BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: From the web team
« Previous | Main | Next »

Friday 29 January 2010

Verity Murphy | 17:33 UK time, Friday, 29 January 2010

UPDATE - MORE DETAIL ON TONIGHT'S PROGRAMME

Tony Blair, the prime minister who took Britain to war in Iraq in 2003, has today faced six hours of questioning about his role - questions about the build-up to the invasion, the conduct of the war and the planning for its aftermath.

He told the Chilcot Inquiry:

"This isn't about a lie or a conspiracy or a deceit or a deception. It's a decision. And the decision I had to take was, given Saddam's history, given his use of chemical weapons, given the over one million people whose deaths he had caused, given 10 years of breaking UN resolutions, could we take the risk of this man reconstituting his weapons programmes or is that a risk that it would be irresponsible to take?"

Tonight, we are dedicating the whole programme to this unprecedented event.

David Grossman, who has had a ringside seat at the proceedings, will take a forensic look at Mr Blair's evidence - what questions were answered, and indeed, what questions were not.

We will be discussing his testimony with a panel including a member of the Cabinet at the time of the invasion, a former US envoy to the UN, a prominent opponent of the war and a relative of a serviceman killed in the war.

And we'll be assessing Mr Blair's performance on the day with leading political commentators.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ENTRY FROM 1213GMT

Tonight's Newsnight is a special on former Prime Minister Tony Blair's much-anticipated appearance at the Chilcot Inquiry.

David Grossman is at the Inquiry and will be reporting tonight.

And we will be discussing Mr Blair's evidence live on the programme with politicians and relatives of servicemen re killed in the war.

More details later.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    NOW VERY APPARENT CHILCOTT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A PSYCHIATRIC ENQUIRY

    For those without party bias, and who have some grounding in human psychology, Blair has demonstrated - by only half way - that his psychological make-up SHOULD HAVE DISBARRED HIM FROM HIGH OFFICE.

    Instead of such a conclusion, we will get the usual fudge, AND WILL GO ON BLINDLY ELEVATING DANGEROUS INDIVIDUALS TO PRIME MINISTER.

    Unless we bulldoze Westminster: palace, parties and pusillanimity, this country will be 'taken down' until such time as the EU subsumes us.

  • Comment number 2.

    Tony Blair says France and Russia would never have backed war BUT 1441 gave sufficient legal force according to Goldsmith.

    Perhaps the subtext is France and Russia should never allow the anglo-saxons the benefit of the doubt with small print.

  • Comment number 3.

    There are those who would bulldoze Westminster on the basis of Blair.

    The old poster jaded_jean who admired Hitler "who was democratically elected" at the head of a party.

    Some may say with hindsight that Hitler was a tad psychologically unusual what with the Geli Raubal thing and the rhetoric on Jews that was never backed up with fact and logic - and has never been backed up since.

    For example even today:

    'Two men have lost their appeals against the UK's first conviction for inciting racial hatred via a foreign website.

    Simon Sheppard, 51, was sentenced to four years and 10 months, and Stephen Whittle, 42, to two years and four months at Leeds Crown Court in July. '

    These "courageous" people pushed a leaflet called "Tales of the Holohoax" through the door of a Blackpool synagogue and it was traced back to a post office box in Hull registered to Sheppard.

    If they believed what they said they should have been jumping with joy at the chance to present their "evidence".

    Meanwhile the BNP who believe in race "realism" and so on are whining as they have to iopen their ranks to people of all races.

    So again why not present their scientific evidence as to why they have a case for resisting that legal requirement?

    There is no substance to the far right - its just a wriggling mass of psychological issues that seek out a justification for what the individuals would want to do anyway.

    Meanwhile Griffin said the 'EHRC action as "cynical and despicable" and a "waste of public money"' having previously said that they had been wanting to do that for years.

    On Question Time he agreed his appearance was an early Xmas gift and then after said "it was the worst thing that had ever been done to him".

    The BNP claim they are "no a Nazi party" they are modern and progressive. All of the old Nazi salutes (like Brons in the National Front) and the National Socialists that populate their ranks are red herrings.

    You have to wonder why the would be bomber who had been a member of the BNP for a year and got eleven years recently was attracted to them.



  • Comment number 4.

    On Chilcott again Bush said there was a deal, Blair said there was ... implicitly and Campbell said I seem to recall that there was no deal at all.

    Would Campbell, the unelected would be Walsingham, have allowed Blair to make a deal?

    So is this the kind of white wash where you don't get tied down to specific detail - the mandarins are just happy to accept any answer that the great and good may throw their way?

  • Comment number 5.

    Tonight could the Newsnight team try to probe out of any government spokesman whether they would have actually done anything differently? You could interpret Straw's "mood change" as indicating recognition of the mistakes though his contemporary dismissal of legal advice hardly squares with that.

    Democracy has been damaged and confidence in politicians is at an all time low.

    We need checks and balances and transparency in so far as it does not affect international alliances.

  • Comment number 6.

    Susan Watte writes on her bolog, "Has the public lost confidence in science? Susan Watts assesses the impact of 'glaciergate'...".

    ----------

    Can we please stop this nonsense of adding 'gate' to everything?
    It makes you wonder what happened to all the 'free thinkers'.

    The BBC motto at Broadcasting House is "Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation".

    It is not "Nation shall repeat Ad nauseam with cliches Unto Nation'.

  • Comment number 7.

    Denis McShane is paid by various institutions and organisations to travel the world staying at nice hotels and talking about anti-semitism. It was never very likely that you'd get a sensible word out of him on the subject or that he'd allow any other interpretation than his own to hold sway.

  • Comment number 8.

    6 Long gone are the days when people used to be held accountable for their actions. These days it seems to be all about what people think etc. Journalists seem to be fascinated by the latter precisely because nobody can be held accountable for such private matters. It even seems to dominate the Iraq Inquiry, which makes listening to it a rather irritating experience, for me at least. Sensible, educated, people used to not waste their time on such matters, essentially because, well, such issues are private and thus inconsequential/unaccountable in the grand scheme of things.

  • Comment number 9.

    Can we please stop this nonsense of adding 'gate' to everything?
    It makes you wonder what happened to all the 'free thinkers'.

    The BBC motto at Broadcasting House is "Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation".

    It is not "Nation shall repeat Ad nauseam with cliches Unto Nation'.


    ---------------------------------------
    Ah?! Nationgate

  • Comment number 10.

    Please, as you cover this story avoid allegations of "he was shaking with fear," and "he was obviously struggling" and so on.

    These observations from your colleagues across the Beeb are so obviously untrue to anyone who watched the coverage and are a desperate attempt to sensationalise the entire affair.

    Mr Blair gave a fascinating insight into the complexities and realities of what happened around the decision making process - we should not let that be drowned out by those who have their fingers in their ears and are stamping their feet shouting "he lies, he lies, he is a war criminal!"

    I was impressed by the depth and intelligence of the questioning and the answers given. I cannot for the life of me see what is weak about this enquiry other than they are too intelligent to stoop to Paxman or Humphries style inquisitions.


  • Comment number 11.

    THREE CHILCOTT OBSERVATIONS

    (1) Lynch pin of the whole war-adventure was 9/11. But 9/11 was a staged event (indeed, it was staged to make pre-emptive war possible, with overwhelming American support - 'New Pearl Harbour'). There is already enough evidence - but no 'Chilcott'.

    (2) Blair implied that, without the war, the status quo would endure 'to the end of time'. This is the sort of logic a child uses who does not want to go to school today. I have suggested they could have offered a massive bounty on one or more of the nasty three. There are infinite alternatives (especially if you are prepared to do a Mossad). It was just such a bounty that delivered Esau and Kudos.

    (3) It was not within Blair's gift to join Bush in war, yet he pledged so to do. Ergo: he needed 1/ a declaration of legality and 2/ to win a vote in Parliament.
    Note: 1/ and 2/ are precisely the two dodgy areas of Blair manoeuvring!

  • Comment number 12.

    Like many others (I hope) I am always uncomfortable when I encounter the phrase 'I genuinely believe....' as a) I'm never sure how i am supposed to discern the difference between a genuinely and non-genuinely held belief and b) why holding a belief ever justifies anything, or must secure anyone else's respect.

    To elaborate, say the head of another powerful state (say China, or Russia) 'genuinely believed' that Wall Street or Canary Wharf bankers were very bad for world peace and the welfare of the USA or British people. Would their bombing Wall Street or Canary Wharf to secure regime change, be justified, even if the people of the USA or Britain 'seemed' better off years afterwards?

    Surely the decision to deploy force has to be justfied by the UN Security Council precisely in order to prevent such acts of aggression? Is it not the case that the USA and Britain avoided the UNSC precisely because they knew it would veto action? Is it not the case that the USA is not subject to the ICC but that Britain is?

  • Comment number 13.

    The significance of 9/11 was painfully obvious in the number of times Blair used it as his excuse for escalating his shameful acts of war. Given the importance of this event and the massive anomalies noted about both this event and our own 7/7, why is there no mainstream TV debate on this?

  • Comment number 14.

    Just read your comment Joss, How nice to live in your world, I must visit sometime. Did you also enjoy the way Blair was allowed to sidestep the questions actually asked and instead answered the ones he preferred to answer. Just two example at end of day when asked if he had any regrets
    and was Iraq better off now than it was in 2000 in case you want to check for yourself.

  • Comment number 15.

    1.

    the current form of democracy because it has no skill requirement institutionalises incompetence. all we need is a skill requirement. then there is no need to bulldoze?

    on an aside -in uk law there is no medical test that can prove anyone is sane.

  • Comment number 16.

    I can understand the need of the Chilcot enquiry for the benefit of people who have lost loved ones in the conflict. There is a resonance to the proceedings for them.

    As for the journalists and everyone else it is simply an excuse to put someone in the stocks and throw eggs.

    It is easy to blame Blair for everything including the bad weather in December. Unless you were in the Cabinet or White House it is very hard to know what was said.

    MI6, MI5 and the CIA are never going to reveal what they knew in our life time.

    Move on, move on.

    I do feel sorry for any relatives who has lost someone but all who have joined the Forces since the early 1980s have know that we are a country who is prepared to go to war.

    __________________

  • Comment number 17.

    Hi Ron, So we sit back and let our 'democratically' elected leaders commit whatever atrocities they want in our name. Sounds like a certain country nearby just last century to me.
    Was anyone else sitting all day hoping the Blair mask would slip, helped along by a pertinent question?
    I didn't learn a lot. He showed just how significant 9/11 was for war. It came up in almost every sentence in the first session. Given the anomalies around 9/11 and 7/7, time for another enquiry I would say.
    Someone did point out that there was no link whatsoever between Saddam and the 'terrorists' responsible for 9/11.
    Blair was quite unapologetic in saying 9/11 had not increased the danger from Iraq only Blair's perception of the danger.
    Part of his most cynical argument justifying the war was that childhood mortality has decreased in these recent years since the war. Thankfully one panel member managed to mention the UN sanctions, widely held responsible for the increased deaths,in reply. Another Blairism was that he only had 'simple options' to consider so he didn't really need advice.
    Who in their right mind could consider the decision to go to war in such murky circumstances one of three 'simple options'?
    One thing was absolutely plain today. Blair was going to war and would not listen to anyone who advised differently, including members of his Cabinet and the country's top legal eagle Goldsmith the Attorney General.
    Personally, I hope his answers raise enough questions for him to be tried for war crimes along with those who joined him in trying to pull the wool over our collective eyes.

  • Comment number 18.

    helen slimmond wrote:

    Just read your comment Joss, How nice to live in your world, I must visit sometime. Did you also enjoy the way Blair was allowed to sidestep the questions....

    ###

    Well, obviously you made up your mind years ago - therefore your observations are meaningless. Together with your rude sarcasm.

    I personally have NOT made up my mind, so I was listening carefully and not prejudging anything. It was an intelligent question-answer session, and they have already indicated that he will be questioned again farther down the line as will other people.

    I will wait to see what happens.

  • Comment number 19.

    Sorry, Joss. No sarcasm intended. I really do envy you your worldview. My view of Blair hasn't changed over the years. There has been nothing to change it really. I did watch today's events closely and I would have changed my outlook had Blair brought any new information to light that mitigated his behaviour. He didn't. I am looking forward to his next session. I hope the panel will go off, pour over his replies and evasions and hone in to his most questionable replies.

  • Comment number 20.

    CHILCOTT: SO MANY ANOMALIES - HERE'S ANOTHER

    We all remember Blair making a bit of space for his deceit, in Parliament, saying words to the effect: 'even now, if Sadam gives up his weapons, HE CAN STAY IN POWER' (by inference, with his sons). One of the many blatant lies.

    Today, after eliding disarmament with regime change, Blair made it clear that SADAM HAD TO GO - WHATEVER, confirmed up by his words to Fern.

    I realise it is not a general policy for Chilcott to 'pick up' on such discrepancies. But it is so glaring, I wonder if it will appear in the report?

  • Comment number 21.

    The interview with the former Ambassador and MP Denis McShane made uncomfortable viewing last night. For balance, see Channel 4's recently broadcast documentary 'Defamation' by Yoav Shamir. Those who are not familiar with this documentary, but who were made to feel uncomfortable last night, might be surprised or be more informed after watching the documuntary (it may be available on Youtube).

  • Comment number 22.

    Blair at the Inquiry

    He said Saddam had intent and know how, the first is not possible to assertain as Saddam cannot be questioned by Chilcot because he was convenently hanged, this is an example of "thought crime" which is not a legal justification. The second is that know how remains in the minds of those who have it, so unless all those who had any involvement in Iraqs former WMD programmes had been removed by physical relocation or death that situation would have continued, and even then a few internet searches would have been enough to get it back.

    He continued throughout the questioning to say in various forms that Saddam hadn't had a "change of heart" and said non-cooperation in 1441 meant that if things were not immediate that was a material breach, what immediate means here he never said, a month, a week, a minute from any request?

    He said Blix had provided an indistinct picture, no one agrees with that including the rest of the UN Security Council. He went on to claim that the only reason for co-operation by Saddam was the military build up, which contradicts him claiming that Saddam wasn't co-operating which was his basis for the invasion.

    He said it was most important test was to get scientists out of country, which Blix was against, again contradicting it being the fault of Saddam.

    He said Saddam might have developed weapons after sanctions lifted, but then anyone might do anything, so that is not an argument.

    He said if Blix had had more time it would have made no difference, yet Blix had already made a difference, so that does not follow, he also did not mention nor was questioned on that fact that the weapons inspectors were told by the US to leave Iraq just before the war so they were still working and their stopping was because of the UK/US war and not Saddam.

    He said Blix would not have been able to interview regime, though as Blix was stopped from continuing his work bythe invasion we will never know, another false argument and he even said Blix had changed his mind and that Iraq had WMDs and had expressed that in private to Blair even though we have no evidence of this.

    He kept coming back to the argument that Iraq had previously had WMDs and invaded Kuwait, by that measure it could be argued that Britain and the US have invaded countries and used WMDs therefore Britain and the US are more of a threat to peace and security than Iraq. He also said that given that Saddam was responsible for a million deaths in the Iran Iraq war that they could not take the risk, then again Britain and the US supported him them, and famously Donald Rumsfeld went to Iraq in support of them and both Britain and the US gave him WMDs and on top of that the invasion has caused more deaths, so if body count is a factor then Blair is worse than Saddam.

    He believed beyond doubt Saddam had WMD, yet there were no questions about all the evidence to the contrary, just to reiterate for everyone the main points-

    1. The uranium from Niger forged documents - no mention.

    2. Defector Hussein Kamel - no mention.

    3. Impossibility of Sarin stockpiles- no mention.

    4. Aluminum tubing used for rockets not centrifuges- no mention.

    5. The black propaganda of mobile WMD labs.

    Also no one asked about the propaganda campaign by the US especially Dick Cheney to link Al Qaeda and Saddam.

    He said the world changed after 9/11, and that the risk had not changed only the perception, on that basis the perceptions of a paranoid schizophrenic that someone is out to get them would by justification for them murdering someone, which is total nonsense. Then he went back to saying that if there was any chance that Saddam could develop WMD then it was right he should be removed again not questioned.

    He went on to say that the French had indicated that they were against the use of force and would veto any resolution that allowed it, yet Goldsmith said he changed his mind on what 1441 said because the Americans had said the French had agreed that it authorized the use of force, which is inconsistent.

    He asked the question what would things be like in 2010 if Saddam had been left in power, to answer that, a million Iraqi lives saved, no poisoning of the Iraqi population with depleted uranium, thousands of coalition troops lives saved, no fiscal crisis in this country, no 7/7 bombings, no airplane bombers, no body scanners at airports, no shooting of Jean Charles De Menenes, no Abu Ghraib, no violations of the Geneva Conventions etc etc etc.

    He said said the legality depended on what was in the minds of those who signed up to 1441, even though he had already admitted the French would have vetoed any resolution that allowed for war, so on that basis we know what was in the minds of the French, yet Goldsmith said he decided the war was legal because of what the Americans had said the French had said to them which was at odds not only with French public pronouncements but what Blair said today. Then he said it was the 'spirit' of 1441 that a 2nd resolution was unnecessary for force to be used, contradicting what he just said.

    In the aftermath they did not plan for what happened but planned for what they thought might happen, they did not plan for an absence of functioning civil service, though he did not mention that de-Bathification and destruction of infrastructure and personnel by the invasion was to blame for most of that. He went on to blame Al-Qaeda and Iran for the insurgency even though this is not supported by the facts and was not questioned.

    He continued to say it was right to remove Saddam, yet did not support this with evidence.

    He said after 9/11 there was no material change of threat, but only perception of threat and that in the future the problems would be Al-Qaeda and Iran which he referred to both as a perversion of Islam and if Saddam had been left in power there would have been a nuclear race between Iran and Iraq and Saddam would have been supporting terrorist groups, though no evidence was offered and this was not questioned.

    He said there was the same problem with Iraq as with Nazi Germany after WWII which was why there was a debathification program to get rid of torturers, though there was no mention here of Iraqi torturers being replaced at Abu Ghraib by American ones.

    He said the purpose of the insurgency was to destroy reconstruction, though he was not asked how bombing open air markets or Shia Mosques was nothing to do with reconstruction.

    He said he thought initially the Americans had hit Fallujah too hard, but then changed his mind, and he was not asked any questions about it being a violation of the Geneva Conventions.

    He said it was difficult in the Middle East as if the Israelis responded to an attack after two weeks they would be blamed for starting it, no questions about how it started in 1947 with the formation of Israel.

    He said Al Jazeera was misrepresenting what was happening, though if you compare the BBC and Al Jazera coverage of the invasion Al Jazeera was right about a whole host of things that the BBC and Western media in general were not. For example the BBC / Fox News reported the black propaganda put out the Blair government that there was an uprising in Basra during the invasion, whereas Al Jazeera had people in Basra and showed it was all quiet on the streets and there was no such uprising, or if you want another example there was a US attack on a market and Al Jazeera showed parts of the US missile, yet the BBC, Fox News and others reported that it was one of Saddams surface to air missiles, we now know Al Jazeera reported the truth and the BBC / Fox News did not.

    He said the few bad people at Abu Ghraib should not detract from the good work of coalition forces, though how a million plus dead Iraqi civilians was good work, depleted uranium poisoning etc was not touched upon.

    He said he disagreed with Robin Cook, so like with David Kelly, dead men tell no tales.

    He said Iran is supporting Al-Qaeda, but offered no proof and it was not questioned, he said Iran was concerned because of a majority Shia goverment in Iraq, yet Iran is Shia but then again this was not questioned.

    He said the Neocon Brookings Institute had said Iraqis think things are better, which is like saying Pravda says the USSR was full of happy workers and he says he agrees that he thinks the Iraqis think things are better, though this nonsense was not challenged.

    He said the same arguments that applied to Iraq now apply to Iran, this was not questioned and that Saddam had been a threat to the world as well as the region, even though no one else thought so and was not questioned.

    To summarize, whatever Blair thinks must be true, whatever he does is legally / morally right even though what he says is self contradictory and contradicts known verifiable facts and now he wants an attack on Iran now he's done with Iraq, which is truly scary. The only other useful point is the Iraq Inquiry is now not about Iraq but a platform for preparing another attack this time on Iran and constituted in itself as great a threat to this country and peace and stablity in the world as Blair ever did.

  • Comment number 23.

    After WWII, Japan and the Asian/Tiger economies provided the USA with cheap labour forces (as did Germany), but as they matured, production was moved to where it was cheaper (China). Now China's maturing, perhaps production will move to Iraq and Afghanistan? Today, Mr Blair seemed rather keen to put Iran in the frame for regime change too. What/who prompted that?

    There are evidently further evil states/regimes which need changing....

  • Comment number 24.

    I've watched Tony Blair very closely since the start of the Iraq war. Has anyone ever wondered what happens to that group of children with Asbergers Syndrome, after they become adults?
    Blair shows classic symptoms, and has no concept of the hurt he has caused to others. He was as effective a lethal weapon, as a female terrorist. A perfect 'happenstance' meeting of a fellow sufferer, G W Bush.

    Brawn from Bush and brain from Blair...

    Someone ask Blair to give his post war illgotten £millions to the victims of this venture.

  • Comment number 25.

    22. 'on that basis the perceptions of a paranoid schizophrenic that someone is out to get them would by justification for them murdering someone, which is total nonsense.'

    Sadly, an awful lot of people reason this way, in all sorts of contexts these days, and it seems to be getting more, not less common.

    Why is that? We hear a lot of this today. We have heard a lot of it from all sorts of people in recent years. Reporters talk like this all the time. They don't just report anymore.

  • Comment number 26.

    Me thinks Jaded_jean is now called "statist" albeit in a bland form?

  • Comment number 27.

    You can't help but worry about behind the scenes influence on the media.

    Blair raised the "2010" question. But nobody took up the fact that perhaps Blix would have confirmed that they really did not have WMD.

    If so can it be ruled out that internal forces would have revolted and perhaps then would have been supported by the allies - a different story to the perceived invaders after oil?

    "Yee hah" Boulton as ever only sees cartoon images and as yet has to answer a single question on the viability of any exit strategy that leaves a coherent Iraqi state - even today.

    Meanwhile on the 45 minutes issue I have yet to hear a coherent answer as to why this media confusion was not dispelled by the government asap after it was printed.

    Ulterior motives from the Campbell/Blair mob - surely not.

  • Comment number 28.

    #9 the count

    "Can we please stop this nonsense of adding 'gate' to everything?
    It makes you wonder what happened to all the 'free thinkers'.
    What a silly person. "

    You are somebody who has applauded the views of the odious far right posters who themselves applaud Hitler (Jaded_Jean - but probably a new name today as the logic and science blew out so new smoke is required) .

    I don't recall Hitler being one to encourage "free thought".

    I think it was mostly firing squads for the free thinkers.

  • Comment number 29.

    #23 statist

    What on earth has post WWII labour patterns got to do with regime change in Iran?

    It would take an idiot of absolutely epic proportions to link such disparate things - unless you happened to be on drugs or infected by the old poster jaded_jean who was sympathetic to Nazi Germany?

    Hopefully I am wrong (it did happen once) but if not then soon we will hear the "Statist" refer with wibbly-wobbly facts to the "peace lover" Hitler and the Holocaust and that it was allegedly made up to "put people off statism". Naturally it was organised by Roosevelt and Stalin who were of course "statist's" in the eyes of that particular delusional.

    As above (#3) the odious BNP are soon to open their ranks in the multi-racial world - or they justify their resistance with law and science.

    Naturally that ain't going to happen.

  • Comment number 30.

    POLICIES COME FROM PEOPLE - CHOOSE WISELY BRITAIN(#24)

    I endorse you basic premise Quantum-man. Did you catch my #1?

    I am not ready to label his dysfunction (my Brother was a high achieving Autistic - Asperger) but I think I might have spotted Dr Strangelove in there. I find myself wondering if he could not show regret, BECAUSE IT WOULD CONTAMINATE TRIUMPH. Remember whiter than white - purer than pure?

    One thing is certain: he is a long way from the centre ground.

  • Comment number 31.

    #16

    Mr Taylor

    It is well known that I am searching for the truth but it is not that I want to know all the details of what the MI6, MI5 and CIA know as I appreciate that not all state secrets can be revealed and it would be naive of me to think this was not the case.

    At present for example, I've been at pains to find the cause of my physical symptoms simply to make sure that they stop but the medical specialists have suggested to wait with the hope that they will stop of their own accord. By now it is all that matters. I would be quite happy to forget the rest.

    As I hope it is clear from my posts and communication with people who I have talked to today, for example, that otherwise I'm functioning quite normally and as I have said before I would be happy to leave this country rather than continue in this fashion.

    mim

  • Comment number 32.

    Thanks turbojerry better notes than my own.
    Am I crazy in thinking that Blair actually said enough to warrant criminal proceedings, today?

  • Comment number 33.

    #31 addendum

    It is also well known that I am very fond of Jeremy and I have been concsciouly very open about it indeed trying in the meantime not to expect anything in return and the fact that he has not beeb prepared, or has not been able, to respond openly to my e-mails asking to look after the copyright of my writings, if they are of any intellectual, humanist or poetic value, that is, I totally accept and it is not a source of any psychological trouble to me. I write and try to communicate because I feel the need for it. Whether I benefit from it in any way is not of much concern to me.

    I'm not sure whether I should or should have been concerned about Jeremy himself but ultimately his wellbeing is my priority, whatever happens to me.

    Monika

  • Comment number 34.

    MUNCHAUSEN BY PROXY (variant)

    I was off to bed and made the mistake of watching the latter part of the Fern and Tony show. As mask-faced Blair absorbed, unmoved, the horror that Britton was throwing at him, regarding our troop-deaths, Munchausen popped into my head - and won't leave.

    Is it possible that the STOIC HEROIC, who 'bears' the deaths of his troops, sacrificed in a just war that he alone saw need of, and he alone had courage to mount, is epitomised in Tony Blair, but requires naming? Is he already described in 'The Literature' or can I name him as my own?

  • Comment number 35.

    @32 Yes, but it would depend on the jurisdiction, I would doubt a private prosecution in England as the CPS have the ability to take over a private case and then either discontinue it based on it not being in the public interest or merely presenting no evidence. He will never see the Hague as Britain has people there and would never allow a prosecution to begin. One would have to get Blair in a jurisdiction that claims Universal Jurisdiction for his International Crimes, so unless you have a mercenary army up your sleeve that is never going to happen unless you pull a V for Vendetta.

  • Comment number 36.

    #34

    barriwaingleton

    Go on, name him, be brave

  • Comment number 37.

    #22. turbojerry wrote:
    Blair at the Inquiry

    "He said Saddam had intent and know how, the first is not possible to assertain as Saddam cannot be questioned by Chilcot because he was convenently hanged, this is an example of "thought crime" which is not a legal justification"

    The question of intent(prior to commiting a crime) is one that should be engaging the best legal minds now. The old premise of 'innocent until proven guilty' is no longer a safe judgement since the spread of terrorism and suicide-bombers. Such a review might be one positive outcome from the Iraq War Inquiry, and in view of the need for a retrial of the failed London bombers.

    But even if the strength of Blair's '2010 question' is accepted as excuse enough for commiting this country to an illegal war, further measures must be put in place to prevent repetition (in Africa or Middle East). We must never allow just one powerful (articulate, charismatic etc) individual such power to ignore doubts expressed by many legal experts, nor to completely ignore the strength of feeling of the GBP.

    Despite Blair's callous, arrogant lack of regret or remorse, the war in Iraq was the Recruiting Sergeant for the 'unexpected' rise of insurgents and for the rise in radicalisation of Muslims and terrorism in UK.


    "The second is that know how remains in the minds of those who have it, so unless all those who had any involvement in Iraqs former WMD programmes had been removed by physical relocation or death that situation would have continued, and even then a few internet searches would have been enough to get it back."

    Following WWII, enemy experts in WMD (V1s and V2s) were quickly acquired by the victors, whereas Chemical Ali has been executed, so maybe we are getting more civilised?

  • Comment number 38.

    #38

    indignantindegene

    good and consequentional reasoning!

    mim

  • Comment number 39.

    This is a ditty on how to be pretty.
    First find good looking parents.
    Then make sure their genes do tally
    So that your future will be of better percent.
    Avoid at all cost to have too many talents
    As men are not yet ready to take on the challenge.
    Do not write any extended essays
    Because they’ll steal your ideas
    But will chase you around
    Until exhaustion they’ve found.
    Selling their souls in search of a fortune
    While remaining not more than opportune.

    mim

  • Comment number 40.

    blair was in the same 'selling a line' camp that the majority of the FO political witnesses also were using? another session to add to that dvd 'heroic success in iraq' the FO seems to be making.

    why does tony think the usa could do anything about israel/palestine when no israeli political leader can deliver the settlers and any israeli politicians who talks peace comes under verbal if not physical attack?

    the uk has more evidence of being a base for AQ than iraq? Should we be bombed and invaded by national states who have the same 'fears' as tony? suppose the russia president had the same fears about the uk being a base for terrorism? would they be justified in invading to 'clean the uk up'?

    tony didn't seem bothered that everyone got the wrong idea about the 45mins? he kept avoiding the question and keep going on about the sexing up story. they were keen to correct that story but not the 45 mins story?

    if tony had his way [take no risks philosophy] we would be invading iran?

    there was no way saddam could prove he had no weapons. even if the inspectors has finished they would still claim he was hiding them?

    does anyone believe tony saying the uk knew what it was doing with iraq and if only iran hadn't meddled everything would have been alright?
    didn't the iranians just exploit the existing chaos caused by the failure of the planning and the lack of resources?

    tony speculates that saddam would have been a big supporter of AQ.

    he admits the uk was not consulted on major decisions affecting iraq even though it had equal responsibility for the country.

    as far as i could see he used the sessions as an propaganda piece for a future war with iran.

    if this was a trial for the charge of crime of aggression there is only one verdict imo.

  • Comment number 41.

    It’s almost the end of January before February
    Comes along revealing its story
    Whether on Newsnight or elsewhere
    And whatever the colour of your hair

    mim

  • Comment number 42.

    @37 No, intent as a mental construct cannot be offered as evidence as it cannot be proven one way or another and if claims of intent are used by the State to kill people then as a matter of Law it could also be used by an individual for the same ends, this would be anarchy not the Rule of Law. As for your examples, terrorists and suicide bombers have to acquire the materials for their crimes which is evidence and evidence of intent may be available by their statements on the Internet, video or to others.

    If Blairs 2010 question was accepted as a justification then a 2015 statement of the possibility of what you might do would be justification for someone to kill you, so be careful of what you wish for.

    The same thing happened with ex-USSR WMD experts after the collapse of the USSR, there was no need with the Iraqis as they did not know anything that the chaps at Porton Down don't know.

  • Comment number 43.

    jauntycyclist & turbojerry (esp. 1st para. in post 42)

    An excellent series of posts from you both. Thank you.

    One might have thought that Newsnight would have been airing/discussing these issues instead of covering the usual range of 'opinions', which are as inscrutable as talk about intent etc as anyone trained in law or philosophy knows (the general public/audience does not know this, alas). The distinction between murder and homicide is effectively made on the basis of evidence of physical actions or lack of it, not thoughts etc. Sadly, as one of the studio female guests (sister of a casualty) remarked last night, what we witnessed in the Iraq Inquiry were polished/groomed/equivocating theatrical performances from the major protagonists, something they are all well practiced in.

    turbojerry, your first sentence in 42 warrants repetition/emphasis:

    'No, intent as a mental construct cannot be offered as evidence as it cannot be proven one way or another and if claims of intent are used by the State to kill people then as a matter of Law it could also be used by an individual for the same ends, this would be anarchy not the Rule of Law.'

    That's the way our culture has been going. (Poor) education has aided and abetted in this.

  • Comment number 44.

    WMD - THE WAGFINGER of MUM'S DIKTATS.

    It was clear, once Blair got into his stride as PM, that he carries, deep in his psyche, the 'YOU CAN'T JUST DO NOTHING' implant. He has a TERROR of being confronted, after the event, with that archetypal wagging finger that roars: 'And you stood there AND DID NOTHING'.

    In consequence he finds it EASIER to go to war IN HOPE than to act in a more considered manner, that JUST MIGHT be termed 'doing nothing', later on. This, in my view, is the genesis of the '2010 QUESTION' that Blair coined at Chilcott. His deep, childish terror, evident in his language when we were committed to war, was predicated upon his fear of a LEGACY as the 'THE DO NOTHING MAN'.

    As a weapon of malign destruction, the wagging finger is all-powerful (remember Little Ronnie in 'Sorry'? Sadly there are many more damaged children in this country - many of them in Parliament - and as the system is currently rigged, there always wil be.

    BLAIR IS NOT AN ANOMALY.

  • Comment number 45.

    as far as i an see the 'model' tony used is like someone going out and killing the local suspected drug dealer and then claiming it was not a crime because he believed it was a good thing to do and that everyone was better off without that suspected drug dealer. No doubt he would also add the 2010 verbal jedi mind trick by asking what might ' the drug dealer would have become by now?

    suppose we all used that model? the uk would become like somalia?

    the british model that historically has been exported around the world is that of set of rules and a ref. Playing the game. Football, cricket, rugby are all models of that philosophy that have been exported around the world.

    Tony has been trying to create a different british model which is more like the current israeli model of pre emptive intervention and collective punishment merely based on suspicion. Playing the man rather than the ball. Invading then calling anyone who defends their home 'a terrorist'. That somehow any non western model of government is dangerous. which is subtle form of racism. a cultural supremicism.

    Under the british model the ref would have given tony a red card and sent him off the pitch. which is effectively what happened when he had to leave office.

    tony [and his friends] does not seem to understand his model is profoundly anti british which is why the country a whole instinctively rejects it.

  • Comment number 46.

    I HAVE JUST BROKEN THROUGH THE FENCE AND RAZED MY NEIGHBOUR'S GARDEN (#45)

    Well - he had not mowed his lawn before going on holiday. I couldn't just do nothing. If that garden became overgrown, wild, rampant - no telling what might be hidden in there.

    Time and My Maker will judge me.

  • Comment number 47.

    i was surprised to see tony quote the RAND report given the dim view it takes of using the military to deal with terrorism [only a 7% success rate]. rather they say one should use counter terrorism and the courts.

    makes one wonder if he actually read it?

  • Comment number 48.

    SERIOUSLY - WE NEED AN ENQUIRY INTO POLITICAL MECHANISMS

    Why do individuals seek power? Does seeking define 'the right stuff'?
    On what criteria is promotion based? Does the party system improve of degrade decision-making, both in terms of time/cost and quality. etc.

    It is all so obvious really - isn't it? If there's a wrong way to do it - nobody does it like us!

  • Comment number 49.

    46

    i have just occupied my neighbours garden at no8 because 'no one was in it' thus 'abandoned'. I am now conducting a pre emptive campaign against the 'terrorists' holed up in the building next to 'my land'. i suspect they are developing wmd. the intelligence supports my unshakeable belief. I am filled with terror in case the terrorists do get wmd because no doubt they will use them on me without hesitation. So i have the right of self defence which is greater than any law.

    i am also conducting a campaign against no10 because they are providing help and assistance to the terrorists at no8. I have convinced those at the Manor that those at no10 might give those at no 8 WMD so the Manor has invaded no10 and reduced it to rubble and so restored 'democracy' to that region.

    i have barred the postman because he was providing 'manuals of terrorism' and related correspondence through the post.

    i suspect all the protesters outside my house are terrorist supporters so have been filming them all and placing them under surveillance.

    thus goes the war without end.

  • Comment number 50.

    #42/43 et all
    "@37 No, intent as a mental construct cannot be offered as evidence as it cannot be proven one way or another and if claims of intent are used by the State to kill people then as a matter of Law it could also be used by an individual for the same ends, this would be anarchy not the Rule of Law. As for your examples, terrorists and suicide bombers have to acquire the materials for their crimes which is evidence and evidence of intent may be available by their statements on the Internet, video or to others".

    I'm not advocating that the mere claim of intent is sufficient; the first jury of the failed London bombers were unable to agree that a potentially catastrophic crime was intended from the evidence presented.

    The raised level of security warning suggests that other plots are going on at this moment, so some guidelines on what constitutes 'evidence of intent' needs urgent attention. Waiting until 'sufficient' evidence is gathered or available (as in 9/11?) could be as dangerous as convicting
    idiots who were 'merely planning a warning stunt' (as claimed by the failed London Bombers and others).

    Blair's claim of 'Saddam's intent' had insufficient 'verified'
    evidence, but what if the existence of WMD had been verified? Would evidence of intended use then be required?

    As with Brown's claim that war in Afghanistan/Pakistan is justified 'to protect UK from terrorism' there is no clear evidence, so is that war also illegal?

  • Comment number 51.

    WHY AM I LAUGHING AT POST 49? I SUPPOSE IT IS ALL THAT'S LEFT

    Was it only yesterday I listed all the corrupt institutions of this country; no doubt to be applied as TEMPLATES FOR THE CONQUERED LANDS when we bring 'democracy'?

    We keep being informed of triumphs, across a wide range of British parameters, but what of simple sanity and contentment of the populace? Those currently trapped in Tony's 'Education X 3' can't ALL grow up to be politicians - can they?

  • Comment number 52.

    49. jauntycyclist

    I think you may be on to something there...

    Given that the French were not too happy about 1441 etc, after Iran, might they be next on the liberators' enlightenment/hit list, i.e. for further democratization?

  • Comment number 53.

    Mea culpa... that is already underway via the EU Project aka Lisbon isn't it?

    Sometimes it helps to strategically put the deluded and incompetent into powerful jobs ('promoted to their level of incompetence' etc). For
    instance, if one is trying to take a state down (asset-stripping 'democratization') one needs a state first, i.e. where there is a big Public Sector.

    So:

    1) devolve budgets to the front-line (e.g. Head-Teachers, or Prison
    Governors, NHS Administrators etc);

    2) when the clever/competent ones leave because they know they don't
    have the skills/staff to do all the personnel and procurements etc effectively (i.e they know their limits), just encourage 'fast-tracked' (inexperienced eager beavers 'they have name you know - 'Future Leaders' in education) to take those high positions;

    3) When the delegated powers cock up, 'Market-Test' so the Private
    Sector gets control on grounds of efficiency etc. It doesn't really improve services, on the contrary, it just creates confusion, inefficiency and ultimately, economic collapse.

    That's been going on across the UK state for 30 years, I believe.

    I suggest that the way to see most of our 'leading' politicians today is that they are selected by the entrepreneurs/bankers etc as demolition agents, and those selected need not fully see this either, they just need to hunger for fame and be taken in by rhetoric. In fact, it's often better that they don't fully see it, as that makes them much better (more charismatic) performers.

    It's Faustian.

  • Comment number 54.

    to be fair shouldn't tony have been hooded, put in stress positions for three days with no sleep, constant heavy metal music at full blast through headphones followed by a bit of water boarding before being asked questions in order to make sure we get 'the truth'?

    or is that only for getting 'the truth' out of iraqis/afghans?

  • Comment number 55.

    blair reminded me of a nutter at the bus stop with wide eyes, evangelical, loves to hear his own voice and cannot bear dissent or anyone who questions him is frozen out or bombed...and the most chilling thing he would do it again.....

  • Comment number 56.

    'HOLDING GOVERNMENT TO ACCOUNT' - HOW HOLLOW THOSE WORDS RING.

    My local MP (Richard Benyon - Con) is not slow to trumpet his elevated position in the matter of 'HOLDING GOVERNMENT TO ACCOUNT'.

    Chilcott has shown us that in the feudal ethos, prevailing in the central redoubt of the Westminster Citadel, the Prime Minister may brook NO accountability - EVEN TO HIS OWN OFFICERS. What chance my bloke?

    Sic transit gloria Democracy.

  • Comment number 57.

    56. 'Sic transit gloria Democracy. '

    One hears this word 'democracy' a lot these days, but in one article, this is essentially equated it with 'populism' (reminds me of 'Lord of The Flies').

    The problem, as I see it, is that we often also hear the word 'diversity' championed by the same people who champion 'democracy'. I'm really not sure how these can be reconciled, as surely if it's the case that people are not all the same (i.e. are not all 'equal' which surely follows from 'diversity'?), politicians who get on by (i.e who are elected/elevated to power by) appealing to what is popular, might just be handing out beads?

    At the same time, we hear the word 'meritocracy' championed too, but also hear that elitism is to be denigrated/eradicated.

    It's a bit of a mess, surely?

  • Comment number 58.

    NOT HALF THE MESS THAT A SOCIAL ANIMAL WITH AN EASILY-TRAUMATISED 'OVER-BRAIN', AND 'POWER' OF SPEECH IS, STATIST. "BUT THAT'S NOT IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW." (#57)


    I quote myself from Susan's blog, yesterday. Susan wrote: "The case raises far-reaching questions over how science is conducted,"

    1. At 6:05pm on 29 Jan 2010, you wrote:
    ITS NOT JUST SCIENCE

    Critical thought is not a currency in our culture.

  • Comment number 59.

    58. As I understand it, real science is actually very difficult. I'm not sure climate science is a real science though, as I'm told that it takes lots of training to become a real scientist, and that most genuine scientists avoid the public (if at all possible), as they find that the public are prone (like journalists) to demand that science is put into a language that non scientists (and people who don't understand much at all) can all understand, not understanding that this really annoys many 'genuine' scientists, as they're very busy doing exactly opposite.

    Maybe Susan should give that a bit of thought? Maybe she should look into anti-scientism in fact? Is she anti-scientific? Maybe Newsnight could get Yoav Shamir and his grandma to do a film on this?

  • Comment number 60.

    BBC 'Breaking' News Today (but I blew the whistle on this ages ago)

    “The UK Border Agency has temporarily suspended student visa applications from northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh after a jump in numbers. In the last 3 months of 2009 there were 13,500 applications from northern India alone, compared with 1,800 in the same period of 2008. British officials say the system has been overwhelmed and there is concern about how many cases are genuine. Unscrupulous offers of visas as a way of settling in the UK are not uncommon.” - Britspeak for RIFE?

    “The British high commissioner in Delhi, Sir Richard Stagg, said abuse of the system would not be allowed to happen”. - It already has, since Brown triumphantly claimed the new tougher POINTS immigration system: -and the BHC is the ‘responsible’ agency in country.

    “While extra checks take place, visa applications have been temporarily suspended - a decision which will be reviewed at the end of February”. - Where ‘extra’= better than zero?

    “Jeremy Oppenheim, UK Border Agency, said: 'The points-based system gives us the flexibility to act to maintain the integrity of the visa system, whilst processing legitimate applications fairly, thoroughly and as quickly as possible”. - Maintain the integrity!!!!

    "We will take tough action against those who attempt to abuse the system." - Within the limits imposed by judges’ rulings, appeals, The HR Act and EU interference?

    “The director of the legal advice firm, London Immigration Advice and Appeal Services, Harjap Singh Bhangal, says a temporary suspension will prevent illegal immigration, but it will also adversely affect genuine students” Well Singh would say that wouldn’t he!

    This is the second incident reported by BBC in which Indian students have caused problems through arriving in UK expecting schools to provide paid employment. Many schools have been found bogus and closed, and employment, even at min wages (or less) is often no longer available.

    As I anticipated in my blogs, the 10 points awarded to students showing ‘evidence’ of bank balances to cover all fees and living expenses (approx £30,000 for a 3 year course in London) was in many cases a ‘recycled’ bank balance provided by an agency. Many hundreds of students are here with student visas and no funds for surviving. The BBC newscast stated that this is causing social problems.

    Over to Gordo for a quick denial, cover up, rethink and another tough new policy initiative? Meanwhile what's happening to the thousands of
    students with no schools and no money?

  • Comment number 61.

    #60 I read this one Indi

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8481493.stm

    And I thought of your earlier posts when reading it!!!

  • Comment number 62.

    Have a good Sunday, ecollizy and indi

    mim

  • Comment number 63.

    #62 continuation

    and all you nice people, david budgen, julian graffy, barack obama, bush, david mellor, jj, jaunty, barriesingleton, cookieducker, brossen99,etc

    jealousy, eh?

    mim

  • Comment number 64.

    I can't remember now who boasted of steeling, jauntycyclist, methinks

    mim

  • Comment number 65.

  • Comment number 66.

    #64 continuation

    not forgetting gordy & mandy

  • Comment number 67.

    "This isn't about a lie or a conspiracy or a deceit or a deception. It's a decision. And the decision I had to take was, given Saddam's history, given his use of chemical weapons, given the over one million people whose deaths he had caused, given 10 years of breaking UN resolutions, could we take the risk of this man reconstituting his weapons programmes or is that a risk that it would be irresponsible to take?"

    Britain didn't 'unsign' the Rome Statute like the USA and Israel did, (and in a timely manner too).

    Is that because the tentacular EU project (Lisbon) would have made that all but impossible?

    Note some in the UNSC made it very clear that 1441 was no licence to invade.

    Which other nations contributed lethal forces in the invasion? Why is all the focus on Blair's Britain?

    Perhaps Newsnight should now look very closely at what the other members of the coalition (apart from the 'unsigners') actually did, and did not do, in the way of lethal force in Iraq?

  • Comment number 68.

    how would you feel, Lizzy, if you and those around you were blackmailed day and night?

    I said I was prepared to leave everything and go back to Poland so as not to cause trouble but was hoping that the medics would help. Some of them today seemed to have been enjoying themselves

    + I thought you'd told me once that you 'loved' me!?
    And can't you remember I was prepared to meet you to discuss things.

    May I wish you a happy future!

    mim

  • Comment number 69.

    #67

    You're mistaken, statist, it won't change anything.

    And by the way, is it anything to do with me and have you been testing people just to see how they react?

    Do carry on, I'm sure the world will be ever so grateful!

    And what is it precisely that you wanted from me if you did, that is>?

    Who has invaded who and what for?

    mim

  • Comment number 70.

    It's of no consequence whether my posts appear or not, the main thing is that I've passed on my thoughts.

    mim

  • Comment number 71.

    Sadam invaded Kuwait. Having been isolated from almost everybody, apart from a friend whose name is Nick, I was driven to despair, showed it and sectioned. In the ambulance there was a man sporting a moustache. At that time I thought db was being victimised, but is/was db sadam or is he db? Is he Hitler or is he Moussolini or Stalin or Seltzer or my late grandpa?

    Common, db, make up your mind. Who are you?

    mim

  • Comment number 72.

    Have you just been turned on, db?

  • Comment number 73.

    #72

    bubble, bubble, squeak and scrabble, eh?

  • Comment number 74.

    Oh, and best wishes to the BBC DG

  • Comment number 75.

    #71

    Or are you now, as before, as well as all those other men I've mentioned, George W Bush, making friends with Barack Obama?

    Georgbe Bush who originally didn't have much choice but to attack Iraq and Barack Obama who was going to be conveniently killed off during his inauguration to make way for Hilary Clinton and Biden? Is it anything to do with bidding by any chance?

    What do you think you're doing? Off your rocker, you are!

    Still turned on?

    mim

  • Comment number 76.

    Should I write something dramatic
    Or shall I stick to my tactic?
    Of dittying just as I please
    With irony and newly found ease?
    Newly, that is, a couple of years ago
    When I realised what’s been going on!
    And is still going on to this day
    With westies and mice loving their play.
    Aqua in bottles and aqua in pockets
    Checking blood pressure firing their ‘rockets’.
    Is this a manhood or is it a joke
    And do they think they now live in /New/ York?
    Are their suitcases ready to go
    On a great journey all round the globe?

  • Comment number 77.

    db

    Are you into distributing hormonal doses as you please and thus affecting climate changes? Is it it?

    How much do you charge?

  • Comment number 78.

    db

    chitty, chitty, bang, bang?

  • Comment number 79.

    db

    Let me be clear. My main concern is not climate change, as oppoosed to yourself, but the historical facts since about 1988/9 and how much damage you've done in the process simply in order to distribute hormonal changes (for money) and to 'achieve' a cheap thrill.

    Capice?

    mim

  • Comment number 80.

    I suppose, David Budgen and Julian Graffy, it is a revenge of sorts for my talking on your doors. I thought I'd apologised for that.

    You could have left it at that or contact me and tell me to get lost, but no, you tease and manipulate, etc

    Carry on enjoying yourselves!

    Monika

  • Comment number 81.

    #65lizzy from a link with your link:-

    "..with half-a-million Hindus and more than 300,000 Sikhs living in the UK, demand for places of worship far outstrips the supply."

    This situation will not suprise any who have been alert to the deliberate immigration of different faiths and cultures ino this country during the past decade. Obviously little thought or projection was done by gov't (or opposition) when multiculturalism was inflicted on UK; eg not only diversity in cultures and religions, but also differences in birthrates.

    With the continual failure of 'tougher new immigration laws' (as
    illustrated in #60 above) one has to wonder whether this is UK gov't incompetence of spectacular magnitude - or deliberate policy?

    The only comfort I can find in the above developments are that the Indian religions are mainly multi-diety and do not seek to change UK society. However, there is some doubt about enforced inequality with their long history of a caste system.

  • Comment number 82.

    81. indignantindegene - Wise words and sound analyses from yourself and ecolizzy.

    From reading several of your posts, you both have seen how the UK has changed over the past fifty years or so as the Welfare State has been progressively sold off/broken up. The problems which 'emerged' have all been a consequence of undermining the state in my view.

    No doubt the attraction to many migrants over the years has been the prospect of free-at-the-point-of-delivery Public Services without ever having to think about how these could ever be delivered (i.e paid for). They are paid for by years of long work for the state, i.e duty to one another - or by Government borrowing.

    Alas, too few of us now seem prepared to face up to our immediate and long-term responsibilities (i.e duties) to others, and understandably, people who have worked, or who are prepared to work, for their future support, and for those like them, resent others benefiting, when the latter have no intention of contributing.

    As I see it, that's why immigration, population control, and entitlement to state benefits has to be rigidly enforced, i.e because failure to do so means that Welfare States are not economically viable. In some quarters, this sort of talk is predictably unpopular, but do such people really understand the economics or is it that they just want to tear down such Welfare States?

    I don't know the answer, do you?

  • Comment number 83.

    claire short knocks over tony's house of cards?

  • Comment number 84.

    #82 statist
    "As I see it, that's why immigration, population control, and entitlement to state benefits has to be rigidly enforced, i.e because failure to do so means that Welfare States are not economically viable."

    The state provision of services (NHS,State Pensions and Social Insurance)were viable as conceived - to provide according to one's needs, and contribute according to one's means - for an indigenent population.
    These lofty aims were already being over-stretched by longevity and
    pressure to expanding basic health care 'needs'(eg fertility clinics).

    No thought seems to have been given to the obvious burden and lack of contribution associated with immigration and non-working 'families'.

    "In some quarters, this sort of talk is predictably unpopular, but do such people really understand the economics or is it that they just want to tear down such Welfare States?"

    It seems that the government chose to consider the grateful new electors (immigrants and the workshy)rather than the economics, and now a tipping point has been reached so that no major party dares to 'think the unthinkable' (Labour soon dropped their man charged with that task*)

    "I don't know the answer, do you?"

    Only to vote to achieve a hung parliament containing rebels against pc, EU control, equality for all, fair discrimination, and the status quo. If unsuccessful, then I will become an Ex-patriot. I'm off to Philippines tomorrow in preparation.

    *Wikipedia: "Following the 1997 election, with Labour in power, Field joined the government of Tony Blair as the Minister of Welfare Reform at the Department of Social Security with the rank of Minister of State. He was also made a member of the Privy Council. Field viewed his task as "thinking the unthinkable" in terms of social security reform, however others report that the Prime Minister Blair wanted some simpler vote-winning policy ideas. There were clashes with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, and the Secretary of State for Social Security, Harriet Harman. Field resigned his ministerial position in 1998 rather than accept a move away from the Department of Social Security offered by Blair in a reshuffle"

    If the Labour party, then with a landslide victory could not, or would not take steps that were unpopular with the non-contributing voters, then perhaps a hung parliament may do so with alliances instead of confrontation?

  • Comment number 85.

    "NOW VERY APPARENT CHILCOTT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A PSYCHIATRIC ENQUIRY "

    :D

    "Tony Blair says France and Russia would never have backed war BUT 1441 gave sufficient legal force according to Goldsmith."

    it didnt give him a legal case, it provided him the means to argue that a reasonable case could be made in a court of law.

    "I was impressed by the depth and intelligence of the questioning and the answers given. I cannot for the life of me see what is weak about this enquiry other than they are too intelligent to stoop to Paxman or Humphries style inquisitions."

    there are those who wished for a forensic examination of what has been committed, you like the chilcott team appear to settle for anecdotes and a good slap on the back .. .

    "Lynch pin of the whole war-adventure was 9/11. But 9/11 was a staged event"

    maybe not staged but allowed to be realised . that is they knew but didnt do anything to prevent it.

    "MI6, MI5 and the CIA are never going to reveal what they knew in our life time."

    theyve already told us .. they knew very little since they had no operatives in iraq .

    "Thankfully one panel member managed to mention the UN sanctions, widely held responsible for the increased deaths,in reply"

    apparently 500 000 deaths was a price worth paying .. m. albright.

    "He said Saddam had intent and know how,"

    death squads post invasion have pretty much eliminated senior academics and scientists. its the 'decapitation' method favoured by the israelis and the usa.

    "Meanwhile on the 45 minutes issue I have yet to hear a coherent answer as to why this media confusion was not dispelled by the government asap after it was printed."

    whitehall briefings. and lets not forget that the media in the main do support the wars.

    "if tony had his way [take no risks philosophy] we would be invading iran?"

    do you know thats why we have sent 250 000 troops to afghanistan .. and of course pakistan.





  • Comment number 86.

    The Tories want to extend paternity leave from the current 2 weeks to 6 months..Jesus H!!!!!

    The following link - and of which I am familiar - is why i believe the Labour party should be banned...outlawed as a political force because of this kind of nonsense. And the likes of Harriet Harwoman should be sectioned under the mental health act with electroconvulsive therapy as a means to treat her condition. A voltage setting of 20.000 volts and about 3 minutes should do the trick...when you smell the ozone, you'll know she's done. A crispy Harriet, I'll vote for that.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1246201/Employer-told-advertise-reliable-workers--discriminates-unreliable-applicants.html

  • Comment number 87.

    whats clear is that goldsmith needed a means to go to war, goldsmith provided by claiming that a reasonable case could be argued in court. it wasnt legal, it would have to be argued and thre was very little chance it ever reaching the uk courts.

    the uk military was gung ho desperate for a fight by the sounds of it and all they needed to know was that no soldier could be accused of being involved in war crimes .

    blair tells us that regime change was usa policy and pretty much his from the clinton days. 9/11 didnt change the facts materially with respect to any threat so they did a jo moore and took the opportunity to abuse public sentiment by claiming straw man arguments and the need for some bloodletting.

    what blair tells us is that there was no material breach since the unsc did not give him his resolution nor did the unsc provide a means to sanction war. kofi annan is clear about this, the war was illegal in terms of un charter.

    from jon. powells comments its clear that inspectors were not allowed to continue in case they arrived at the wrong conclusion of giving saddam the thumbs up.

    the media still claim that blair is somehow a great orator, genius at communications and that he can evade everything. sorry but the media have been trying to convince us of his magnificence for years but i dont buy it. i mean just how many of us actually have had our minds changed, now think of him as having integrity and that there isnt a dishonest bone in his body. that he has convinced us that he isnt cold hearted , isnt steeped in neo con ideology and that god isnt his servent.

    apart from the media and neo con ideologues i dont see any.

    if the media really wanted to deal with blair they could, we've seen greater persons brought down by lesser deeds through media campaigns, and yet apart from the odd polite rebuke no one is seeking to make blair accountable. and that is what blair relied upon when he chose to ignore law and humanitarian consequences .

  • Comment number 88.

    one bit that blair gave away was that at the craford meeting it was also attended by the israelis, only robert fisk appears to have been willing to say it out loud .

    "From time to time, there was a slip; or at least, something the inquiry – it is in fact, an inquest – missed. Trying to tell us that no decisions were taken at the infamous meeting with George Bush at Crawford, Lord Blair suddenly blurted out (indeed, appeared to want to blurt out) that he thought there had been "conversations with Israelis". What? Israelis? At the critical Crawford meeting? Israel was the only nation – apart from the US and Britain – that totally supported ther war, indeed encouraged it.

    A Jerusalem friend looked up his archives for me and there's an Israeli foreign ministry "source" at the time saying that an Iraq invasion "will certainly take people away from the Israel-Palestine file". The inquiry never picked up this intriguing clue. "

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-blair-and-his-ohsoclean-conscience-1883656.html

  • Comment number 89.

    #86 The Tories want to extend paternity leave from the current 2 weeks to 6 months..Jesus H!!!!

    If our small business had to do that kevseywevsey it would very quickly go bust! : (

  • Comment number 90.

    indignantindegene and statist I've given up on this country now, the figures are mind boggling, how the hell we are going to support all the poor and non workers, with the very rich not paying tax either, I just don't know.

    Nobody mentions the quietly in the background, 250,000 students we have here every year that stay, that's on top of all the other immigrants. Just how are we staying afloat, I don't understand it. Migrationwatch is a wonderful site for information, but even they propose even in and out, the population has changed so much now, there is little cohesion. I believe 5 million brits have left in the last 10 years, so how long before we have a complete change of population with no indigenous people here. Labour are unbelievable!

  • Comment number 91.

    SHORT AND (bitter) SWEET!

    Jaunty (#83)

    Ah, but was it the action of a brave, honest woman of integrity; or of a sour, bitter, scorned woman for whom no-one (but herself) can do any right?

  • Comment number 92.

    #89 ecolizzy

    That's the whole object of the exercise based on Corporate Nazi ideology and supported by Corporate Multinational Cartel friendly Trade Unions. The CMC wants to kill small businesses as they know full well they are always more efficient at doing anything than them. All three main parties are a Corporate Nazi mirror image of themselves, competing for the vote of ten bob fat cat virtual bank slaves, hence the apparent focus on keeping interest rates low.

  • Comment number 93.

    88
    ..A Jerusalem friend looked up his archives for me and there's an Israeli foreign ministry "source" at the time saying that an Iraq invasion "will certainly take people away from the Israel-Palestine file". The inquiry never picked up this intriguing clue. "..

    a british diplomat stated as such on NN a while back but this time it was Iran which he said was being used a misdirection to keep focus away from gaza.

  • Comment number 94.

  • Comment number 95.

    87 wendymann 'the media still claim that blair is somehow a great orator, genius at communications and that he can evade everything. sorry but the media have been trying to convince us of his magnificence for years but i dont buy it. i mean just how many of us actually have had our minds changed, now think of him as having integrity and that there isnt a dishonest bone in his body. that he has convinced us that he isnt cold hearted , isnt steeped in neocon ideology and that god isnt his servant.'

    You're right, but the problem was that the electorate repeatedly gave him and his party a mandate, and that happened because the media and spin-doctors targeted the right demographics to secure that mandate.

    That's the problem with democracy as populism I suggest, i.e it targets a large uncritical majority, not the critical minority you probably have in mind?

    Over the last decade or so New Labour cynically 'bussed-in' large numbers of even less critical (but grateful) people, and this will now continue, I suspect.

    One way to look at this is to look at how 'well' the SPD did in Germany after the war, and how their liberal ideology has spread throughout Europe, and beyond, largely under the USA's influence. The Soviets once referred to them as social-fascists (sugar-coated).

  • Comment number 96.

    Can anyone tell me if this statement is correct please?

    According to the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS), the number of full-time students in Britain in 2008 rose by 10.4 percent on the previous year to 456,627. In 2009, this figure leapt once again to 477,277.

    If the non-EU student visa figures, provided by the UK Border Agency, are accurate, then the fact that there are 250,000 students means that 53 percent of university places are being allocated to non-British students.

  • Comment number 97.

    In fact, following on from 95, I sometimes wonder if we've had something sinister put into our water supplies since privatisation as when this all too dominant bunch of clowns came along and told large parts of the (evidently not too smart) European populations that all the old politics was rubbish and that they should vote for a 'Third Way', it was as if alchemists were reanimated and said that everyone should forget all that complex chemistry stuff and embrace their nonsense instead....!

    The Finns are quite bright people on the whole. Here's one stating what many other Europeans now feel but just don't say often enough in my view. Note anything about our 'Third Way' politicians? The Soviets used to refer to Social Democrats as lackeys of capitalists or 'social-fascists', perhaps with good reason? They certainly don't build states, they certainly sell them off.

    Why don't more people see the obvious today? Perhaps I've already answered that one? Demographic targeting - see Frank Luntz etc. Is this really democracy?

  • Comment number 98.

    I don't normally watch C4 news on account of that Liberial hack Jon Snow but I happened to watch his side kick this sunday evening - Christian Gurin Mcmurphy or whatever his name is - he really let Millybands know we are on to there little global warming con; Millys face was a picture. The BBC for years helped sell this lie; that man somehow contributed to global warming. Now thats its official, that the IPCC and all the crooks have been caught with their pants down whilst lining their pockets - including that fraudulent bum Al Gore - can the BBC do a 180 and tell us, that what they kept telling us...and for years! was a whole load of bollloxxxx and beg its viewers for forgiveness..and especially the Justin Toilet reports, these were especially mind numbingly ridiculous. If I ever get the Job of editor of Newsnight, I swear to God! there will be some changes made. Paxman will get his long awaited Knighthood - I have connections - plus pay rise, but I'll be telling Jezza that he's been slacking lately (can happen even to the best) and we'll be monitoring his performance. As for Kirsty Wark...she can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned, so no changes there. Finally Steve Smith gets his own show: The Steve Smith Jazz hour with guests, shown every friday following the revamped review show. But until that happens, The BBC needs to apologise and quickly or us viewers are gonna start watching C4 news with that lefty Hack Jon Snow and boycott you lot at Newsnight...sort it or I'll be complaining to my Liberial MP about it, he's useless but i'll be complaining non-the-less.

    thecookieducker

  • Comment number 99.

    90. ecolizzy '... I've given up on this country now'

    It looks like New Labour has too. They seem to have gone some way to sorting out the NI problem only by dissolving/devolving the UK itself via Lisbon (and other means)!

  • Comment number 100.

 

Page 1 of 2

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.