Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
7 July 2016, 12:24
James O'Brien Hammers The Sun's Iraq War Traitors' Dartboard
James O'Brien hammers The Sun over the Iraq War "traitors' dartboard" they have removed from their website.
James O'Brien called out The Sun over their Chilcot Report coverage, after they removed a "traitor's dartboard" from their website.
The editorial piece from 2003 recommended that readers threw darts at Robin Cook's picture over his opposition to the Iraq War.
The late Mr Cook was vindified yesterday by the Chilcot Report, which heaped criticism on Tony Blair and his government for their decision to go to war.
Speaking on his LBC show, James hammered The Sun for their position, saying: "The Sun has removed from its website a page that invited you to throw darts at Robin Cook because he was a traitor.
"Robin Cook found the courage to resign over this issue, to actually sacrifice his own career. Look at this shower in charge now in both sides of the house and show me a man or a woman who would resign on principle over something their own government were doing.
"Robin Cook could see that it was wrong. I couldn't. Deep shame, embarrassment, humiliation really. But I was just a bloke. I didn't even have the privilege of talking into this microphone every morning.
"The people who did, the people who were cheerleading for war, are now backtracking, saying 'Well I don't know if I was ever in favour of the war as such'. It's so insulting.
"A traitors' dartboard. Throw darts at Clare Short, because she stood up to Tony Blair. Show darts at the late Robin Cook because he stood up to Tony Blair."
James had strong words for the Sun's headline about Charles Kennedy. Next to a picture of the then Lib Dem leader, they had a picture of a snake, saying "Spot the difference". The subtitle read: "One is a spineless reptile that spits venom. The other is a poisonous snake."
James stated: "His friends say that his drinking problems escalated quite soon after that. It's tough. You forget these people are human.
"If you receive a monstering like that, you get called a traitor by the best-selling newspaper in the country, you don't just shrug it off and move along.
"Neither Robin Cook nor Charles Kennedy are here today to be vindicated. Nor is David Kelly, who took his own life in circumstances that many people stillconsider to be mysterious."