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Iraq war inquiry: Tony Blair arrives early to avoid protesters

Former prime minister expected to tell Chilcot he acted in good faith when taking the decision to send British troops to join the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003

Tony Blair angered protesters by arriving early at the Iraq inquiry today for a long-awaited appearance that is expected to shed some light on the most controversial decision of his premiership.

The former prime minister avoided hundreds of demonstrators by entering the inquiry venue through a cordoned-off rear entrance at about 7.30am, two hours before the hearing was due to begin.

Demonstrators accused him of cowardice for "sneaking" into the building. The chairman of the anti-war group, Andrew Murray, said: "This cowardly and deceitful entrance is typical of how the former prime minister sold the war to the country – behind the backs of the public."

Sir John Chilcot and the four other members of the inquiry will question the former prime minister for six hours today at the QE2 centre in London, where police have mounted a large security operation.

Blair has always defended his decision to send British troops to join the American-led invasion in 2003 and today he is expected to strongly assert that he acted in good faith and that the war brought benefits to the people of Iraq.

But he is likely to face tough questioning about the events leading up to invasion, and in particular about the allegation that he was giving private assurances to the US president, George Bush, about Britain's willingness to go to war that contradicted what he was telling parliament and the public in the months leading up to the war about no decisions having been taken.

Blair resisted calls for a public inquiry into Iraq while he was in office and some Labour figures believe that the party's electoral prospects could be damaged by the evidence that has been emerging since Chilcot started taking evidence in November last year.

Gordon Brown originally wanted the inquiry to sit in private when he set it up, but Chilcot decided that almost all evidence should be heard in public.

The inquiry held a ballot for today's hearing, which will start at 9.30am, and more than 3,000 people applied. There are 60 seats in the room where Blair is giving evidence, and another 700 seats in the QE2 centre where people can watch the proceedings on a screen, but all the places have been allocated, and the inquiry has asked anyone without a ticket to stay away.

The inquiry has heard that Blair started preparing for war in 2002, and he will be asked about the private assurances he gave to Bush, particularly at a meeting they held at Crawford in Texas in April 2002 and in a series of private letters he sent to the US president later that year.

Sir Christopher Meyer, the US ambassador to Washington at the time, told the inquiry last year that he still did not know "what degree of convergence was, if you like, signed in blood, at the Crawford ranch".

Blair justified the decision to go to war on the grounds that he wanted to disarm Iraq and force it to comply with the conditions imposed by UN resolutions. But Lord Turnbull, the cabinet secretary at the time of the war, told the inquiry that he thought Blair was originally a believer in "regime change" and he urged the inquiry to question Blair about this closely.

Turnbull said he was surprised by the interview Blair gave to Fern Britton last year in which he said that he would still have thought it right to remove Saddam Hussein, even if he had known Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.

Turnbull said the inquiry should question Blair about the comment on the grounds that it appeared to contradict what he said about disarmament being the reason for the war.

Blair will also be questioned about the dossier published in September 2002 about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Chilcot himself has suggested that it was wrong for Blair to say in the foreword to the document that the intelligence about Iraq's WMD was "beyond doubt", and other members of the inquiry have suggested that there was no evidence to support Blair's claim that the WMD threat from Iraq was "growing".

The inquiry will want to know why Blair did not allow the military to start buying the equipment it needed for war at an early stage. Geoff Hoon, defence secretary at the time, told the inquiry that Blair did not want this work to begin too soon because it would undermine his attempts to get an agreement at the UN.

Blair will also be asked about the planning for postwar Iraq. The inquiry has heard complaints from many witnesses about the fact that Britain and the US did not prepare properly for the aftermath and, although Blair raised concerns about this with Bush, the evidence suggests that his warnings were ignored.


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Iraq war inquiry: Tony Blair arrives early to avoid protesters

This article was published on guardian.co.uk at 08.53 GMT on Friday 29 January 2010. It was last modified at 09.53 GMT on Friday 29 January 2010.

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  • chameleon chameleon

    29 Jan 2010, 7:25AM

    I've got no problem with Christians per se - some of my best friends are Christians. Ha ha. Is this man just naive? Has he let his faith get in between himself and the job he was supposed to be doing? The UK is a secular nation and his personal beliefs had no place in his policy making.

  • rdrr rdrr

    29 Jan 2010, 7:30AM

    Over 6 years have passed and still no 'mission accomplished' unless the mission was always get Saddam and don't worry about how much innocent blood is spilled before, during and after the process.

    Blair is the archetypal politician. He will dance around the questions with immense skill. The only way to get the truth would be to strap him to a lie detector.

  • sidewaysthinker sidewaysthinker

    29 Jan 2010, 7:39AM

    The fudge continues.

    I very much doubt there will even be any squirming today. The arch-manipulator will 'stick to script' and in all probability not even be asked any of the 'difficult' questions.

    Is he going to be paid for attending?

  • HumbleLife HumbleLife

    29 Jan 2010, 7:52AM

    Puppet show moot.

    As long as people look like they've been through the mill, and they hold it with style and class the old boys network will come through at the end.

    (And if it's done with style, organisation and class, it's not murder... No....)

  • harbinger harbinger

    29 Jan 2010, 8:00AM

    Hiding behind good faith is as they say in another context the last defence of a scoundrel.

    As Blair has proved with his belief in God and the righteousness of his own thoughts and deeds, those who claim to be doing us good are the ones we have most to fear.

    Pleading good faith isn't good enough. It won't wash. To say 'my intentions were pure and therefore my deeds are cleansed of wrong' is to put it another way the same as arguing that the means justify the ends.

    This kind of reasoning has been used by many people through history far worse than Blair.

    Then we all bear some of the shame of ever having elected him Prime Minister. Some say they were fooled by his charm, energy, his 'ordinary' guyness, others rejoiced at Labour once more in power and with a better improved model called New Labour. Any doubts were dismissed with the argument that the good of having Blair outweighed the methods he used.

    As Chilcot and others have shown us, it was those methods that were a cancer at the heart of the New Labour project. The relentless pursuit of dissenters within the party, the smear campaigns, the manipulation of the media, the threats to journalists. All of these were honed to perfection when it came to forcing this war upon us.

    This was more than the rough and tumble of politics, this was an almost Stasi like approach to party loyalty. That poor swot Goldsmith, the attorney General, demonstrated as much. He had to be shipped off to Washington and a 'little chat' for him to returned a changed man. The first known politician to suffer rendition.

    Alastair Campbell, the man proud of every word of every Downing Street document, bears the blame for this. So do the media for allowing themselves either to sell out to Blair as Murdoch did or be cowed into submission as the rest were.

  • Damien63 Damien63

    29 Jan 2010, 8:05AM

    This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted.
  • JasonAnderson JasonAnderson

    29 Jan 2010, 8:26AM

    The reality nicely summed up by Damien63.

    The questions will almost certainly have been leaked to his team (and if not the specific text, certainly any 'curly' ones).

    In the words of great diplomat and fomer US president, John Quincy Adams,

    "Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws"

    Blair might as well come swanning in singing:

    "But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good:
    Oh Lord! Please don't let me be misunderstood ..."

    The only way justice can be achieved here is for Blair and Bush to stand trial as war criminals. Fat chance of that.

  • bigsands bigsands

    29 Jan 2010, 8:27AM

    @chameleon & @rdrr

    Didn't this article have a different headline when we commented earlier, something about Blair's 6 hours of questioning?

    Is there a connection here between the Chilcot inquiry and changing your story to make the right headlines?

  • WhollyMacrel WhollyMacrel

    29 Jan 2010, 8:28AM

    Isn't it strange how inquiries like this are always set up about five years late... plenty of time to set up a white wash.

    Balony Blair will walk away unscathed. The only redeeming factor in a show like this is it might give some power monger in the future a moment of pause before launching a war.

  • Peterhigg Peterhigg

    29 Jan 2010, 8:37AM

    It's infantile to make ad hominem arguments about Blair.

    He was a Christian social-democrat faced with an international nightmare unlike anything we've seen before- possible briefed on Armageddon scenarios and WMDs unleashed in Western cities. Iraq was also a Nazi death camp. And the British realm requires a strong relationship with the United States. You're young- about 49 years old, and the twin towers go down on your watch.

    What would anyone here have done differently- given the international platform you had?

  • Longrigg Longrigg

    29 Jan 2010, 8:37AM

    Wouldn't it be great if one of the panel performed a citizen's arrest and were then able to claim their £2,300 from George Monbiot! never gonna happen but I can dream!

  • Ausername Ausername

    29 Jan 2010, 8:41AM

    The war criminal, with the assistance of the police, has scuttled into the rear of the venue two hours early.

    The police claim that they enforce the law, but instead of arresting this criminal they connive with him.

  • Pairubu Pairubu

    29 Jan 2010, 8:42AM

    What would anyone here have done differently- given the international platform you had?

    Not "exagerating" the WMD threat in parliament might have been a start.

  • fastrob fastrob

    29 Jan 2010, 8:46AM

    A hundred thousand ghosts will be there with you today Mr Blair.They will always be with you as long as you live.
    Enjoy the powerful connections and wealth you have obtained in your deceitful conspiracy.
    Enjoy the contempt of the living and the cold,harsh silence of the dead.

  • Peterhigg Peterhigg

    29 Jan 2010, 8:46AM

    I accept that the slant of the evidence was slightly manipulative. But I think this was because there was a danger people were not getting the problem that a WMD attack upon Israel or Cyprus would have entailed. Surely it was not unreasonable to suspect that Saddam was concealing WMD from the inspectors?

  • lajla lajla

    29 Jan 2010, 8:46AM

    I wish I had a copy of Tony Blair's New Testament! And the ten commandments.

    His Bible cannot possibly be the same book that I know.

    As the invasion of Iraq approached, the former pope and most other Christian leaders opposed the war. Obsviously their interpretations of Jesus' teachings were quite different from that of Tony Blair's.

    Tony Blair's "Christian" faith must be very personal indeed. A bit self-serving, if I may say so.

    An expert on personality disorders is sorely missing on the Chilcot panel.

  • Ausername Ausername

    29 Jan 2010, 8:47AM

    "What would anyone here have done differently- given the international platform you had?"

    Yes.

    Compared to some of the international nightmares people have had to face the situation Blair faced was very easy.

    Weapons of mass killing may be unleashed in Western cities, but Saddam's Iraq would have had nothing to do with it. He didn't like Osama & Co and dealt with any he found in the usual way.

    Blair demonstrated his incompetence as a leader very well during the period. He lied, other people died.

    Oyr illegal invasion of Iraq was not done in my name.

  • Peterhigg Peterhigg

    29 Jan 2010, 8:52AM

    Isn't it the case that all Leftists feel impotent about modern reality. Scapegoating Blair gives you a feeling of being able to wield a stick at the alienated castles of power.

  • Avitz Avitz

    29 Jan 2010, 8:54AM

    Well, we will see soon as to if blair is going to set the record straight,
    Hopefully he will, but he is likely to find a back door.
    Its one of those times where people know hes lying, but Don't have solid evindence to back it.

    @ His ninja-esk entrance - He would have been an idiot to take the front door. just looking at this blog i would be surprised if someone tried to hit him, and if he is injured, oh look we can't trail him any more...

  • Bluecloud Bluecloud

    29 Jan 2010, 8:56AM

    This inquiry has so far just served to put the injustice on the record. That's all.

    It won't really make much difference now whether Blair is exonerated, or hanged like Saddam. The damage is done. You cannot rip the bullets out of the dead, nor take the hate out of the heads of those who will stand up and attack the West.

    That's the real crime. Blair has given the enemies of the West all the ammunition it will ever need, and while he retreats into Catholicism the tribal regions boil.

    Pakistan is now the legacy of the "War on Terror". The series of actions, not blunders that led to 9/11 were the acts of a neo-con agenda, formulated many years ago as it became clear that the greedy economic interests of the West would inevitably lead to conflict with the Islamic world.

    Blair symbolises this greed while he truly believes that he speaks for God. That's what needs to be made clear today. Greed and the how it is that the power given to a Prime Minister can be abused in such a way as to lead to this Cul de Sac.

    A civilised nation should turn it's back on Blair and the hypocritical system that made him possible. That should be the purpose of Chilcott.

  • Ausername Ausername

    29 Jan 2010, 8:57AM

    "Surely it was not unreasonable to suspect that Saddam was concealing WMD from the inspectors?"

    Under military pressure the weapons inspectors were allowed back to do their work. They were told to go to places by "intelligence" agencies. When they got to these places they found nothing. After they had done this many times the weapons inspectors, who had started off by assuming that there were weapons of mass killing in Iraq, started to doubt that there were any weapons. They asked the "intelligence" agencies if these were the best tips they had.

    One of the main reasons for launching the illegal invasion when it was launched was that the weapons inspectors were proving that there were no weapons. Had they been allowed to prove this then one of the "justifications" for the illegal invasion would have gone. So they had to launch the illegal invasion before this happened.

    This is nothing new. I sent my MP a dossier pointing all this out before the illegal invasion.

  • Godseye Godseye

    29 Jan 2010, 8:57AM

    Taking Blair to task over his criminal actions leading up to the war is the first step in prosecuting him for war crimes and as such is a defining moment in the integrity of this country. Imagine if only the German people managed to bring Hitler and his cronies to court before the crimes escalated? To tolerate war criminals in our country sends a message to any despot that they can do as they please without fear of retribution. Such complacency makes us all culpable of the crime. Bringing Blair eventually to trial for his actions is absolutely necessary, only then can we begin to put things right. He did not have the right to begin such drastic action based on a personal belief and it can be seen that he only managed to get his way by lies and subterfuge. The man certainly has charisma and a dangerous vanity we can only hope he does not manage to worm his way through this inquiry without actually answering the questions.

  • exiledlondoner exiledlondoner

    29 Jan 2010, 9:01AM

    Peterhigg,

    Isn't it the case that all Leftists feel impotent about modern reality.

    No more than anyone else.

    Scapegoating Blair gives you a feeling of being able to wield a stick at the alienated castles of power.

    Being "alienated castles of power" seems like a pretty good reason for the rest of us to wield a stick at them?

    This man was our servant, and he behaved (and continues to behave) as though he was our master.

  • vercol vercol

    29 Jan 2010, 9:02AM

    The flaw at the heart of Blair is more than just Iraq. At his heart is a contempt for the rule of law. Tony is always right and law and democracy are weak vessels that get in his way.

    When the lawyers told him it was illegal to invade Iraq he brushed them away. He had the same attitude when he broke down civil liberties at home and made speeches attacking courts that got in the way of his pursuit of criminals.

    His messianic self belief is the problem that led to his failure. It was a self belief not matched by intellectual ability or an understanding of the currents of history. A greater mind would have understood the foolishness of invading Iraq and the whirlwind it would create.

  • Peterhigg Peterhigg

    29 Jan 2010, 9:02AM

    It astonishes me that people cannot remember the anti-Nazi credentials of Blair in Kosovo, and the brilliance of the Sierra Leone campaign. Let alone the minimum wage et al. Why fixate on Blair's guilt in this weird emotional way?

    Clement Attlee was responsible for millions of deaths on some of these arguments- the Prime Minister's platform is always nightmarish.

  • Nattydread69 Nattydread69

    29 Jan 2010, 9:03AM

    He might be rich from his bloody oil war,
    but he can no longer walk the streets safely in this country.

    Good he deserves to rot in jail along,
    with all the profiteers of this terrible war.

  • RobinFrance RobinFrance

    29 Jan 2010, 9:03AM

    It all worked out perfectly for Blair !

    Bush wanted Saddam's head at any price because the Bush Family blamed Saddam for Bush Snr. losing the U.S Election in favour of Bill Clinton and only serving one term.

    Blair followed Bush and the U.S of A slavishly to achieve cult status in the U.S.

    Blair new he would need a new 'constituency' when he was to leave Parliament.
    The U.S would be that place where he would make a lot of money !

    The perfect meeting of minds then ! Blair convinced himself it was a just war .

    I'll help you get rid of Saddam , you'll become my pension fund and way of making millions.

    Simples.

  • exiledlondoner exiledlondoner

    29 Jan 2010, 9:06AM

    Former prime minister expected to tell Chilcot he acted in good faith when taking the decision to send British troops to join the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003

    Why is he 'expected' to tell Chilcot that?

    He's been briefing, hasn't he? He's been using friends to drop spoilers and prepare the ground for his evidence. He just can't resist spinning, even to an inquiry.

    If this was a court (and it's a great shame it isn't), Blair would be in contempt of it.

  • Zagradotryad Zagradotryad

    29 Jan 2010, 9:08AM

    Peterhigg.......

    Iraq a "Nazi death camp". Apart from any issue of you falling foul of Godwin's Law while Saddam's Iraq was a less than pleasant plavce to live I am not aware of him setting up a state run apparatus to exterminate an entire ethnic group, including the very young and very old. Perhaps you can enlighten us on that?

    Was Saddam involved on the attack on the Twin Towers? Nope.

    All the evidence of the Weapon Inspectrions point to the Iraqis weapon programmes being moribund at best. . As an aside I really hate the way 'WMD' has come to mean this sort of weapon. It's originally a Soviet term for artillery because it destroys the enemy's 'mass' i.e. his troop concentrations.

    I genuinely hope you're just a sock-puppet because the levels of self deception or gullibility the alternatives imply are breath-taking.

  • fastrob fastrob

    29 Jan 2010, 9:08AM

    @Peterhigg
    This is about the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians.It much more importand than left or right wing politics.
    Churchill was tormented by the decision not to warn Coventry (Germans would change cracked code).Monty on his death bed waited to answer to all the men who died in North Africa.
    Blair did the worst thing any leader can do ,he fought an avoidable war of aggression including bombing civilians.He unlike Churchill and Monty,who were deeply remorseful about what had to be done,is not even deeply remorseful about what did not have to be done.
    I'm not labour or left wing by the way.

  • cuckoocuckoo cuckoocuckoo

    29 Jan 2010, 9:09AM

    what is this former prime minister talk.
    he is the freelancing peace envoy to the middle east.
    let's face it he is also a former school kid.
    a former lawyer, a former pimply little twerp,
    and so on. and soon he might be an inmate.
    hope springs eternal.

  • joshthedog joshthedog

    29 Jan 2010, 9:09AM

    Re: comments about "good faith" and so forth above.

    All it really proves is that Christianity, or at least modern Christianity, is a moveable feast. Actually, scrub "Christianity" and replace that with "religion". In fact "God" generally seems to be quite a malleable kinda guy, either that or a fairly malicious trickster. Blair, Bush and Saddam all claimed the ear of God in one way, shape or form. Christianity encompasses everything from being a decent member of society to killing abortionists outside their clinics. Muslims range from pleasant, polite, quietly religious, law-abiding folk you would be happy to live next door to, to murderous thugs.

    Religion is a very broad church and it makes me uncomfortable hearing deference to a higher power, and "good faith" when you basically have blood on your hands. Its the only argument for which there is no definitive comeback because of its intense subjectivity. Cowardly.

  • Bluecloud Bluecloud

    29 Jan 2010, 9:10AM

    Peterhigg
    29 Jan 2010, 8:37AM

    It's infantile to make ad hominem arguments about Blair.

    True.

    He was a Christian social-democrat faced with an international nightmare unlike anything we've seen before- possible briefed on Armageddon scenarios and WMDs unleashed in Western cities.

    His beliefs should be irrelevant in a secular state. And you seem to forget the threat of Soviet nuclear attack.

    Iraq was also a Nazi death camp.

    What? There are plenty of nasty places in the world. This is not an excuse to invade and there is no legal basis for this.

    And the British realm requires a strong relationship with the United States. You're young- about 49 years old, and the twin towers go down on your watch.

    The world needs a strong relationship, not polarizing alliances. Blair's age is also irrelevant. When 9/11 happened the response could have been completely different, but the worst case scenario was engineered and it blew up in the faces of the Republicans and Blair. The legacy is not plain to see.

    Blair invaded the wrong country: Iraq, leaving the mess in Afghanistan to fester. It was a monumentally stupid decision. And now we pay.

    What would anyone here have done differently- given the international platform you had?

    The opposite of what Blair did for example. Unite with the EU in balancing out the might of a smitten USA in order to address the underlying issues, first by finishing the deal with the Taliban to hand over Bin Laden (they were ready to do this) and to develop a strategy for peace in the Middle East, including Iran and Iraq.

    Sounds like had work, but it'S easier to destroy in vengeance than build a just world. Shame Blair chose revenge and destruction.

  • CmdrDeLavel CmdrDeLavel

    29 Jan 2010, 9:11AM

    I don't believe for a moment that Blair will ever have to face prosecution for his actions, unfortunately. However, this should not stop us from trying to bring him to book, and making it clear the contempt in which he is held - in the hope that this may deter such a thing from happening in the future.

    Those of us who protested before the war need to accept that we lost this battle - but need also to learn and figure out how to prevent a recurrence .

  • Peterhigg Peterhigg

    29 Jan 2010, 9:11AM

    Why is it gullibility to actually try to see this nightmare from the point of view of the scapegoated figure, rather than indulge in emotional fixations upon the Bad state?

    I cannot think of an historical regime which has not caused deaths- not one.

  • exiledlondoner exiledlondoner

    29 Jan 2010, 9:12AM

    Peterhigg,

    Interests - Writing, Comedy, Politics...

    Well, two out of three ain't bad!

    It astonishes me that people cannot remember the anti-Nazi credentials of Blair in Kosovo.....

    Which Nazis were they then?

    ....and the brilliance of the Sierra Leone campaign.

    What was so brilliant about it?

    Let alone the minimum wage et al.

    What's that got to do with it - it's a bit like saying that everyone's ignoring Hitler's great contribution to road building....

    Why fixate on Blair's guilt in this weird emotional way?

    You answered your own question - because of Blair's guilt.

    Clement Attlee was responsible for millions of deaths on some of these arguments- the Prime Minister's platform is always nightmarish.

    Criminally responsible?

  • DundeeSkeptic DundeeSkeptic

    29 Jan 2010, 9:12AM

    I like Tony Blair, always have, always will. I appreciate the decisions he made based on the situation and the evidence that was kicking around at the time. I honestly feel that people will continue to call him a liar unless he says what they want him to say. So the whole excercise is pointless. I have heard the inner circle evidence during the enquiry and they all seem to be painting a realistic series of events with common themes but people are not prepared to listen to that, all they are looking out for is a word or an indication that the conspiracy they believe in is actually true.

    Everyone is a lawyer now - illegal invasion - the war as created a whole raft of anti war jargon.

    I hope that once the enquiry is over and concludes that there is no real evidence to support any of the fantastical claims kicking around that the anti war coaltion will move on with their lives.

  • coffeegirl coffeegirl

    29 Jan 2010, 9:13AM

    As Blair has proved with his belief in God and the righteousness of his own thoughts and deeds...

    Who knows, Blair's belief in God might be just another fig leaf. Hadn't he believed in Labor first? Then he believed in WMD, in US/UK 'special relationship' and so on. I don't know what else he will 'believe' in as he goes along his life' path but I am sure money and power (in whatever form) will always be his top deities.

  • VincentBlackShadow VincentBlackShadow

    29 Jan 2010, 9:15AM

    @Peterhigg

    What would anyone here have done differently- given the international platform you had?

    It's bad enough having to live with the consequences of this bungling idiots sycophantically pro-American premiership without being told that everything he did was inevitable - and worse that I'd've done what he did myself.

    There was nothing inevitable about it. All he had to do was what the people of his country told him to do. This is a representative democracy after all. There were a million people in the street in London - maybe two million - either way, the biggest protest march there's ever been in British history. That might've been some sort of clue.

    But he started prating on about idealism - about taking a principled stand and doing what he thought was best for the future of this country. We didn't hire this oily little Vax salesman to think. We hired him to do what he was f*****g told. We knew at the time there were no WMD's in Iraq - the only surprise is that our government didn't plant some there. We knew that Iraq was nothing to do with 9/11. There was no 'controversy' about this war. I wish people would stop saying that there was. All thinking people and the vast majority of the population of this country didn't want it. Former BP employees who run this place did. That's not a bloody controversy. That's an absolutely high handed contempt for the opinions of the people who elected you. At that point the question of the desirability of the war becomes secondary to the question of what to do, structurally and systemically, about the catastrophic failure of democracy in this country.

    It's not as though he was right and we were subsequently found to have been wrong. Our positions and arguments have been proved absolutely correct. No WMD's. Iraqi women and children dead. Iraq thrown into turmoil. Billions of pounds that could've spent in this country on badly needed infrastructure squandered. The terrorist threat vastly increased. All the things we said would come to pass have transpired exactly as we predicted. As it was obvious that they would. The whole thing has been an absolute disaster. And yet Blair will appear today and be 'defiant'.

    Only stupid people fail to concede their error when they've been comprehensively routed at the level of argument. Only stupid people and lawyers. Given the fact that he was told by the people of this country what to do, given that everything they told him would go wrong has indeed gone wrong, there is no excuse, no defense for his actions in taking us to war. None whatsoever. To provide one is not to provide a defense but to damage the very possibility of debate, to outrage the honour of argument itself.

    He railroaded and cajoled and lied and manipulated us into war. He told the Labour party they'd be killing the goose that laid the golden egg if they didn't vote for the war - and true to form, they buckled under the whips and the naked appeal to their self-interest. It was the most unedifying spectacle imaginable. His administration posted dossiers they cut and pasted from the internet, wildly hysterical bullshit about 45 minute missile threats. It was all a pack of lies and we knew it all along.

    So whatever else you say, don't tell me I'd've done the same thing as Blair did. I wouldn't. Nothing to do with hindsight. We always knew, like we know now, that the war was a disastrous Quixotic adventure on a bullshit pretext, designed to get English and American hands on cheap oil. That's what's so desolatingly depressing about living in this country: that's what accounts for the sense of despair here: we have no power over own destinies, over our lives and our futures. This war proved that to us comprehensively. It confirmed to us, in the starkest possible terms, that our sole responsibility as British subjects is to choose, once every general election, which old- Harrovian PPE-at-Balliol tosser we want to spend the next four years treating us like worthless scum.

  • bobemax bobemax

    29 Jan 2010, 9:17AM

    It matters not what happens at this toothless masquerade today.
    What does matter, is the damage this man has done to our country in terms of the stability of the nation as a law abiding, politically stable State.

    Those that have, and contiue to hold power over the lives of the peoples of this Nation, are the contributing element that is leading to a state of civil disorder that would distinguish their power and destroy the lives of a peoples that have lost hope.

    And yes, it was Blair that ignited the flame of destruction

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