The bill for the unnecessary Iraq Inquiry is now nearly £7.5m. It was Gordon Brown’s foolish idea. He thought it would appease the haters but any historian ought to know appeasement never works.
As a taxpayer I have paid for a festival for conspiracy theorists and an excuse for an ever more distorted and simplified media coverage, which has succeeded in fixing and reinforcing in the public mind a version of events bearing no relation to what happened in 2002-03, and all in the name of a campaign against so-called lies.
Sir John Chilcot’s report is unlikely to be published until next year, a delay that the antis are having both ways.
It proves that the report is being obstructed by the warmongering government of Tony Blair, er David Cameron (same thing); and that Sir John and his colleagues are stooges who are delaying publication to avoid embarrassing anyone because by next year everyone (except for those who know the Truth) will have forgotten all about the Iraq war.
All this for an inquiry which, with all due respect to its members (it is not their fault), has disclosed not a single important new fact.
I mistakenly said on Twitter that it had revealed one thing that had not previously been known, namely that, after UN Security Council resolution 1441, Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, had been of the view that military action in Iraq was unlawful before he was of the opposite view.
It is true that Lord Goldsmith’s evidence to Chilcot was the first time he had explained the reasons for his change of mind (from a mistaken position to the correct one).
But as Blair Supporter pointed out, that he had changed his mind had already been reported, by Channel 4 News on 23 March 2005 – one of a series of disclosures designed to help the election of a Conservative government in May 2005.
(Disclosures that included the so-called Downing Street Memo and the longer version of Lord Goldsmith’s advice that military action was lawful.)
So far, therefore, we have paid £7.5m to do nothing but harm. Previously in the Iraq Inquiry Coverage Rebuttal Service.
By John Rentoul