Iraq Inquiry (Part 1 of 4), John Prescott: Tony Blair had the gift of “true leadership”

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    31st July 2010

    This post – Prescott: Tony Blair had the gift of “true leadership” is PART 1 of 4. [Updated with all posts in series, at end.]

    Apologies if this series in the ongoing saga seems a touch overkill. Consider yourselves fortunate. There might be more than four before I’ve had my little old say.

    I just couldn’t get it all into one post without going on and on and on and on ….

    …. and you know how I hate to go on.

    Read Part 2,  Prescott – Media’s take; BBC

    Part 3, Prescott: tittle-tattle Viewspapers and Part 4, John Prescott: Straight Quotes, Unvarnished Truth, still to come. (Will link when completed.)

    John Prescott’s closing words to the Iraq Inquiry Friday, 30th July 2010

    “I learned that true leadership is not about having the benefit of hindsight. It is about having a gift of vision, courage and compassion, and I believe that Tony Blair had all those three.

    Well said, Lord Prescott. VERY WELL said.

    Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott leaves after giving evidence at the Iraq inquiry on July 30, 2010 in London. (Getty)

    Below, in case you missed them, are all of John Prescott’s closing comments to the Inquiry:

    _______________

    SIR JOHN CHILCOT: Thank you. I think that brings us to the point where it would help us to have your sense of — because we are a lessons learned Inquiry, what are the most important lessons you can draw on from the Iraq experience over all the years, and then any further reflections you may have.

    RT. HON. THE LORD PRESCOTT: I have thought about that and wondered, as I have just said in my last answer, could we have done more? We would have liked to have avoided it, but it didn’t happen.

    I think the answer I want to give myself, though, is impressions at the end, if you give a witness an opportunity to say something, Sir John.

    Reading the evidence and listening to all the arguments, I know it is quite fashionable to be critical of Tony Blair inside and outside this Inquiry. We have seen a few people gloss over their part of the history and what happened, but let me say that  no-one in Government took this decision to go to war lightly. We thought considerably about it.

    I personally and privately witnessed the Prime Minister agonise over each and every death over Iraq, civilian and military, British and Iraqi.

    I learned that true leadership is not about having the benefit of hindsight. It is about having a gift of vision, courage and compassion, and I believe that Tony Blair had all those three.

    If you want to see if his humanitarian interventionism, which has been a discussion here, succeeded, then go to Kosovo and go to Sierra Leone.  Hopefully we will soon be able to say the same for Afghanistan and Iraq and finally welcome our brave troops back home, confident of a job well done.

    I think that’s my conclusion, having worked with Tony Blair, and witnessed it at close hand, and privileged to do so.  That’s the point I want to make as a lesson that people should take into account when they are looking at this Iraq Inquiry.

    SIR JOHN CHILCOT: Thank you very much, Lord Prescott. Anything further you want to say?

    RT. HON. THE LORD PRESCOTT: No.

    ______________

    IRAQ INQUIRY WEBSITE information

    Main page – VIDEO EVIDENCE – John Prescott – TRANSCRIPT – John Prescott

    _______________

    This post – Prescott at the Iraq Inquiry: Tony Blair had the gift of “true leadership” – is the first of four.

    The second is now online here – Iraq Inquiry, Part 2: John Prescott & The Media’s take; BBC

    _______________

    READ ALL ABOUT IT, TROOF SEEKERS !!!

    [FROM OUR MEDIA?  I ‘DOUBT’ IT]

    __________

    Julie has an excellent post on this – “Iraq Inquiry: Public hearings with John Prescott”. No spin, just facts.

    _______________

    RELATED

    Series on Prescott at the Iraq Inquiry (2 of 4 online)

    ALL POSTS IN THE JOHN PRESCOTT IRAQ INQUIRY SERIES

    Iraq Inquiry website Home page. Video evidence of Tony Blair and entire transcript from his evidence.

    Video evidence of  John Prescott and entire transcript of the evidence of John Prescott.

    ETCETERA

    ‘Former United Nations weapons inspector Dr Hans Blix told former Prime Minister Tony Blair that he believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction six months before the invasion of Iraq, the Iraq Inquiry has heard.

    Giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry into the war, Blix said he told Blair of his belief privately some six months before the invasion.

    “I, like most people at the time, felt that Iraq retains weapons of mass destruction,” he said. “I did not say so publicly. I said it perhaps to Mr Blair in September 2002 privately, but not publicly.”‘

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    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 “Iraq Inquiry (Part 1 of 4), John Prescott: Tony Blair had the gift of “true leadership””

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