Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gordon Brown’s ‘inquiry’ into the Iraq war.

Inquiry: official investigation.

Investigation: rigorous examination, careful study, systematic search.

Can’t Gordon Brown do anything right? His announcement of the launch of an inquiry into the Iraq war (and its aftermath) is a ruse. It is political skulduggery masquerading as moral righteousness; duplicity and fraud clothed as veracity and good faith. It is more concerned with the political wars being waged against him at Westminster than it is with investigating the bombs in Basra.

The Iraq war has cost the lives of 179 British service personnel. They fought that we might be free; they gave their lives in order to defend liberal democracy and to permit the very sort of open inquiry which is only possible in a free state. One might think an investigation into the war might be transparent, in-depth, far-reaching, and able to apportion blame. It is the very least the dead are worth: it is what many families of fallen British troops want.

But Gordon Brown’s inquiry is none of the above. It is, as David Cameron suggested, ‘an establishment stitch-up’.

And if it is not, it certainly risks appearing so, and that, in politics, is all that really matters.

The Iraq war has already been subject to two official inquiries – Lord Butler looked into intelligence failures before the war and the Hutton inquiry examined the circumstances leading to the death of government adviser Dr David Kelly. There is little to suggest that Gordon Brown’s inquiry will go any further. It is to be chaired by Sir John Chilcot, a 70-year-old former mandarin considered ‘a safe pair of hands’. He was a member of the Butler review, and, according to Phillipe Sands QC, the international lawyer who closely followed that process, ‘it is not immediately apparent that he will have the backbone to take on former government ministers’.

Excellent.

The inquiry into the most significant foreign policy decision for a generation has a chairman with no backbone. He will not even be able to compel witnesses to attend: he will be constrained by their goodwill. And if they do attend, they will be at liberty to refuse to answer any question with which they are uncomfortable. And, as with all non-judicial inquiries, they will not be required to give evidence on oath, which somewhat diminishes the status of their testimony and the standing of the inquisition.

An investigation that is held in secret is immediately suspicious. And one that will not report until after the General Election is a blatant sop to those erstwhile Labour supporters who have since switched their allegiance to the Liberal Democrats (or to the BNP). The inquiry will have no political representation, no openness, no public session, no ‘systematic search’ for errors and no remit to apportion blame. One gets the feeling the outcome is foreordained: the terms of the inquiry are narrow and restrictive: they are hardly designed to inspire public confidence.

And it will all take a year.

How very convenient.

One can only hope that Prime Minister Cameron might swiftly amend the terms of reference and, at the very least, permit the investigators to apportion blame. What otherwise is the purpose of the inquiry? We are dealing with the facts of history: what on earth could there be to hide?

Unless the issue is the evidence which may be given by Tony Blair, who has long been suspected of having lied to the public and deceived Parliament on the run-up to the invasion. It is inconceivable that he would not attend, and one can but wonder at what he thinks of his successor’s decision to embroil him in such a murky and sullied saga just as he is persuading the world that he is a veritable angel of light, and right in the middle of his campaign to be the first President of Europe.

This inquiry will reveal nothing new, for it is not remotely concerned with uncovering truth. It is a monumental waste of taxpayers’ money designed to deflect attention from a dying government and a living-dead prime minister. Sadly, its principal effect will be to exacerbate the contempt in which politicians and the political process are already held.

30 Comments:

Blogger John Woolman said...

This Inquiry is a sham, a whitewash and an insult to all of those who died. The matter requires nothing less than a full judicial enquiry, in public but with discretion to here certain evidence in camera, conducted by a young and vigourous judge with the power to compel witnesses to attend and give evidence on oath or after affirmation.

16 June 2009 at 07:41  
OpenID curly15 said...

No surprise in this at all Your Grace, it is entirely part of the Prime Minister's make up to behave in this fashion.

16 June 2009 at 08:16  
Blogger Neuroskeptic said...

Sadly, its principal effect will be to exacerbate the contempt in which politicians and the political process are already held.

I cannot fathom how Brown doesn't realize this. A "secret inquiry" - what on earth was he thinking?

16 June 2009 at 08:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Hot air' - empty rhetoric.

16 June 2009 at 08:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neuroskeptic - ... "contempt in which politicans and the political process are already held" - not so, speak for yourself ! Would you prefer the abolition of Parliament and 'Federal Rule' ?

The issue of expenses starts and ends with Brown's Fees Office who authorized alleged 'dodgy' claims.

16 June 2009 at 08:31  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

5:45am Your Grace? Hope this hasn't been keeping you awake all night.

We've run out of derisory & contemptuous adjectives to describe this government. And whilst this government is primarily to blame, I believe they have dragged the whole system down with them.

I am therefore pessimistic. Nothing will change 'til either the Lord returns or public dissatisfaction reaches the levels currently seen in Iran. I suspect the former will happen before the latter.

16 June 2009 at 08:59  
Anonymous Puritan Preacher said...

Just imagine if hundreds of injured ex-servicemen with visible disabilities and many in wheelchairs were to converge on Parliament demanding an open inquiry. What an impact.
What political and electoral repercussions that could have.

16 June 2009 at 09:11  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Prime Minister Cameron? Your Grace, those three words raise goosebumps and not in a pleasant, tingly sort of way.

As for Brown's latest diversion, it just displays how deeply into political insanity he has fallen. It would be a kindness to administer a swift defenestration and pack him off to the safety of a padded room.

16 June 2009 at 09:12  
Anonymous not a mouse said...

Anonymous @ 8:31 - You confuse me: in what ways has Parliament not abrogated its powers to the euSSR?

This is the reason underlying our contempt, the expenses scandal is just the poisonous miasma arising from the rot. So in expressing the contempt of the British electorate for its supposed 'representatives' - His Grace speaks for me, and everyone I know.

An inquiry into Iraq is not going to impress anyone. What we need is a yes/no referendum on the euSSR.

16 June 2009 at 09:27  
Blogger McKenzie said...

I have just been involved in a video conference using Skype, with Tony and Gordon. Basically, what transpired was that I was told in no uncertain terms that if I don't shut my effin mouth I will be found swinging from a tree in my local area.

"What do you expect us to say"? They said.

"We had no choice in the matter, nobody disses the Skull & Bones fraternity....'period'."

"So shut your mouth Mr McKenzie, and tell that son-of-a-bitch Cranmer that you and he are on thin f...ing ice my pedigree chums, and we shall be under it when it breaks. Now, f...k off."

"No problem Turkish", was my reply. So there we have it.

16 June 2009 at 10:05  
Anonymous philip walling said...

I suspect most people have now lost interest in Iraq, save that there is a festering belief that Blair lied to the people (and to the Commons) and they want him to be exposed. Unless the inquiry shows that to be true it will be considered a whitewash and just another cynical ploy by Brown to deflect his critics' anger away from him.
Worst of all, it makes me absolutely furious beyond words to be treated with the degree of contempt with which Brown treats the people. How stupid low and venal does he think we are?

16 June 2009 at 10:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'...what on earth was he thinking?'

Neuroskeptic

He was thinking what he usually thinks. How can I spin my way out of this? How can I make party political advantage out of this? How can I turn this against my enemies? How can I get good press out of this?

It's never 'how can i do the best for the people of this country and the servicemen who died defending it?'

16 June 2009 at 10:46  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

"They gave thier lives that we might be free"?If such were the case ,our army would be back in our country resisting the same enemy that they find in afghanistan,who is pledged to destroying/colonising/oppressing the very society that these soldiers come from,this has nothing to do with our freedom,but everything to do with the vast amounts of copper that the nwo hopes to exploit,we are fighting a war on two fronts and we will win neither unless we deal with the enemy within who is corrupting our very vitals.

16 June 2009 at 10:47  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Its a nother pathetic trick to take everyones eye off the economy and lisbon , i susepct gordon is wanting some revenge , for blairs dark heart article, but even so this report will waste money and not aportion blame .

I can only imagine how those families that have lost sons or daughters are going to look upon how cheap mr brown has just made them .

Its another botched and bungled annoucement in the last days of a dying and corrupt socialist government .

They really have made me cross at this one

16 June 2009 at 11:09  
Blogger McKenzie said...

Come on guys, Iraq is done and dusted. It was the old one two, when the magician pulls the table cloth from under your dinner.

The middle East had to be destableised, end of story. Things had to be set back, it was an act of desperation, but we all sat back in wonderment saying ooooooooh. All the evidence has been executed. Now it's time to let sleeping Dogs lie (through their teeth).

16 June 2009 at 11:23  
Anonymous Phido said...

I think we all could save the taxpayer the enormous cost of this whitewash. Blair the Fox is long gone, pursuing his own ambitious course, hope it ends in the shipwreck you deserve Tony but I doubt it.
We now have Gordon the trapped Rat, trying to find a way out of his own maze. Forget it Gordon the game is up, if you MUST stay, at least stop wasting public money on cosmetic makeovers.

16 June 2009 at 11:57  
Blogger McKenzie said...

Some key words to consider:

Debt
Credit crunch
Resources
Panic
Doom
China
Russia
Nuclear Bombs
Iran
Oil

Did I mention oil? Oh, and "nobody seen it coming".

16 June 2009 at 12:12  
Blogger McKenzie said...

And I forgot to mention the catalyst in this struggle for resources:

Crazy Religious people who will do anything if you tell them that there are 72 naked 12 yr olds waiting at the end of a rucksack full of powdered chapati mixed with Miracle Grow.

16 June 2009 at 12:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only 179 dead?
And how many Iraqis have died? Including thousands of Iraqi Christians.

How can all those god fearing christians worship a god who gave the oil to the arabs?

16 June 2009 at 12:37  
Blogger McKenzie said...

Man cannot live by oil alone, but it seems we can die for it.

Two Gods, worship one, hate the other!

16 June 2009 at 12:45  
Blogger McKenzie said...

It serves both sides of the struggle to have Muslims to distract from the real story. If you cannot handle the accusation then think hard about who it is that even gives a shit about Islam. FOOLS. trying to take over the world dressed in ancient robes, capturing people and making videos of them having their heads cut off. Yeah right, real 21st century strategic advantage you have there.

Wake up.

16 June 2009 at 12:52  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt said...

I agree with every word you say.

There - I've said it.

16 June 2009 at 14:41  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

This is just another example of Gordon Brown’s twisted mind set. It’s his way of chronicling history; I note that there are 2 historians in the group. I bet it will be written in such way as to show Nu Labour in a pleasant rosy glow.

Even if they really didn’t know if there were WOMD and Tony Teflon did get swept along stuck to President Bushes’ shoulders, the fact is we went to war. This “enquiry” is a waste of money in my view.

16 June 2009 at 15:15  
Blogger ZZMike said...

I might have more patience with Mr Brown's "investigation" of the Iraq war if England had been the perpetrator.

It may come as a surprise to him, then, to learn that we (the US) were the perpetrators, and at the time, we aligned ourselves with 60 or so countries, including yours (I think Mr Blair was PM at the time), all of whom agreed with us, and many of whom sent soldiers and materiel to support the ousting of one of the major "loose cannons" of the area.

It would be pointless to recount the reasons for the war - those to whom this would be new information obviously have no interest in such things.

But I do have to side with ENGLISHMAN when he said "They gave thier lives that we might be free"? If such were the case ,our army would be back in our country ..."

There was little chance of teeming hordes of Iraqis charging through Hyde Park. But still, in 1939, there was little danger of the First Panzer Corps doing the same thing.

There will most likely be an Official Report, distributed free to public libraries and otherwise forgotten.

16 June 2009 at 17:13  
Anonymous Old Grumpy said...

Re anonymous 16-6-09....

It was a former PM of Israel, Ms Golda Meir, who is quoted as saying:

"We Israelis have a real problem with Moses. He led the children of Israel around the desert for 40 years and finally dropped them in the one place in the middle east where there is no oil"

So we conclude that either Moses didn't know what he was doing....or, perhaps, that God did know what He was doing.

And anyway, God was gracious enough to give us Brits North Sea Gas, even though we've squandered it over a few decades. But we also have unlimited coal, and, for that matter, even more unlimited wind and wave energy.

So we Christians shouldn't really feel hard done by.

16 June 2009 at 18:47  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

16 June 2009 at 21:15  
Blogger Andromeda said...

I am surprised they are bothering to pretend that they are pretending to have an enquiry.

16 June 2009 at 21:20  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

"It is political skullduggery masquerading as moral righteousness; duplicity and fraud clothed as veracity and good faith."

So no change there then.

17 June 2009 at 19:39  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

the same people who took us into war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and no I don't mean bush and blair, I mean thier puppetmasters, are wahing war on us also.
Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars

17 June 2009 at 22:36  
Anonymous GTGTWH said...

Well said Adrian P!

18 June 2009 at 06:14  

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