Simon Carr:

Simon Carr: Why play the bully when manly charm is enough?

Sketch: He said he'd defend the accuracy and honesty of his briefings against any journalist's record

Share
Related Topics

It's the charm of Alastair Campbell that works the magic – not the mental violence and emasculating sarcasms. It's the manly, handsome, self-deprecating, smiling charm overlaying the mental violence – that's what drew the inquiry to him. The core participants fluttered round him during an interval and the judicials came to treat him as an adviser rather than a witness.

He is not a bully. "This bullying thing is just nonsense." Spin? "This whole thing about spin is totally overdone." Were ministers frightened of Rebekah Brooks when she edited The Sun? No! Or if they were they shouldn't have been.

"Did you ever tell journalists anything that wasn't true?" There was a direct question, on oath. What on earth could he say? He said he'd defend the accuracy and honesty of his briefings against any journalist's record. As football commentators say: "You can't legislate against talent like that."

He did return to it later saying, "I never told them lies." And also, "Not a single journalist has ever produced a shred of evidence."

However, there were a couple of other moments in the session that looked a bit evidential. Hadn't he denied the tensions between Blair and Brown as inventions of the press? "I don't think I ever denied them as an invention of the press," he said. Ha!

Of the Black Rod story (Downing Street trying to insert Blair into the Queen Mother's lying in state) – it was "completely and totally untrue". I've had dinner with the gentleman in question and "completely and totally untrue" would not be sustainable in an adversarial court.

Of the Iraq run-up: "It was always perfectly clear where this was heading". That is the polar opposite of what he and they said at the time. The dossiers, if you remember, were never intended to "make the case for war".

Counsel Jay never challenged a word of this. Just when we could have done with a bit of judicial hauteur!

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission, 1st yr OTE £30-£40k : SThree:...

Middleware Support Analyst

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Senior Java Developer/Designer

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: My client are looking fo...

Domino Developer and Administrator

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A burial team in protective clothing remove a body in Sierra Leone  

The reality of Ebola: Buckets of chlorine in the streets, and no one shakes hands any more

Patrick Jamiru
Good2Go is the sexual consent app  

Good2Go: It's proper Sex and Relationships Education that will help end assault, not an iPhone app

Sian Norris
Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?