Respect MP George Galloway has shone a timely light on government spending priorities. He released figures from the Ministry of Defense, obtained in response to a Parliamentary Question, which show a doubling of the budget for “public relations activities”, including on external PR consultants, in the period when Britain joined George Bush’s wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. The MoD has confirmed that between 2001 and 2006 the amount spent on spin increased from £35.1 million to £76.2 million.
“Senior military figures have told the Chilcot inquiry that during this period, such was the rush to war, British troops were sent to the deserts of Iraq with jungle fatigues. It is clear that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, however, were prepared to lavish money on the Ministry of Defence’s spin operation, which was deployed against military families who spoke out against the war, such as Rose Gentle. The Iraq war was wrong for many more reasons than just the financial cost and the contempt that was shown for British forces, who were sent to kill and be killed on a lie. But these figures provide a fitting indictment of Blair and Brown: a bottomless pit of cash to try to sell a disastrous and illegal war.”