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February 07, 2003

A British, non-media take on dossier plagarism

From a retired child psychologist friend of mine now in England - a non-blood relation. I asked him what the take was on reports that the latest British dossier against Iraq was pulled from UN and a student's paper. Here's what he said:

As to the several pages of Blair's dossier which were plagiarised from a Californian student's PhD thesis written over ten years ago, this was only first reported here this morning on the radio and TV - somewhat critically I may say. I do not know what the daily press comment was as we only take the weekly Guardian and it will not get reported there until next week, no doubt critically as well. My guess is that a large proportion of the British public will react in the same way as ... I have: that is with only cynical surprise for the reason that this will be seen as just another example of Government "spin": Quite a bit of the decline in popularity of the Blair Government has been due to it's frequent use of "spin" to dress up it's policies, which in plainer terms means deceiving the public. However it has been caught out doing this so often that the public is now inclined not to take anything that Ministers say at face value. My guess is that the revelation that part of the dossier was plagiarised in this way will have the effect of people questioning the accuracy and facts presented in the rest of the dossier and wondering how much of the rest of it was just spin to gain support for War as the best way to solve the Iraq problem.

Incidentally, I recall it being reported that it is customary for British Prime Ministers to make a small gift to incoming Presidents of the USA to congratulate them on taking office. When George Bush was elected, he was presented with a gift from Tony Blair by the British ambassador which took the form of a bust of Winston Churchill. I have yet to make up my mind whether this said more about Tony's expectations of George or Tony's aspirations for himself. I am not sure that Winston were he alive today would be supporting either Tony or George at the present time, since it was he who stated that "Jaw, jaw was better than "War, war."


See any correlation's from across the pond. IE, us.