And so Pa Broon presented himself before the Iraq Enquiry, thus generating far more negative tweets than positive ones. Four hours, and then some, later he was done. So did we learn anything of any substance that was not previously known? More, did we expect to?
Most will answer no, and no, although perhaps with a resigned shrug of the shoulders: after all the hype beforehand, there may have been expectation that, at long last, some answers would be dragged out of the politicians who took the decisions, or, in Brown’s case, had to find the money for the adventure.
Instead, all that is learned – or relearned – is that professional politicians, suitably rehearsed and briefed, can bat away any essentially amateur bowling with ease. Brown’s style before the enquiry was diametrically different to the righteous certainty of Catholic convert Tony Blair, but it served him well enough.
The only morsel left for the assembled hackery to chew over was Brown’s assurance that “every requirement made ... by military commanders was answered; no request was ever turned down”. Some former military top brass have been spluttering into their afternoon teas over that, so perhaps they could put up some compelling evidence to show that the PM is in incendiary underwear mode.
Because, until and unless they do, the Government will not hesitate to restate the Brown line, with the side option of dumping on the MoD – which has already shown itself to be signally dysfunctional.