Diary: Campbell's legal logic makes Shaggy's lyrics look like Shakespeare

In seeking to understand the great figures of the age, few areas offer more potential for insight as the primary paternal influence. With Mrs Thatcher it was that austere Grantham grocer Alderman Roberts, while Messrs Blair and Bush would cite the Creator to whom each was linked by earthly-celestial red phone line. With Alastair Campbell, meanwhile, all finally becomes clear.

Ali's spiritual father wasn't Robert Maxwell after all. It was Shaggy, the Jamaican- born reggae-rapper who served as a US Marine in the first Iraq war of 1991. Ali's latest repudiation of sexing up the intelligence that led us into the second, in defiance of Major General Michael Laurie's recent letter to Chilcot, is lifted directly from "It Wasn't Me", the No 1 single in which Shaggy counsels a man whose girlfriend found him in flagrante with another to cleave to the categorical denial, however preposterously.

"But she caught me on the counter (It wasn't me)
Saw me bangin' on the sofa (It wasn't me)
She even caught me on camera (It wasn't me)."

So far, so good. The problem was that, the second he realised the melody wouldn't work on the bagpipes, Ali stopped listening. He never heard the bit where Rik Rok repudiates Shaggy's advice with: "Gonna tell her that I'm sorry/ For the pain that I've caused/ I've been listening to your reasoning/ It makes no sense at all."

Say you're sorry, Ali, to the Kelly family, Andrew Gilligan, this country and Iraq. The catharsis can only do you good.



Incidentally, in the light of the evidence from this very model of a Major General – in my day, senior spooks kept schtum – might it be time for the BBC to cease hiring Ali as a guest and serialising his diaries? It is illegal for criminals to profit from their crimes. Surely the spirit of that law applies to suspected war criminals?

* Well done also to the CIA for the obvious fiction about Osama bin Laden's computer porn stash. As Alastair will confirm, sexual smearing is a traditional part of the propaganda process (see Hitler's gonadic shortfall and Saddam's tiny winkle), posthumous or otherwise. Besides, Ossie is in no position to say: "It wasn't mine".



* Hats of to have-a-go hero Nicky Campbell. On Friday, brave Nicky told 5 Live listeners how at 5.30am he saw a man trying to nick his bike from the garden, and scared him off by banging on the window. "Adrenalin completely took over. I would have gone into that garden and jumped on top of him stark naked." A captivating image (if only Jean Genet were around to make the film), and some explanation as to why that chap became so obsessed with 5 Live that his wife left him. It wasn't solely the warmth and wit of Victoria Derbyshire after all.

* Also following Shaggy's advice is Chris Huhne, who was taped urging silence on the person he allegedly cajoled into taking the three points for his speeding offence. For all the denials, the question seems less whether he can survive than which Lib Dem will replace him in Cabinet. With David Laws in disgrace, Nick Clegg may be tempted to hug a likely challenger to his bosom, and bring in Tim Farron or Simon Hughes. But I hope he plumps for Sarah Teather. Politics be damned, she's just so unbearably sweet.



* In better news for Chris, his love of driving fast offers hopes of a new career presenting Top Gear. Jeremy Clarkson is yet another in denial mode, in his case regarding claims that he has split from his missus. The bison-headed know-all has taken a flat in London's louche Bayswater, he insists, because he can't face commuting to the BBC studio from the marital home in Chipping Norton. This is about 65 miles, and even if he dawdled down the M40 at a stately 100mph, rather than the 240mph at which he once crossed Europe in a Bugatti, it would take 40 mins. Having lost the taste for speed, Jeremy should stand aside for Chris, whose former wife says that he "drives like a maniac".

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices