Another Iraq war enquiry. Why? What’s the point? We’ve had Hutton and Butler, yet there has been little light shed on what went on in the lead up to the UK’s involvement in yet another war. What can possibly be different this time?
Ah well. By the middle of this week, we’ll know just how open this enquiry will be. And any openness should enable the light to be shone into places where a private enquiry may have decided not to go. This may not meet with universal approval from some of those involved, and here the blogosphere may prove its worth.
Because one of those most intimately involved in the decision of the UK Government to commit to backing Dubya Bush and his hawkish circle of advisors now has a widely read blog: step forward the Burnley fan who does not do God, Alastair Campbell. Big Al has already had his ninepence worth over recent reporting on the subject. And he’s got previous on this one, as anyone remotely near the BBC’s news operation will know (although the Beeb’s singular error was putting its trust in Andrew Gilligan, a Labour hating being from the Planet Vindictive).
So I’ll be looking particularly keenly at Big Al’s blog over the coming weeks, trying to sniff out the clues and read between the lines. In this I will not be alone. Meanwhile, the drive by opposition parties for more openness in the enquiry is certain to continue. And the rationale is as before: Young Dave wants it because it’s another easy slice of shameless opportunism – and, more significantly, his side haven’t dirtied their fingers on it. Corporal Clegg wants to build on being the beneficiary of Charles Kennedy being the only party leader to show some backbone, principle and common sense – declaring his forthright opposition to the war.
And what of Pa Broon? With some Labour MPs also opposed to having an enquiry in private, his room for manoeuvre is not so much limited as non-existent. For him, it all potentially boils down to one question: does he choose to limit the exposure to his predecessor, or his own credibility (and therefore survival)?
That, as they say, is a no brainer.