Listening to the soft ride given to ex MP Kim Howells by the usually splendid Eddie Mair was disturbing this afternoon. Howells had been asked onto the PM programme to give his informed opinion on the interview Edward Snowden did with NBC on American TV last night.
He is one more example of the loathsome brand of politician who have sold our freedom down the river and then try to beguile us with their gravitas. Howells is in a long line of corporate whores who took their thirty pieces of silver and threw whatever remained of their principles in the bin.
Not convinced? Try these: Michael Howard, John Reid, Malcolm Riffkind, George Robertson, Geoff Hoon, Anne Taylor and Jonathon Aitken. All of them left office and promptly worked for either arms manufacturers or security companies.
They appear on our media giving us the benefit of their expertise while all the time the cash registers tinkle away in the background.
Howells managed to get himself elected as Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee - the toothless watchdog that neither watches, barks or bites. As far as the security services are concerned, it is a cosy lapdog. For example, back in 2010 Howells challenged a notable judge, Lord Neuberger, who warned that MI5 was involved in torture. Guess who was right….
Tonight he was at it again saying that Snowden had jeopardised national security by exposing what our secret services are up to. He clearly did not listen to the Today programme this morning where a former CIA operative, a ‘Mr Bear’ damned Snowden with faint praise and managed to slip in some crafty smears about Snowden being a ‘Walter Mitty’ character. He did make it clear though that all this snooping has not stopped one assassination or terrorist outrage. Mr Bear (such a nice name for such a nasty man) said the snooping was useful after an attack to piece together what had happened.
Our national broadcaster makes great claim about being impartial. This is 99% bollocks. Howells was given a soft ride by Mair. Bear was given similar respect by Humphries. No-one was called to present the other view as clearly set out in an essay on Privacy by eminent Law Professor Eben Moglen delivered to an audience at Columbia Law School recently. Anyone interested in our democracy will find Professor Moglen’s thoughts a thousand times more useful -and a lot more concerning - than the corporate whores who fill our airwaves and their pockets.