I did not expect much from the Chilcot Inquiry. Thought it would be a whitewash. Perhaps its conclusions will be. But its already told us more about the thinking of Prime Minister Blair than I'd expected - and it doesn't look good. Seems he's been advised it doesn't look good, (perhaps by his old mate, Alistair Campbell who knows a bit about presentation) which is why he decided to appear in a soft interview with Fern Britton - to draw the sting out of his own appearance before Sir John Chilcot and his panel. Anyway, I've been reading quite a bit of the reporting of proceedings. George Pitcher, writing in today's Telegraph has come up with the nearest to what I'm thinking. I can do no better than reproduce these selected extracts, explaining why he finds the former Prime Minister so unconvincing;
"...its the stammery-stuttering, glottal-stopping delivery, trying to give the impression that Fern was witnessing a spontaneous revelation, rather than something carefully rehearsed. ...Blair knows that sincerity is everything and, if he can fake that, then he's cracked it. ...Blair has again used a soft BBC opportunity to prepare his way for a tricky public performance, in this case telling the Chilcot Inquiry that he'd have found any old reason to invade Iraq: WMD, regime change, bad hair day, whatever........the really troubling aspect of this Blair interview was that he was reinventing his past again, just as he did in the old days when he said that as a boy he had watched Jackie Milburn play for Newcastle United, had stowed away on a flight to the West Indies...." - (both claims were later found to be totally fictitious.)
Personally, I found his admission that he would have gone to war with Iraq, even if he'd known there were no WMD deeply shocking - as was the earlier revelation to the Inquiry that the real aim of intervention had been 'regime change' for months before he told the House of Commons it was WMD. Our Prime Minister lied blatantly and knowingly to Parliament, in order to win a vote allowing him to take our country to war. Today's extraordinary attack on Tony Blair by Sir Ken Macdonald, former Director of Public Prosecution should be the start of a fundamental reappraisal. I cannot commit to the written word just how low my opinion of Tony Blair has fallen. He is a man without shame.
UPDATE - Decided to delete the last sentence, which on next day reading I didn't like.