He who asks last laughs loudest

The public interest is the wrong way round: what Blair gets asked is almost more important than what he offers as answers.

In just over an hour, the opportunist who blew the greatest opportunity politics had faced since Clem Attlee faces the famous five of the Chilcot panel. This morning’s papers and websites seem chiefly preoccupied with Blair’s likely responses to the obvious questions; only Michael Mansfield in The Times lays out what this man should be asked. That he does so brilliantly has more than a little to do with his status as a leading QC. (Perhaps one question to ask the current Prime Minister when he pitches up is why there are no QCs on the panel).

My sources suggest that hopes are largely pinned on Sir Roderic Lyne to ‘have a go’ at Anthony Blair QC. Whether Lyne has the skills to wait for Blair to drop his guard and get over-confident (as he usually does sooner or later) remains to be seen. As a diplomat steeped in dealing with the Russians, Lyne probably is our best chance of finding out something substantive today.
The two other things to remember about the Grinning One are that he gets bored very easily, and gives up when it all seems too much of a fag to continue. This plus the man’s innate hubris could give anyone a chance to provoke a revelation.
But I’m not holding my breath.
The Slogger won’t be giving you minute by minute of the exchanges – other more sad people can do that.
But if any external evidence breaks during the Chilcot Inquiry’s gently stroll through the motives of a hollow man, you’ll read about it here first.