Spook ex-Head, Eliza Doolittle-Manningham–Buller sings. Discordant notes from Crispin Black

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    KEY: “Bliar” has two syllables. It scans better. That’s all it has going for it. Apologies to the original typo-maker

    21st July 2010

    (Dame) Eliza Doolittle belts it out sotto voce.


    You need to use a touch of imagination here. But if you’ve been following the Iraq Inquiry, you’re probably used to that. [My thanks to the Guardian’s Crispin Black. Mr Black is an independent Intelligence consultant]

    Just you wait, ‘enry ‘iggins, just you wait!
    You’ll be sorry, but your tears’ll be to late!
    You’ll be broke, and I’ll have money;
    Will I ‘elp you? Don’t be funny!
    Just you wait, ‘enry ‘iggins, just you wait!

    The usual suspects can hardly contain their excitement that such a respected woman –  (she happened to be Head of the Intelligence Organisation, MI5, so she MUST be right and unbiased, unlike former prime ministers) – is singing, in the good old-fashioned loyal way some spies revel in. Quietly, of course. Tony Blair, she says, was wrong about his Iraq decision. A decision with which she did not agree. Aye, as someone once said, there’s the rub.

    Just you wait, ‘enry ‘iggins, till you’re sick,
    And you screams to fetch a doctor double-quick.
    I’ll be off a second later and go straight to the the-ater!
    Oh ha ha, ‘enry ‘iggins, just you wait!

    [Source – Crispin Black]: ‘Setting out her views confidently, it appears she was also confident in her view at the time that our military expedition to Iraq would almost certainly increase the domestic terror threat.This is plain common sense – something most people understood instinctively. But it is, in its way, political dynamite. If the government knew that the terrorist threat, including from British citizens, was going to receive “fresh impetus”, what did it do to improve our protection? We know that security was tightened for the great and the good but what about the rest of us?

    Ooooooh ‘enry ‘iggins!
    Just you wait until we’re swimmin’ in the sea!
    Ooooooh ‘enry ‘iggins!
    And you get a cramp a little way from me!
    When you yell you’re gonna drown I’ll get dressed
    and go to town! Oh ho ho, ‘enry ‘iggins!
    Oh ho ho, ‘enry ‘iggins! Just you wait!

    [Black]: In defence of Tony Blair, he certainly did not want to know, but maybe he didn’t actually know at all. In a depressing exchange with the panel Manningham-Buller answered questions about how and whether she communicated her views to the prime minister. She had direct access to the prime minister by law. She saw him regularly in meetings. But apparently there was no one-to-one on this subject, although she did discuss it with the home secretary.

    One day I’ll be famous! I’ll be proper and prim;
    Go to St. James so often I will call it St. Jim!
    One evening the king will say:
    “Oh, Liza, old thing,
    I want all of England your praises to sing.

    [Black]: Wow – or should it be ouch? Consider for a moment what this means. Our principal domestic spook was pretty sure that one of the consequences of the Iraq war was going to be an increase in terrorism here in the UK. And she felt it was unnecessary to warn the prime minister in person.

    Next week on the twentieth of May
    I proclaim Liza Doolittle Day!

    [Black]: At this point the panel let her off the hook.

    All the people will celebrate the glory of you
    And whatever you wish and want I gladly will do.”
    “Thanks a lot, King” says I, in a manner well-bred;
    But all I want is ‘enry ‘iggins ‘ead!”

    [Black]: The killer question should have been: “Baroness, given that the prime minister and the courtiers surrounding him on the sofa were going to go to war anyway, what arrangements did you make for your service to face the increased threat?”

    “Done,” says the King with a stroke.
    “Guard, run and bring in the bloke!”

    [Black]: Perhaps she doubled the sentries but she didn’t ask for much more money. We know from the intelligence and security committee report on 7 July attacks that even as late as the financial year 2005-06 the intelligence services (remember there are three) received a measly £48m extra on their previous year’s budget of £1.313m. As ever, once you get a glimpse behind the green baize door to the intelligence world the inconsistencies multiply.

    Then they’ll march you, ‘enry ‘iggins to the wall;
    And the King will tell me: “Liza, sound the call.”
    As they lift their rifles higher, I’ll shout:
    “Ready! Aim! Fire!”

    [Black]: Clearly on show at the Iraq inquiry this morning was the enigma at the heart of the Iraq war. The country was deeply sceptical. A whole political party, the Liberal Democrats, at great risk to themselves, refused to play ball. But official after official, general after general, spook after spook went along with the whole enterprise.

    Ah ha ha, ‘enry ‘iggins,
    Down you’ll go, ‘enry ‘iggins!
    Just you wait!

    [Black]: Some have sought an answer in American influence. Certainly the Joint Intelligence Committee has a poor record of being sceptical about US intelligence. Others have sought the answer in the strange psychology of Blair himself. In my view, at least part of the blame lies with the officials at the summit of our administrative elite. To paraphrase Admiral Beatty’s famous assessment of the battle of Jutland “there’s something wrong with our bloody officials today”.


    More to follow as to why Tony Blair, as usual, was right, and Eliza was wrong.


    Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

    A recent comment from an Albanian, Mr Leonard Dedej from Tirana – “It takes big leaders to make the hardest turns in peoples life…mr Blair is a big leader and a great man for millions of people in Balkans!!!for stopping a savage war!about Iraq I believe that the press wherever it is has not the right to judge on this issue because it simply is to small to judge!!history will judge mr Blair!as long as it is an ongoing war no one can blame mr Blair,after all he started something for a big reason..the press its often wrong because it fights for audience!!!”

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    2 Responses to “Spook ex-Head, Eliza Doolittle-Manningham–Buller sings. Discordant notes from Crispin Black”

    1. Baroness Manningham-Buller: Increase in terrorism “shouldn’t stop you doing what you believe” « Says:

      […] BlairSupporter on Eliza Doolittle-Manningham-Buller […]

    2. All set for more ‘Blixing it’ at the Iraq Inquiry? « Tony Blair Says:

      […] Haven’t had time to publish further thoughts on Dame Eliza following my earlier thought on “My Fair Lady” – Spook ex-Head, Eliza Doolittle-Manningham–Buller sings. Discordant notes from Crispin Black […]

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