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Leaked memo shows government misgivings over public opinion
24 May 2004The government's misgivings about the state of British public opinion were revealed yesterday following the leak of an allegedly confidential memo to DeadBrain. According to the memo, ministers have been expressing concern about how well Labour will do in the forthcoming elections following the recent spate of prisoner abuse scandals in Iraq and the government's inability to criticise the Bush administration.
"The elections will be difficult and setbacks are to be expected, especially since we can't publicly criticise the Americans," the memo's author, an unnamed party spin-doctor, wrote. "But we have a strategy to push progress forward – how about leaking a memo (make one up if we don't have one) finding fault with their approach, that way the public will think they know what we really think but if the Americans ask we can deny all knowledge."
"Try all the papers, but the Sunday Times would be best," the memo continued. "It'll get Murdoch on side. Remember – if anyone asks, neither confirm nor deny that it's genuine."
A spokesman for the government said that it was long-established policy not to comment on leaks and he could not, therefore, comment on either of the memos, despite the latter containing the words "Cc: All newspaper editors".
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