As a follow-up to Chris’s post on the subject, I notice that Boris Johnson MP, the editor of The Spectator, has offered to publish the memo detailing Bush’s alleged conversation with Blair about bombing the al-Jazeera TV station. (That last link is to the Speccie’s website, which requires registration; if you can’t be bothered, Johnson’s piece is also available on his own website).
Johnson is of course a notorious self-publicist, and he may have made some shrewd calculation about the actual likelihood of his being passed the memo versus the brownie points to be had from posing as a courageous editor standing up to the government. None the less, fraternal relations between the American and British right have reached a pretty desperate state when the leading article in Britain’s most prominent conservative magazine contains the following sentences:
Outlandish and inconceivable the story certainly is, but what we really want to know is: is it true? If true, then this magazine would finally abandon its long struggle to find anything to support in US policy towards Iraq and the Middle East in general.
Shrill indeed. I doubt that Johnson would have kept his job for very long if he’d tried taking this line when that greedy crook Conrad Black owned the paper, but when the ship starts to sink, even the most polished and charming of rats has to consider an exit strategy.