UK Politics

Who knows why?

David Aaronovitch takes the scapegoaters to task:

Robert Jackson MP knows why Dr David Kelly died. It’s because the BBC delayed too long in admitting that he was the famous source for the Gilligan story. “If the BBC had made this statement while he was alive,” said the Conservative MP, “I believe he would still be alive.”

Paul Routledge, bibulous Blair-scourger for the Daily Mirror, also knows why the quiet scientist is dead. It’s the fault of Geoff Hoon: “The New Labour snout who put Dr Kelly’s name into the public domain, triggering the sequence of events that led to his death.” An editorial in yesterday’s Daily Mail states that “what led to Kelly’s lonely death was… the decision of the New Labour mendacity machine to launch a phoney war on the BBC and divert attention from…” and you can fill in the rest for yourself. And in the same newspaper, Melanie Phillips rather confusingly adds that “the awful truth is that Dr Kelly is dead because of a fight over a trifle”.

From people who had never met Kelly or did not know him well, these are either extraordinary intuitions, or vulgar guesses informed more by prejudice than insight. Perhaps their authors would like to speculate on the other 4,500 people who committed suicide in England last year, and who – exactly – drove them to it. It might help the coroners.