22nd July 2010
At PMQs on Wednesday Nick Clegg to Jack Straw:
“Perhaps one day you could account for your role in the most disastrous decision of all, which is the illegal invasion of Iraq.”
Admittedly, we haven’t heard this announcement yet. But we will.
Some of us WON’T let it (or HIM) lie until we DO.
For Nicely Nicely Nick’s apology [the man with ‘form’ on rocking the constitution] here are a few rough working notes. Clearly he’s used to working from similar.
STATEMENT TO PARLIAMENT (The Deputy Prime Minister)
I would like to make it absolutely clear that I was expressing my own thoughts and not those of the government of which I am part, with my reference last week to the legality or otherwise of the Iraq invasion. Notwithstanding the fact that Prime Minister’s Questions is a forum at which, traditionally, the PM or his stand-in voices only government policies and not his or her own opinions, there is a long tradition in this House of independence of thought and mind, a tradition which many of us on this side of the House hold dear. Nevertheless, I understand that my statement on the Iraq invasion was open to misinterpretation. It was in no way Jose meant to be taken as a statement of this coalition’s position on the matter.
I would also like to apologise on behalf of my Right Honourable Friend the Prime Minister who, in response to my remarks, said that the Iraq Inquiry was the true forum for establishing the legality or otherwise of the Iraq Invasion, and that our eventual joint-policy would be based on their conclusions. Clearly, and after a hefty kick up the backside from a spokesperson for that Inquiry, he has asked me to inform the House that this is not the case.
Neither my remark at PMQs nor My Right Honourable Friend’s response to that ignorance of procedure, despite being from the mouths of the leaders of this country’s all-knowing coalition, were intended to imply that the Chilcot Inquiry is anything other than an impartial fact-finding exercise. The Iraq Inquiry, blackwash as it will no doubt be, has not been set up as a judicial hearing or court. As Sir John Chilcot says at the start of each evidence session – “This is not a trial and no-one is on trial”, even, sorry … especially when Mr Blair gave his evidence on January 29th this year.
With that understanding of the realities of political responsibilities and nuances I should like to announce that I am standing down the Special Committee on The Rebuilding of the Scaffold in Parliament Square. Although now that my old mates have been removed from there there is clearly plenty of space for many voyeurs to take a night off from Big Brother in order to come and watch the longed-for final big sleep of a certain unproven war criminal. Whoops, I mean – former prime minister.
For members’ information, the original optional knitting option can still be taken up by Honourable Members and Right Honourable Members who find this coalition’s knitting together of policy, principle, and direction less interesting that one plain one purl. Further dropped stitches will be reported here to members first – on my next appearance here or on that of the Prime Minister – the latter of which, you will be pleased to hear, is likely to precede mine.
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!!!”
Tags: apologies to The House, David Cameron, Deputy PM, Deputy Prime Minister, disastrous, Iraq inquiry, knitting clubs, nick clegg, parliament square, PMQs, scaffold, Sir John Chilcot, statement to parliament, Tony Blair