The seven reasons why two thirds of all Brits now doubt the official verdict on Dr David Kelly’s death.
You’ve probably noticed over the last week that the Establishment has begun a pr blitz in the UK media in relation to Iraq whistle-blower David Kelly, and his mysterious death earlier in the decade. Despite the effort, however, nearly 70% of voters doubt the suicide verdict.
For all any of us really know, the campaign to win the public over to a verdict of suicide by blunt garden tool may be entirely justified. If we could see the full autopsy documentation, of course, we’d know for certain. But that’s got a 70-year gagging order on it: and despite a Ministerial promise earlier in the year that this would be shared with certain senior medics demanding the case be reopened, the pledge seems to have vapourised somehow.
Leading the charge (as always) is the Ministry of Truth sorry BBC which quotes Home Office pathologist Nicholas Hunt saying yesterday that Kelly represented “a classic case of self-inflicted harm”. To be fair, Hunt is convincing on the subject; but very odd non-classic elements remain.
First, despite being a senior civil servant at the height of a war – and in the public eye as an accuser of the Blair policy – he did not seem to warrant a coroner’s inquest. The truth is, in fact, that he did: but it was suspended before it could begin by order of the then Lord Chancellor Falconer….a very close friend of Tony Blair. Oddly enough, David Kelly was a man who, alive, could very quickly have proved that the WMD ‘danger’ argument in favour of War legality was a load of old bollocks. And of course, events proved him spectacularly (albeit posthumously) correct.
Second, Kelly allegedly chose a blunt garden knife as the instrument of his destruction. He was a medic and knew perfectly well how to kill himself – why choose a method which would require almost fanatical effort? Friends of Kelly insist that he had damaged his right arm recently before his death to such a degree that he struggled cutting steak. The BBC may well call his approach a ‘textbook’ case of suicide, but then I don’t remember any textbook talking about death chosen from the potting shed by a bloke with a sore arm. It could well be that if and when he decides to do himself in, Mark Thompson will choose to bite his own arm off: but even with his history in this regard, few would regard it as a textbook approach to taking one’s own life.
Third, at the time much was made by the spin chaps of Kelly’s ‘huge overdose’ of 29 Co-proxamol painkillers. But experts insist that he had only taken “less than a third of the amount required to cause death”.
Fourth, Kelly predicted his own death – telling a friend who called him, “Don’t be surprised if my body is found in the woods”. Suicides tend not, on the whole, to predict the location and nature of their death.
Fifth, his cousin last week confirmed what other family members have insisted from the outset: that Dr Kelly was a trained intelligence officer whose religious and professional beliefs forbade even the idea of suicide.
Sixth, in June this year, Richard Spertzel, the former head of the UN Biological Section, who worked with Dr Kelly in Iraq in the 1990s, wrote to the Attorney General Dominic Grieve, claiming that Dr Kelly had been told he was on a “hitlist” in the final years of his life.
Seventh, Graham Coe (the detective who found Dr Kelly’s body) did not tell the Hutton Inquiry that there was a third suited man with him and his partner DC Colin Shields when the body was discovered. He subsequently admitted this, but continues to decline to name the Third Man.
So there’s the magnificent seven reasons why questions are still being raised about almost everything suspicious in relation to the case. But the one overriding reason is that everything in relation to the case strikes the objective observer as suspicious.
Back in 2003, 11% of people thought David Kelly had been murdered. 75% thought he’d committed suicide (most thinking he had done so due to the pressure placed upon him). Only 14% of those interviewed said they doid’t know.
Anyway, UK Polling Report thought the Dacre Mail’s update ‘survey’ of attitudes to the death last week looked a bit too crap to be true, and so latched its own question onto a YouGov study on Friday.
Looking at the same question in this new YouGov study, 30% of people think David Kelly was murdered, 32% think he committed suicide and 38% don’t know – meaning in the 7 years since his death the proportion of people thinking he was murdered has trebled, and well over twice as many are unsure. Thus all up, over two-thirds of the country doubt the official verdict.
My view is that Ken Clarke should take cognisance of this, and order a new inquiry. I won’t get t the truth, but it will make the liars of Chilcot just a little more uncomfortable than they were before.