On 20 June 2007, an entry on the blog was entitled “Government spin – a worrying precedent”. It told the story of how the Department of Health had suggested changes to a speaker’s comments after a meeting in London.
The blog entry mentioned Orwell’s prophetic classic nineteen eighty-four and suggested that not even he had thought of suggesting changes to a third party’s comments in the official record of a meeting.
So thank you to UK Liberty for pointing out that the book’s Winston Smith was employed by the Ministry of Truth to change historical documents to fit the party line.
UK Liberty says: “What they [the Department of Health] did was entirely improper, and I can’t see any legitimate reason for doing it. Why on earth did they think they had the right to fiddle with what the commentator said? By all means have clarifications and the right of reply, but don’t rewrite the record of what third parties have said.”