CHILCOT

ONCE AGAIN I’M GLAD that Bishop Nick Baines takes the risk of being “a bit silly to write too much here.”  His is an humane,  incisive, truth seeking and reflective eye and ear. What he writes about the Chilcot Inquiry below may infuriate some nearly as much as others have been inflamed by Tony Blair himself. But we need to read / hear it. Especially this year. And maybe a quick trip round to our local (whichever) party office with an offer of help might set any one of us on the path to a day and a time when we really COULD “do better”. Maybe in the UK. Maybe in Jerusalem?

It may just be that these impossible wrangles, where there’s not a single simple answer, where thousands of simple answers are demanded, it may just be that you really could do better? And it’s really important that we all know about you because the need for folks to “do better” shows no signs of going away.

Millions of words will be banged out today following Tony Blair’s appearance before the Iraq Inquisition yesterday, so it is a bit silly to write too much here. I’ll limit it to three observations that have the virtue of being honest, but run the risk of running counter to everyone else.

1. I think the war was wrong on every front: politically, militarily and morally. The premises as presented were false and it still appears that the Brits were too keen to be in Bush’s pocket. Nothing said so far in the Chilcot Inquiry has demanded a change of view on these matters.

2. The Inquiry is not a trial. Hectoring inquisition may satisfy the blood lust of would-be interrogators, but might also illicit less information than otherwise. Let someone talk: the more they say, the more words they use, the more holes they will potentially dig either by saying too much or too little. Shouting at people or questioning every detail is not necessarily the best way of getting to the truth. We must wait until the report is published to see what conclusions are being drawn.

3. Thank God the baying crowds or the foaming commentators don’t run the country. Blair’s appearance before the Inquiry Panel has been built up as a trial when it can be no such thing. The Inquiry is there to discover the truth – and they can only do this by looking at the matter from very different perspectives. This requires patience, attention and a willingness to hold judgement until all the evidence has been heard. Yet, already the Inquiry is being written off as a whitewash and a failure by the establishment to beat up one of its own.

via Nick Baines’s Blog.