Saturday, May 17, 2014


I think it was as long ago as November 2009 that I first wrote about Sir John Chilcot`s Inquiry and since then I have commented on the progress or otherwise of this £7million look at the run up to the Blair/Bush invasion of Iraq.  And still we wait.

Now you would be correct in accusing me of becoming obsessive about this and you might be right, but I really do think that we are due an explanation as to how this misguided and quite possibly illegal  conflict was allowed to happen in our name.   Someone once described it as the most humiliating moment in British foreign policy since Suez and who would argue against that analysis?

Anyway, in recent days Dave Cameron has got interested in the delay in publishing the Inquiry`s Final Report and today he has expressed his wish that the report is published `before the end of the year.`   The fly in the ointment seems to be one Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary and thus the head honcho of the Civil Service.   His problem appears to be a worry that disclosure of allegedly private communications between Blair and Bush might jeopardise the `special relationship` between Britain and the USA.  

Now of course, he is entitled to his opinion about that, although I tend to the view that any `special relationship` that might still exist is more likely to be jeopardised by obstructing the Chilcot Inquiry to tell us the truth of what took place all of eleven or twelve years ago, rather than trying to hide it to avoid any `embarrassment.`

Dave says that `It`s frustrating but it is not in my gift;  this is an independent inquiry.  My understanding is that they will be able to publish before the end of the year and I very much hope they can deliver on that timetable.`   Sounds good but unless I`m mistaken, Sir Jeremy Heywood is a paid official - a very important one, maybe, but still a paid official - whereas Dave Cameron is the Prime Minister with all the power and authority at his disposal.   

So maybe it`s time for him to use that power and authority to tell Sir Jeremy his fortune about just who really is in charge and order the publication of the Report without further delay.   If not, people will suspect this is a case of the tail is wagging the dog.  Sounds like it to me.

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