Chris Harman


Revolt at Hutton’s Whitewash

(29 January 2004)

From Socialist Worker, No.1886a, 29 January 2004.
Copied with thanks from the Socialist Worker Website.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

WE ARE witnessing the biggest establishment political cover-up of modern times.

  1. Protest at war lies cover-up
  2. Support BBC workers-no scapegoats
  3. It’s Blair who should resign

A year ago Tony Blair told us repeatedly that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq which could be fired within 45 minutes. Today everyone knows there were no weapons of mass destruction, except for thousands of nuclear warheads in the possession of George Bush himself.

Independent surveys show that 80 percent of BBC coverage accepted that lie, even though up to half the population opposed the war.

But Hutton has decreed that no blame at all must be attached to Tony Blair and his government. Hutton has done exactly what Blair appointed him to do.

Gavyn Davies, chairman of the board of governors, and Greg Dyke, the director general, were old pals of Blair. But they felt there should be at least some expression of what most people felt about the war.

Even that was too much for the masters of the lie machine. So they have been forced to resign. Now there is an establishment witch-hunt against the minority of journalists and commentators in the BBC who revealed the truth.

Hundreds of BBC workers have walked out in protest from London to Glasgow. Everyone must support them.

Some 56 percent of people in a poll in London’s Evening Standard say that Hutton’s verdict is wrong. Half say his report is a “whitewash”.

That feeling has to be turned into action.

There is no other way to stop Blair turning the BBC into a complete lie machine for himself and his master in the White House. There is no other way to defend the most minimal right of freedom of speech and freedom of expression on television and radio.

The BBC unions should be striking to defend every journalist and commentator against the witch-hunt. The other trade unions should be standing alongside them, saying they too will take action in defence of all our liberties.

Hundreds of workers at the BBC’s London HQ walked out on Thursday.

One told Socialist Worker, “People think that it’s the thin end of the wedge. We are moving towards a state-controlled media. The whiff of totalitarianism is in the air. The Hutton inquiry was a whitewash. The government has got away with lying to us.”

Last updated on 13 December 2009