[Michael Wharton wrote the Peter Simple End Column for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph for some 50 years until his death in 2006. His frank and succinct assessments of current matters made it essential reading. This edition, prompted by the UK Parliament’s Select Committee report on the Kosovo war, was no exception.]
Friday October 27 2000, Page 31
End column, Peter Simple
A REPORT by a parliamentary committee on the shameful and treacherous campaign against the Serbs reveals not only its military incompetence but also the persistent lying that accompanied the whole disgraceful affair.
In the first place, our politicians lied about the scale of the atrocities committed during the initial Albanian uprising in Kosovo, thereby setting off a popular outcry: “Something must be done.”
They lied about the deceitful negotiations by which the Serbs were forced into a corner; they lied about the far greater number of victims indirectly produced by the bombing campaign itself; they lied about the bombing of Serb civilians; they lied about the alleged “mass graves” of Albanian victims.
Around all these lies, making them, if possible, even more repellent, floated a vaporous cloud of moralising cant projected by Blair, Cook and the rest of the New Labour gang. When the time comes for a reckoning with those people, the shameful episode of Kosovo, which now seems half-forgotten, should be a big item on the indictment.