The Curmudgeon


Sunday, June 21, 2009

It Was All A Long Time Ago

It appears that the Glorious Successor's decision, if that is the word I want, to hold the next Iraq whitewash in secret was taken on the urging of none other than his reverence, the Vicar of Downing Street. Unlike the sainted Thatcher, whose advice to the interregnum which came after her was often hilariously public, his reverence relayed his wishes through others, after the fashion of his Big Chum who is in Heaven. Tony, whose confidence in his own rectitude while smiting the helpless has always been a match for Jehovah's, apparently made his will known in this indirect fashion in case somebody found out about it and thought he was doing something underhand. Tony is also "believed to have been alarmed by the prospect of giving evidence in public and under oath". It is sad to think that the blithe flexibility of Tony's relationship with the truth might be compromised by an oath after so many profitable years.

The idea of an accused criminal, particularly a rich one, setting the conditions for an inquiry into his own crimes may pose few problems for Tony's conception of British justice; but others have different ideas. The Conservatives' righteous indignation has driven them almost as far as taking a policy decision: they "reserve the right" to widen the scope of the inquiry and increase its powers where this would not go against the interests of the Conservatives. Alastair Campbell observed sagaciously that "openness and transparency", being singular and capable of expressing a preference to Alastair Campbell, "favours a public inquiry"; but on the other hand, "it may well be that the inquiry will do a better job freed from the frenzy of 24-hour media". How can anyone suffering the glare of publicity be expected to put together a decent public-relations exercise?

Sir Christopher Meyer, Her Majesty's Ambassador to the arse of the White House when the conspiracy against peace was being hatched, implied that nobody need panic about any embarrassing revelations: "Things were very sensitive then, but this is 2009." Lines have been drawn, lessons have been learned, matters have moved on, the troops are leaving and everything's all right.


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