Saturday, December 16, 2006 

The politics of lying.

There is an exemplary article in the Guardian today by David Leigh and Rob Evans, the two journalists who kick-started the Serious Farce Office's investigation, which debunks many of the myths surrounding the whole BAe corruption inquiry.

Elsewhere, can you possibly guess which newspaper wholeheartedly supports Blair 'n' Goldsmith's decision to drop the inquiry?

Good move

TONY BLAIR was right to scrap the Serious Fraud Office probe into BAE’s sale of Typhoon jets to Saudi Arabia.

If the inquiry had gone ahead the Saudis would have pulled out and taken their business to France.

Highly unlikely. No one else has been stupid enough to buy France's jet fighters yet, and the Saudis weren't going to go alone over corruption allegations that affect BAe more than they do the absolute monarchy.

The cost to Britain: 50,000 lost jobs and terminal damage to swathes of our industry.

Lies. At most 5,000 jobs in the UK were "threatened", as a report on the benefits of the Eurofighter by York University's Centre of Defence Economics made clear. BAe themselves are major benefactors of York University, sponsoring the National Science Learning Centre there. It seems unlikely that they would therefore underestimate the amount of jobs that BAe's Eurofighter scheme would support.

That, presumably, would have pleased the left-wing trouble-makers who suspect BAE paid backhanders to the Saudi royal family to secure the sale.

Indeed, the SFO is made up entirely of left-wing trouble-makers. Like the head of the SFO, who rejected the idea that the probe would have led to nothing, and those left-wing trouble-makers at the Financial Times, who denounced the decision. As for suspecting, well, isn't it funny how the next two sentences of the Sun's leader are given over to defending bribes:

No one likes paying bribes. Give them to one customer and you may have to give them to all.

But in some parts of the world no business is done without handing over a few sweeteners.

That the Sun feels differently to "Sun readers' money" being used to bribe Saudi princes by paying for them to have sex with vice girls (through subsidies), as they describe the murdered sex worker Anneli Alderton on their front page, than it does to "wastes of taxpayers' money" and benefit cheats is worth noting for the next time they righteously start a campaign against either.

It would only be fair at this point to note that Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal al Saud has a 6-7% stake in News Corporation, News International, the Sun's publishers' parent company. This doubtless has no bearing on the Sun's dignified and respectful editorial stand whatsoever.

Similarly, the fact that Sacha Baron Cohen's film Borat was produced by Fox has obviously not attributed to the fact that there have been two puff pieces in the Sun in two days regarding its chances of clinching awards, one written by failed comedian Johnny Vaughan, who has in the past been accused of not watching the films he "reviews".

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