This week’s Telegraph comment comes from “Sir Tabby” who left his rather naive comment on Will Heaven’s blog, which is little more than an anti-Guardian hatchet-job of which I shall quote a portion.
Starting on p.9 of today’s Guardian, you’ll find an impressive range of voices sticking up for the paper’s coverage of what it calls the “Snowden files” (they’re not actually his, but whatever). The first belongs to the editor of the New York Times, Jill Abramson, and on p.13 the very last voice is Dilma Rousseff’s, the president of Brazil. (They could also addVince Cable to the list.)
Fine. But it’s also worth revisiting the comments below – all made this week by respected public or establishment figures. Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian’s editor, would probably dismiss them out of hand. “They would say that,” he’d argue. Or: “Spies and politicians have been making the same arguments since the early 1990s.” “We’re living in a golden age of surveillance.” etc etc.
Heaven quotes a few people, one of whom is the spooky Jack-in-the-box head of MI5, Andrew Parker.
Andrew Parker, the director general of the Security Service (MI5)
“It causes enormous damage to make public the reach and limits of GCHQ techniques. Such information hands the advantage to the terrorists. It is the gift they need to evade us and strike at will. Unfashionable as it might seem, that is why we must keep secrets secret, and why not doing so causes such harm.”
Heaven then goes on to quote an anonymous “Downing Street spokesman”.
Downing Street spokesman, speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister
“The Prime Minister thinks [Andrew Parker’s] was an excellent speech and we are, as you would expect, always keeping under review the measures that are needed to contribute to keeping our country safe. I would happily point you to all parts of the director general’s speech.”
I never trust anything that purports to come from a “Downing Street spokesman”. Usually such people tend to be low-grade pen pushers. This is the “free press” in action, guys. It works tirelessly to promote the view of the security services and the party that represents those views in Parliament – the Tories.
Here’s Sir Tabby the Alley Cat’s contribution:
Poor gullible, naive “Sir Tabby”. He thinks the security services “know what they’re talking about”. The security services couldn’t catch a cold, let alone a terrorist cell. MI5’s job is to keep people in a state of fear and to blackmail ordinary citizens, and fit up politicians and foreign dignitaries by photographing them in compromising situations.