Is Guido in contempt of the enquiry; is Leveson in contempt of freedom; or is it Campbell that is contemptible?
What a strange democracy this is. The Leveson enquiry into telephone hacking (a public enquiry paid for by us) will be speaking to Alastair Campbell about the time he was working for Blair and paid by us. Guido Fawkes, who takes no money from us, obtained an advance copy of Campbell’s witness statement through legal but not necessarily clear means, and published it for us. Tom Watson, MP and self-aggrandiser maximus, republished it.
The Right Honourable Lord Justice Leveson was unhappy. He demanded that Tom remove the offensive, sorry, offending document. Tom obliged. Leveson demanded that Fawkes also remove the document (by the rather obscure route of sending an ‘order’ to Harriman House Publishing, the 2007 publishers of the The Big Red Book of New Labour Sleaze edited by Fawkes and Iain Dale).
IT IS ORDERED that, until further order,
1. No witness statement provided to the Inquiry whether voluntarily or under compulsion, nor any exhibit to any such statement, nor any other document provided to the Inquiry shall be published or disclosed, whether in whole or in part, outside the confidentiality circle comprising of [sic] the Chairman, his assessors, the Inquiry Team, the Core Participants and their legal representatives prior to the maker of the statement giving oral evidence to the Inquiry or the statement being read into evidence, or summarised into evidence by a member of the Inquiry Team as the case may be without the express permission of the Chairman…
Why? I can only assume that publishing the document before it is aired to the enquiry is some form of contempt, whether legal or purely semantic. But surely Leveson has it the wrong way round?. The person in contempt of the Leveson enquiry is the author of the document who did not hold the enquiry with sufficient reverence to keep his statement private until the enquiry?
Contempt? But who is really contemptible to the Leveson enquiry: Fawkes or Campbell?
And the real victim? On the day before he published Campbell’s evidence, Fawkes blogged:
Well, he was right – but not perhaps in the way he intended.
This article has been described as ‘tripe’ by the keeptonyblairforpm website, a leading supporter of the Ban Blair-Baiting petition.