The Indy runs an extract from Nick Davies' excellent Flat Earth News - after reports suggested it wouldn't. Most exemplary. As interesting is the interview with the former political editor of The Observer Kamal Ahmed, preceding the extract. He addresses Davies' allegation that Alastair Campbell gave him sight of the dodgy dossier on a flight to Washington. Ahmed says: "I did go forward and have a discussion with Alastair, and Alastair showed me the front cover of something ... He said to me, 'We're thinking of putting this out'. And I said to him: 'I haven't seen it so I don't know what it is.' That was it. It was less than thirty seconds."
Well, who knows? But Ahmed's version doesn't quite add up. Why would Campbell point to a document and say it was being put out without first saying what it was? Wouldn't the normal response of a journalist be to ask: "But what is it?" Was Ahmed not curious to know why he had been invited to sit with Campbell and the Prime Minister and have his attention drawn to a mysterious document? Why did Campbell invite him up front in the first place?
He further claims he was no closer to Campbell than any other political editor. Is this true when Ahmed admits in the interview telling Campbell whether a particular story would make the splash in the Observer or not?
A more forensic approach to Ahmed might have done him more favours - after all, he may very well be innocent of the charge that he, the former editor Roger Alton and the Observer were a Blair/Campbell lapdog so far as the Iraq War was concerned.
On another level, and as an outsider to this matter, I am struck by the laddism that seems to characterise the Campbell-Ahmed-Alton axis, one forged in a love of footie and cunt and them 'n' us politics. Don't some people ever grow out of the playground mentality? Fucking cock-cunters.