Wikileaks has been a disappointment. It’s all a bit like the Telegraph with the ‘expenses CD’. We surely know the Sunni hierarchies supported by the West would like Iran taken out of the power picture in their region. And we should know enough of how language works to understand what is said behind the scenes is a lot different to public diplomatic language. Our Government has been issuing D notices to try and stop embarrassing publications in our own press, despite the fact we should be able to go directly to Wikileaks to find out the Yanks don’t think much of Cameron, compared to those like Blair and Mandelson who look like their placed men.
Our civil servants have been in print for more than a century, telling us about ‘diplomacy as war by other means’, ‘statistics as misleading dross’, and how to reveal nothing to the public in long statements. Goffman, an easy sociological read, sums a lot of it up and his work is from the 1950-60 era.
As a public, we should really be failing ourselves as largely uneducated, if we think any media frenzy on Wikileaks is any more than a distraction from the dirty reality of politics and the lack of any really free comment. All of what Wikileaks is hyping-up will turn out to have been discussed and modelled in serious books and journals. We just don’t read.