Comment at end
You may also be interested in this – “I was a witness (more or less) to the TRIAL of Tony Blair, aka the Iraq Inquiry”
29th November, 2009
The Independent: “The former prime minister has been appalled by high-profile evidence given by the mandarins who have appeared before the Chilcot Inquiry since the first round of public hearings began last Tuesday, close friends have revealed.”
But the mandarins are not the only ones salami slicing and then shredding his reputation while he is in no position to respond to them.
Tony Blair is suffering under a two-pronged attack.
First, witnesses speak. Then the press reports interprets.
The press only reports interprets the juicy bits that serve their cause. After reporting interpreting, the prongs add to their number, seemingly organically.
Now the attack has become three-pronged.
Civil servants know and understand all this. That’s what makes their capitulation to the press’s agenda so shameful and frankly so disturbing.
They KNOW that the press are hanging on their every word and even every pause, which also goes reported opined.
It is contemptible behaviour to feed this ravenous feral beast. It is unfitting for anyone who considers himself an honourable servant of the crown.
But after only one week of the year-long Iraq Inquiry a pattern has emerged. These witnesses are free in this oft-derided “dictatorship” of ours to utter their often shoddy, part-remembered, usually partisan and part-informed views in a way which makes them able to be interpreted as the press wills.
And it will, and it does.
I wonder if these people would be so indiscreet if they had heard the Queen in some talks or agreements with a foreign head of state? Would they risk being charged with treason?
This would never happen, of course, because the Queen is above politics. But I ask the question because today when monarchs do not hold political power but are merely figureheads and are yet protected under treason laws, I think we may need to re-think this position.
We also owe allegiance to the country’s prime minister and/or former prime minister, especially in times such as these. The prime minister was one of us. An elected representative, fated to make tough political decisions.
To hang him out to dry in this way is contemptible and degrades the meaning of loyalty. Loyalty, if it means anything at all, is NOT just to the crown, but also to the monarch’s chief representative, the main decision-maker. And for ten years that was Mr Blair.
He cannot answer for himself or whisper a word of disagreement except when he provides his evidence which is due in a couple of months. After that the year-long inquiry will continue, and the press will continue to rouse the gladiators.
Civil servants, sworn to secrecy, but highly unlikely to be charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act (as that would be interpreted as Blair’s/Brown’s revenge on poor honest justice seekers) can insinuate all they like with impunity, regardless that much of their innuendo is hearsay and worse, often only their opinion.
But Blair’s intervention today will make little difference to future “evidence” or how it is delivered. These Sir Humphreys, experts at obfuscation and double-speak seem to have one aim in mind. To use the “get out of jail … it wasn’t me, Guv” card, just in case Blair is eventually charged.
Civil servants care not if they throw Blair onto a fire already stoked by such as The Daily Mail. In their mandarinese they may even be quietly and as subtly as possible competing to see which of their evidence actually fires the gun pointed at Blair’s head. The cinch will be that in this cacophony of sound-bites no-one, not even the press, will be able to work out which of them actually pulled the trigger.
Scandalous is far too weak a word for this behaviour.
If nothing can be done to stop this opining which leaves so much space for inference and interpretation, AND if nothing can be done to stop such as The Daily Mail leaking and PROVING daily that Mr Blair “lied” to us in their Viewspaper, Mr Blair may have no other choice.
STOP THE INQUIRY SIR JOHN CHILCOT
Mr Blair may be forced to ask the government to suggest that the Inquiry be STOPPED or at least PAUSED dead in its tracks. He can then challenge his many opponents to put up a legal case against him. This Inquiry has never been accepted as “to learn lessons”. Chilcot’s words – “no-one is on trial” has fallen on deaf ears.
We ALL know (as the know-alls are fond of saying on other matters) … we all know who exactly is on trial here.
A challenge to put up or shut up may well prove a challenge too far.
It is clear, as I have been arguing here for some time, that unless these people get Blair into a court of law to defend his position over Iraq, this Inquiry will not satisfy them anyway.
And my fear is that if in the end they are unsatisfied one of the detestable madmen will take it upon himself to mete out summary justice on behalf of all – mandarins, press and Joe Public.
That’s you and me.
Well, NOT in MY name they don’t.
- All links to “THE TRIAL OF TONY BLAIR” posts
- The difference between a war criminal and Tony Blair
- ‘Hang Blair’, say angry bastards in the court of public opinion
- The ugly face of bloggers calling for medieval justice for Blair