So then, the man who was there and yet somehow not there at the crime scene appeared before the Dead Sheep’s Society. I Have to confess, I’m surprised at the media’s focus on the ‘did he support it or not?’ thing. I would’ve thought it was obvious by now that Gordo supports that which supports Gordo.
An actor friend now sadly no longer with us told me years ago that he thought acting was the art of lying convincingly. He felt this was why actor managers were always depicted in gags as hopeless frauds….and not very good actors.
As an acting role model, it suits the Prime Minister at the moment to be the strong, silent (very silent) and decisive man who supported the War, while at the same time having been deeply concerned for those who would be killed as a result of his decisiveness. That’s the way it is with Gordon: he’s a man for the tough decisions. Faced with the choice between telling the Nation that he likes chocolate digestive biscuits – or not telling it – he told the Nation he had no views ha-ha-ha….and then fearlessly spilt the beans about liking them, actually. (The biscuits, not the beans).
Having mastered the role of torn moralist in relation to the Iraq invasion, the Great Actor Manager (who can shed tears with scripted abandon, and terrify children with a spontaneous smile) told The Chilcots that Mr Blair (whom he admires most in the world) acted in the best possible faith – up to and including keeping Mr Brown entirely in the loop…..except when it came to WMD and his private correspondence with Mr Bush.
Sir Roderic Lyne – as ever – sighed very loudly about these exceptions. As Chilcot unfolds, I find myself increasingly keen on the cut of Rodder’s jib. When the PM joked that Roderic was “trying to move me from my position”, Lyne said “No, I’m just trying to get a yes or no answer.” One could almost hear the impact as this slam-dunk insult bounced off Autistic Manse Man.
Sir Rod isn’t the only one in possession of severe doubts about Gordon’s account. I’d imagine Clare Short is another. As of Friday afternoon, most of the Generals had joined the Brown Fib Finders. And as loyal Roosters will already know, The Slogger joined in to offer the simple truth on Saturday morning that none of the MoD Iraq expenditure figures supported any of what The Paymaster General had said to the Chilcot panellists the previous day,.
There are several truly disturbing aspects to Brown’s testimony, and the media/public reaction to it. Not least among these was the general feedback I got about Saturday’s Slog piece. Much of it was to the effect of wondering why I’d bothered to post it. My main astonishment (and disappointment) was that none of the Chilcots had bothered to check the expenditure records before they were given the opportunity most of us would give up a limb to have: to catch Brown out and make him squirm in public.
Brown’s mendacity is itself strangely odd, in that he must know before he spouts this tosh that he will be found out: Generals are going to say ‘no we weren’t’, and Sloggers are going to write ‘no you didn’t’. Perhaps Brown too knows nobody cares any more. More likely, he believes his own lies. More terrifying is the knowledge that David Cameron cannot even shove this man aside as he vies to become Prime Minister.
Gordon’s account of things doesn’t fit with anything very much. Clare Short told the Chilcot panel she got the distinct impression at the time that Gordon Brown was (a) out of the Iraq loop and (b) completely neuter on the question of whether the Iraq invasion was justified or not. Respectively, she gained this impression based on what he said, and what he omitted to say. Brown testified the precise opposite.
Geoff Hoon says he was starved of money. Sir Kevin Tebbitt concurs. The few people I know anywhere near the action say Brown was uninterested in the war, and careful to distance himself from it. A mandarin mole insists that had the peace following the war been more of a success, Blair would’ve fired Brown. Another says Brown himself knew this, and almost expected it. All these tie in with the Clare Short view. None of them support the Brown testimony.
Campbell says Brown was in the loop, but Campbell is a liar who anyway wants Brown in the firing-line with the rest of them – in the very unlikely case it should all go belly-up. Jack Straw barely mentioned Gordon Brown at all in his evidence – again suggesting a dearth of in-loopness. And last but not least, the Prime Minister himself was happy for Chilcot to happen. Sure, he didn’t expect to be called: we have Nick Clegg and the Hoonites to thank for that. But when Gordon declares (now, eight years on) his passion to be rid of Saddam Hussein as a result of his disgustingly murderous…..non-compliance, that passion is supported by the completely fabricated £18billion figure. That in turn shows he did his duty, and kept everyone in lifetime supplies of flak-jackets and helicopters. QED.
QED if you’re Gordon Brown, that is; utterly unbelievable if you are anyone else.
Either way, what a waste, eh? Gordon’s whoppers aside, it’s cost almost a Hewitt just to get rid of a barmy loon who was all mouth and no WMD, hand Al Q’eida some martyrs on a plate, and install a corrupt replacement government in Afghanistan.
It’s also costing us a fair old packet to put on this Chilcot farce. Tragically, it is now possible to say with some certainty that while all the Chilcots have grown to loathe the New Labour lizards, their desire to keep the Establishment cosy in the feather-bed has overridden any and all considerations.
Anyway, none of them are proper Silks – they must be among the few in Government who aren’t – and only one of them is a grown-up historian. But as we know, that one historian (Martin Gilbert) is only a cryogenic clone. I haven’t heard him say anything for some time now. I think someone should take his pulse.