Saturday, 20 June 2009

Blair Running Scared

The Observer's just broken this pretty shocking story. What's the real reason for Brown opting for a secret Iraq whitewash inquiry? Is it that Brown has something to hide himself? Probably, but no, not quite that. Is it because there was pressure brought to bear by a US government keen not to reopen old wounds? Absolutely not.

The real reason for the secret inquiry is that Brown did a deal with - guess who - Anthony Charles Lynton Blair. According to the Observer:

Tony Blair urged Gordon Brown to hold the independent inquiry into the Iraq war in secret because he feared that he would be subjected to a "show trial" if it were opened to the public, the Observer can reveal.

The revelation that the former prime minister, who led the country to war in March 2003, had intervened will fuel the anger of MPs, peers, military leaders and former civil servants, who were appalled by Brown's decision last week to order the investigation to be conducted behind closed doors.

Blair, who resisted pressure for a full public inquiry while he was prime minister, appears to have taken a deliberate decision not to express his view in person to Brown because he feared it might leak out.

Instead, messages were relayed through others to Sir Gus O'Donnell, the cabinet secretary, who conveyed them to the prime minister in the days leading up to last week's inquiry announcement.

The other parties are already up in arms about this, and Nick Clegg's reaction was pretty blunt:
"If this is true about Blair demanding secrecy, it is simply outrageous that an inquiry into the biggest foreign policy disaster since Suez is being muzzled to suit the individual needs of the man who took us to war - Tony Blair."
Quite. It's another stitch-up from beginning to end. Just like the referendum on Europe, out-of-control public finances as Brown tries to buy himself a general election, the expenses scandal and a whole clutch of others. I suppose we should not expect anything more from the most corrupt and incompetent government in the history of Britain.

The Tories offer a faint glimmer of hope, though, as they have 'threatened' to widen the scope of the inquiry if Brown doesn't immediately perform an about-face. Good for them.

But Brown. Ah, Brown. Lying once again to House of Commons. Doing shady deals with his nemesis. Spinning his way into another media disaster. What a numpty.

"Security" was his excuse for holding a secret investigation, with no powers of subpoena and no witness oath, with a panel tainted by previous inquiries and a report delayed for a year. Well, people, now we know the real reason: one more small favour for his predecessor; one more giant insult to the people of the United Kingdom. Mind you, I doubt he did it willingly. Brown thought he had finally killed-off Blair once he'd knifed him in the back and stolen his crown. But it's never that easy with regicide. Ask Menzies Campbell.

As the only suitable role model for Brown I can think of would say:
The time has been,
That when the brains were out the man would die,
And there an end; but now they rise again,
With twenty mortal murders on their crowns,
And push us from our stools.
Blair's ghost has returned to haunt the usurper, mad McBrown. Seriously, though, just when you think this government cannot get any worse, something like this pops up. Incredible. Surreal.



  1. The first thing that came to mind when I heard about this enquiry (well before its terms and conditions were laid out) was that looked like a way for Brown to keep Blair in line.

    Wasn't it only in the last few months that Blair was reported to have said disparaging things about Brown's fitness to lead and criticised the 50p tax band etc - and there was all that static about a 'Blairite' leadership challenge.

    Then suddenly it's revealed that Blair knew of, and condoned, torture and this Iraq enquiry is (as far as I was aware) announced out of the blue with no apparent lead-up.

    Can't help but see this enquiry as a move by Gordon to silence Blair (and his followers) - the final terms of the enquiry just seemed to confirm that an accommodation had been reached between the waring factions - not forgetting Blair's ongoing EU aspirations.

    Could be wrong, my instincts (i.e. always try to assume the worst) are not always on the mark.

  2. Sunset, your instincts are always top drawer. But there's another factor in this sordid thing: Brown is Blair's bitch - always will be. Blair's pimp is Mandelson.

    All very pathetic, then. The upshot is that Brown is no longer in charge of his own destiny. He's bowed to Blair once to often and Mandelson is now the most powerful man in Britain.

    I give Brown three months - tops.

  3. Bimey, that's too kind - no really, far too kind - I'll commit some appalling faux pas soon enough. No Brown-think here though, I hope - better to be made a fool in small measures, and be though of as flawed, but sane, than grow uncorrected into a tyrant of idiocy - as is now the fashion, seemingly.

    I think I see your point about this Brown-Mandy-Blair triangle. Brown is finished without Mandy (might even have been ousted by now without Lord M's assistance), Mandy will have no ones interests in mind other than his own (and perhaps Blair's to some degree, they always did seem to be friends in a way that Brown and Mandy did not).

    Brown is surely nothing more than expendable at this point, a means to an end. If the Iraq enquiry was a move to bring Blair into line, and Mandy handled the negotiations, Brown and Blair now owe him big time - clever chap.

    We seem to be faced with an appling choice though: Put up with Brown until he's forced to call an election (that, or a certain win is the only reason he'll do it) but hope that he brings Labour even lower in that time. Or, run the risk of a slightly invigorated Labour party leading to a hung'ish Parliament, with a Labour/LibDem love in - that won't be a pretty sight.

    “... Feuding, hating each other, bound together by Treachery’s harsh cords, steeped in offence and foulness, pious and righteous their discourse, squalid and filthy their habits, all, as the Ancients said, fur coat and no knickers.”



Any thoughts?