafi said, explaining "Tony Blair has the right to earn money."

"If true," the article opined, "the claims will plunge Mr Blair - now a Middle East peace envoy - into a fresh row over potential conflicts of interest between his public and private roles." Indeed, claims causing a row is something that's not hard to see coming. Blair and his people denied flatly any role, even unpaid, with the LIA or Tripoli, but the Labour Godfather isn't convincing at the moment. There are at the least some variety in how one defines consultancy, and what constitutes "with" the LIA vs. someone else working with them, etc.

However, I'm not interested in that issue. I just didn't like the tone of their article in emphasizing what's wrong with cozying up to the Gaddafis - Pan Am 103 / Megrahi. They show no deviation from the standard manipulations.
Last night, families of the 270 Lockerbie victims accused Mr Blair of breaking bread with people who 'have blood on their hands'.

They have in the past raised questions about Mr Blair's relationship with Colonel Gaddafi especially over a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya that paved the way for the return of the Lockerbie bomber last year.

Saif made clear that the agreement - drawn up when Mr Blair was prime minister - was key to creating a 'special relationship' between Britain and Libya.

I could suggest more, but here are three important corrections. First, “families of the 270 Lockerbie victims” should be “Frank Duggan.”
Frank Duggan, president of the Victims of Pan Am Flight 103, told the Mail: 'If this is true, I guess this is Tony Blair's reward from the Libyan government for what he has done.
'It's important for world peace that Libya is brought back into the community of nations but that doesn't mean that you have to honour people with blood on their hands.'
Mr. Duggan was elected president of their brainwashed group, but he isn't even one of the 270 victims' relatives, let alone "families of the 270." And “have blood on their hands” should be “accused of having blood on their hands.” Only megrahi himself has a conviction, one other has an indictment, and the rest nothing but accusations, with all levels of allegation false (or, more precisely, unsupported).

And finally, these said victims “have in the past raised questions about Mr Blair's relationship with Colonel Gaddafi especially over a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya..." Cut there, this is accurate and worthy of discussion. The rest of the sentence, however, is grossly misleading. "... that paved the way for the return of the Lockerbie bomber last year.”

No. Terminal cancer and a questionable prognosis paved the way for Megrahi’s release. Blair’s ridiculous PTA scheme paved the way for Kenny MacKaskill to “consider it” alongside Compassionate Release, just enough to, it seems to me, trick Megrahi into dropping his appeal. An open appeal is allowed with Compassionate Release, but for not for a PTA. For all we know, the charade of reviving the Prisoner swap just at that time masked an explicit appeal-for-freedom swap - perhaps worked out in that secret jail cell meeting. It could be said the prisoner must have just gotten confused about his method of release.

I was thanked for registering and agreeing to the rules and for "adding a comment to MailOnline." I was informed "Comments on this article are being checked in advance. We aim to publish as many as possible. [...] If your comments do not appear, this may be due to the volume we receive or due to the content of your comment." Well, all the "enlightened" comments that did appear, "moderated in advance," did so in a 3.5 hour span. They were just too flooded with hate to let even a peep of a counter-point through. Terribly sorry.

So it's not my content, but the colour of comment that they are so good at drawing out in great masses. Which raises one last correction:
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
Not "necessarily," but it is uncanny how the article and comments tend to line up, and I would guess in this case the paper's own views are in fact represented.
Source: "Tony Blair our very special adviser by dictator Gaddafi's son." By Nabila Ramdani TimShipman, and Peter Allen. Daily Mail/Mail Online. June 5 2010. "Read more:"


Charles said...

As a Namerican, you may not be aware of the contempt the decent liberal agnostic herbivore Englishman holds the DM. In the 1930s it was the paper that backed Hitler and was a great supporter of Oswald Moseley's New Party.

It considers itself to be paper of the middle class of Middle England. No Celts need apply unless they sign up to "tartanry", or the sort of stage Irish position of Sir Terry Wogan.

It believes in a home ow(n)ing democracy (as exemplified by the DM Ideal Home Exhibition), not much religion (especially of vicars with consciences), bun fights like the Last Night of the Proms (provided it never departs from the time-sanctioned traditional format, odd diets and disbelieves importance of MMR vaccines and the like.

Unfortunately it is very successful and makes a lot of money for its owners.

Patrick Haseldine said...

These are some of the Daily Mail's regular columnists:

Caustic Logic said...

Thanks for the comments, guys. Apparently I forgot to say that a week ago. I'm definitely no expert on the Mail or UK media in general, but I've never been impressed with the bits I've seen.