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Tuesday 12 January 2010 - in more detail

Sarah McDermott | 15:39 UK time, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Tony Blair's former director of communications has told the Iraq war inquiry that any allegation that he distorted intelligence was 'simply untrue' and that he "defends every single word" of the 2002 dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Alastair Campbell also told the inquiry that Tony Blair was a man of "really deep conviction and integrity" making the "most difficult decision of his premiership", but called former ambassador Christopher Meyer "glib" in his assessment of the impact of the war decision on the US/UK relationship.

David Grossman has been watching Alastair Campbell's performance and will be considering if the Chilcot inquiry will ever deliver any real answers. And we will be speaking to Lord Falconer, who was one of Tony Blair's closest allies in government.

Meanwhile Peter Marshall has been following proceedings at an inquiry into the Netherlands' support for the invasion of Iraq. The Dutch Committee of Inquiry on Iraq said UN Security Council resolutions did not "constitute a mandate for... intervention in 2003". The inquiry was launched after foreign ministry memos were leaked that cast doubt on the legal basis for the war.

Richard Watson will be explaining why a radical Islamist group that planned to march through Wootton Bassett is to be banned under counter-terrorism laws.

And then we have part two of Tales from Guantanamo. Former prison guard Brandon Neely flies in from the US to be reunited with two former prisoners from the UK who he contacted on Facebook because he wanted to apologise to them for his part in their imprisonment. Watch part one here.

Do join Jeremy Paxman for all that and more at 10.30pm on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.

    I do hope Jeremy gives the Campbell testimony at Chilcott a real going over as I could not believe what I was hearing, it's as though the last six years have never happened. The march thatI attended on Feb 15 2003 was so real in the memory that what I heard today it was a niggling afterthought by people who thought we were wrong. What a travesty and just what has Blair to reveal next week or whenever he is to appear...more of the same probably attack being the best form of defence....

  • Comment number 2.

    Let us hope the 'Tipton Taliban Two' can explain just why they attended an Al-Qaeda militant training camp whilst on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. Not the type of thing I'd have got involved with if I was delivering aid/smoking dope/attending a wedding (they've used all 3 as reasons for being there). The gulibility of the BBC never fails to suprise me or is it something more sinister; anti-Americanism perhaps?

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    ...will be considering if the Chilcot inquiry will ever deliver any real answers...

    er i have been posting the revelations for the last few weeks.

    so the NN statement could only have been made by those who have neither watched all the evidence [like i have] or do not read the blog?

  • Comment number 5.

    re. Lord Faulkner.

    I'm so sick of politicians hiding behind this BS that Iraq had flauted the UN resolutions for 12 years and that was justification.

    since he cannot be unaware of the fact that Israel, for example, has flauted UN resolutions for more than 50 years (!!), he must be selective with his truths, to say the very least.

    lawyers, eh?

  • Comment number 6.

    Why are we not THROWING these people out! They are a disgrace. All these pro terroists are a disgrace to the ENGLISH tax payer. MY goodness we are paying thousands to support these people.

  • Comment number 7.

    re. Mr Chaudhary.

    why do people who discriminate against others because their invisible friend tells them to get so much publicity?

    listening to the hectoring tone (JP calls it 'elevated dialogue', nice) doesn't just bore me, it leaves me feeling revolted.

  • Comment number 8.

    I am totally sickened! Get rid of the lot of them, as J. Gaunt says if they want Sharia law ...however it's spelt...go to where they can get it, don't impose it here. I'm NOT Christian, & I think all evil WICKED religion should be banned! IT causes NOTHING but trouble.

  • Comment number 9.

    I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Newsnight's graphics, "Islam for the UK", has been appropriated by the Muslim nutters, given it is perfectly tailored to a 'homepage', poster or leaflet.

  • Comment number 10.

    Get rid of this Choudray from Islam4UK. He is a pain in the arse. I don't want to be shot by his mob. One rule for one eh?

  • Comment number 11.

    Crumbs you've gotta feel sorry for muslims when they have such an ignorant idiot as Choudry representing them. He wouldn't let anyone speak just yelled on over everyone. Talk about bambozzle, he doesn't know what he's talking about! Democracy! How does he get his benefit if we don't have a democracy! Or allow him to yell everyone else down.

  • Comment number 12.

    With referance to Islam4UK. When will the UK stop giving 'want to be famous' individuals such as Anjem Choudary a platform to advance his own personal gain. Many inocent hardworking ethnic minoraties includeing muslims are suffering because of the resentment groups like Islam4UK are cusing in the community. I really do not understand why Tax payers are paying benifit to individuals who are determined to destroy the country from the inside. No one minds a peacefull and resonable demonstration , but confrontation and hate speaches should be met with a ban from benifits and a system of three strikes and they are deported.

  • Comment number 13.

    As it happens, I do NOT believe that the home Secretary should have banned Islam4UK as a knee jerk PC reaction. Such actions have a tendency to feed paranoia and hatred even more.

    BUT almost worth it to hear the adherents to such low human values condemn himself out of his own mouth.

    By the rope he has himself woven, may he and his like hang themselves (metaphorically speaking of course)

  • Comment number 14.

    ecolizzy #11.

    "Democracy! How does he get his benefit if we don't have a democracy!"

    seeing the way things are going, that should be spelled 'Demo-crazy'.

    there's no cash to maintain schools or pay health professionals decent wages, but we waste loads of money on religious types.


  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    :p I knew it would be another shouting match when I realised Anjem Chaudary would be on. It was as though the two of them were 5 years old in the school playground screaming at each other. Poor Jeremy was stuck in the middle of them, barely able to get a word in. Did I learn anything from the discussion? NO. It seems that Chaudary is getting his own platform courtesy of the UK Tax Payer and is getting paid by the state too. PATHETIC.

    I am amazed that these sorts of groups (Islam4UK/Al-Muhajiroun etc) have been allowed to run for so long - they should have been banned years ago.

    Excellent debate by Jeremy with Lord Falconer & Menzies Campbell on the Iraq war. Also excellent reports by Peter and Richard.

  • Comment number 17.

    @ #15 - I totally agree with you Kev!

  • Comment number 18.

    So what was the score from my previous post about all the evidence against Iraq having WMD on the previous thread-

    1. The uranium from Niger documents - no mention.

    2. Hussein Kamel - no mention.

    3. Sarin stockpiles- no mention.

    4. Aluminum tubing - no mention.

    I'm guessing the facts are not important on NN.

    What is more important is that the Dutch verdict that the war was illegal. Why?

    "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore (individuals) have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occuring" - Nuremburg Tribunal 1946 -1946

    This means that if someone should attack any of those even tangentially involved in the Iraq war and run to Holland they now have a very good case against extradition. That is a recipe for disaster for our country.

    As for banning Islam4UK, as Voltaire said "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it", those members of my family who died fighting fascism for my freedom will be spinning in their graves tonight.

  • Comment number 19.

    Hhhhmmm a nice little earner?

    Or will they lose out as the Polish Labour Minister Jolanta Fedak says, I wonder.............

  • Comment number 20.

    @ #19 Ecolizy - Thanks for the article. It is just a free-for-all!

    Oh and Mr Choudary gets £25,000 per year from the tax payer according to

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.


    It was always going to end in tears Lizzy. Remember the lorries that used to come off the ferry and go round some UK roundabout, then back on the ferry? The EU is run by a bunch of losers who can't agree on one place of 'work'. And they have such dodgy accounts, they are never signed off. Is it likely they know what they are doing with regard to this latest scam?

    I still want to know what our politicians get out of handing us over to the EU. Not one of them believes in anything but personal gain - power, money, or both, so what is going on? You can't get a K or a P from the EU. They don't do 'tea on the lawn'. It's a mystery. Never a JJ when you want one.

  • Comment number 23.

    #21 last sentence corrected:

    SBMK2, Constantly, for years and years, using others for self-promotion, propaganda, false promises, i.e. fake bribery, blackmail and terror while hiding in some 'black hole' like a coward, that is that you are, a coward!

  • Comment number 24.


    re: using others

    like the willing barriesingleton, at least two regular female bloggers, for example, but I won't mention their names as I'm not keen on humilating them any further

    they're very good at doing it themselves

  • Comment number 25.

    I have purchased a book by Peter York entitled 'Dictators' Homes'. In the foreward 'Three Forts and Love Shacks' Douglas Coupland has this to say about a dictator's house:

    '...A dictator's house has to impress the buddies, but it also has to be photographed and shown to the serfs. This results in an interesting clash of needs. in italics - Yes, I'm your dictator who loves and cares for you, the people, but I am also a studmaster of the galaxy, a man of taste and education - not a spendthrift but, rather, a clever and tasteful maniupulator of symbolic imagery in a way that befits someone of my massiveness'.

    I've picked this quote specifically because of how dictators feel the need to resort to symbolic imagery for self-promotion and manipulation, and insistence on education which reminds me of Jaded_Jean, kevseywevesey, SPBMK 2, barriesingleton and a few others.

    And Douglas Coupland ends his foreward with how flattery can save one's life when dealing with a dictator. From my own experience when dealing with a dictator one wrong move or outspoken opposition and he goes into a rage ready to dispense punishment and probably loving doing so.


  • Comment number 26.

    Don't know why NN persist in allowing people to shout over one another again and again - its not a serious debate any more the moment that happens, just a circus show.

    21, 23 - mim I hope you get the help you need. Just for anyone else - I don't know this person, have never met them and have never made any derogatory or offensive remarks about them on this or any other blog . Why the NN blog moderators allow the remarks is beyond me.

  • Comment number 27.

    #22 Ah yes Barrie I remember the roundabout lorries, and the non existant olive groves! When a bureaucracy gets that large nothing works, I'm going to have mug tattoed on my forehead.

    They don't do 'tea on the lawn'. Speaking of which, did you hear on Radio 4 that Twinnings a 200 year old company in Britain is moving to Poland? Just what are we going to do for work, all sevice each other in the best possible taste! ; )

  • Comment number 28.

    #16 turbojerry I don't think we'll ever see the truth about the Iraq war, just think oil, and lack of it, and the problem is answered.

    I notice you quote Voltaire, I notice many people on blogs doing that. What they forget is Voltaire was around 200 years ago, and a mover and shaker in the French enlightenment, a european philosopher. I'm sure he was not thinking of the Islam political movement when he said that, they are stuck in the middle ages and wouldn't know free speech if it jumped up and bit them! It's all in the word Enlightenment! The Islamic religion sorely needs that. ; )

  • Comment number 29.

    #20 Thanks for the link Mistress76uk I've read that several times now, how does someone on benefits get £25,000 a year?! The trouble is I don't trust the media, so is it true? I thought unemployment benefits were something like £60 a week, so if he does get £25,000, how does he get so much.

    Having watched him on NN, I actually think he's mentally ill, he wouldn't let the other muslim (sorry I've forgotten his name)speak and I believe that man also used to be an extremist. It just doesn't make sense that we pay someone to abuse us. Yes he can express his views, I don't think we should be in either Iraq or Afganistan. But if Saddam was still in power another few hundred thousand muslims would be dead, because they were the wrong type of muslim.

  • Comment number 30.

    #26 SPBMK2
    I actually thought there was purpose (good) in sitting back and letting the guests 'speak (or shout) for themselves. I think it told me much more than any serially avoided polite (or impolite) questions might have.

    Whether that was a deliberate tactic? I suspect given JP's relaxed (as far as it goes) body language showed - ie not agitated about lack of control - it probably was up to a point.

    And as for the next question - NO, I don't consider that lazy journalism. It worked for me!

  • Comment number 31.

    OH LIZZY! (#20)

    We are a feudally managed country with an established Church, and our science is dogma-bound. Wanna fight?

  • Comment number 32.

    Further to my 29 in the plan so far

    Which band do you fall into? I think NN has identified you.

  • Comment number 33.



    I thought that there are times when an interviewing journalist can do precisely that, especially if there are only 2 speakers arguing their case while at other times, if there are more interviewees a chairman needs to step in when things get out of hand. I remember a programme when there must have been at least 6 people in the studio talking on the same issue and JP was absolutely great in managing them. I think they were all talking about the state of the economy that evening.

    I should imagine JP's skill and flexibiity to react to different situations as the arise, and indeed his ability to control debates and meetings with a larger than 2 number of people, as well as his ability to handle large audiences must be one of the reasons he quite often gets asked to chair meetings outside the Newsnight studio.


  • Comment number 34.



    I should imagine the Mods allow most of my opinions to appear available to the public as a response to offensive posts made by other bloggers. If it is true that we have never met before than let's stop responding to each other and I would be grateful if you simply ignored what I say and I promise to do the same and will try my upmost to stick to my promise.

    I do, however, find it strange for whoever they might be, especially in a democratic country open to public and judicial scrutiny to talk persistently and insistently about doctors being gods and patients good for nothing dumb individuals, as well as people insisting on educating other mature adults who know how to do their own research, can write and communicate with people who respect differences of opinion, etc.

    So, how about a deal? You leave me alone and I shall not post another word about you and will even try not to read your posts so as not to get either angry or revulsed by some of the ideas that you seem so keen on promoting.

    In terms of my health, thank you for your concern, I do have both real medics treating me as well as a few sympathisers/friends who I can either turn to for help or some who I know are there helping me go through the worst of times.

  • Comment number 35.

    Chaudhary: As he failed to answer the question, how much of God's bakshish does this unemployable leader of Muslims get from God's Country?

    Why is he unemployed? I am not aware of Priests, Vicars and Rabbis getting handouts from the State. If he is unemployable, what is he doing here? Who let him in? Why?

    Surely his vocation should be taking him to Afghanistan, not to Wootton Bassett?

  • Comment number 36.


    That explains a lot. His three priorities will surely be: EDGY EDGY EDGY.

    Mention gravitas and it is worse than saying Jehovah! (Pehaps I should resort to being permanently stoned.)

    In passing, I must point out a typo. That diagram - termed conical - is surely COMICAL?

  • Comment number 37.


    The exchanges are now like professional wrestling - repostes MATCH PERFECTLY the thrusts, even into the follow-ups. Perhaps both camps are so disaffected, they have 'Moles Welcome' over the door.

    The faces behind Brown were a picture. Empathy with the leader was not visible, except poor Miliband D who was over-doing it.

    Incidentally: Dave IS a TOFF. He pronounces 'properly' PROP-LY. Only Toffs do that. Someone should tell him.

  • Comment number 38.

    #35 Well Julian choudray is reputed to recieve £25,000 a year in benefits, I don't know quite how.

    He was born here so is British, like many of his followers.

  • Comment number 39.

    #31 Well Barrie having been censored at 29 I have to agree with you! ; )

    Trouble is I can't even remember what I said, but it must have been dreadful!

    Which costume will each of us wear for the fight? Blancmange or Jelly? :O :P ;)

  • Comment number 40.

    How long before we implode?

    And I keep hearing talk of stopping benefits such as winter fuel allowance and child benefit to the middle classes here, how do they think that will go down with the voters?

  • Comment number 41.


    The problem with cones is, that if you rely on the pointy-end as support for the rest, you find everything is upside-down and unstable.


    As for 'OPINION FORMERS', they have divided the world for a millennium. The terrible consequences are global. What your viewers need, Newsnight, is to understand HOW TO FORM THEIR OWN OPINION, and it is to those who impart such skills, that you should look for regular contribution. (You would, of course, need some VERY DIFFERENT anchors.)

    La-de-da. Back to Cloud Cuckoo Land.

  • Comment number 42.

    Campbell kept praising the Sawers evidence when imo Sawers was the most hostile witness so far locked into selling a narrow narrative.

    Campbells answers were often ramblings that avoided a straight answer.

    i have been trying to understand why NN hads been doing these 'blokey' and jokey spots like politics pen, ethical man mr beanism and now the gitmo brotherhood. Is it like the failed Gardeners world approach trying to make it like Top Gear? ie less about the subject of cars and more about blokes havin' a laugh? Less Newsnight more Topnight?

    Gardeners world suffered a 'negative growth' in figures as a result and they have had to cancel that idea.

    Paxo in his grandad wool suit looks increasingly bored? like he would rather be by the fire reading a book?

    loved the muslim 'debate'. if they say being given money by the uk state is allah's will then why is not closing down their hate fest party also allah's will?

  • Comment number 43.

    NURSE NURSE (#39)

    I think my 31 was meant to quote your 11 - 'democracy' Lizzy. Did you work it out anyway?

  • Comment number 44.

    #43 Ooopps no Barrie, I didn't, feeling thick today and rabbiting too much, so I'll be quiet! : (

    Aside I see Gango is back.

  • Comment number 45.

    @ #42, Jaunty "Paxo in his grandad wool suit looks increasingly bored? like he would rather be by the fire reading a book?"

    Jeremy did not wear a "grandad wool suit" - he always dresses impeccably, and it's also bang on trend! He doesn't look bored either - he's just concentrating.

  • Comment number 46.

    why why quilliam to represent the 'good guys'?

    government funded, neo con supported think tank that produces reports in the image of its pay masters.

    shame paxman sought to ridicule and raise questions that were irrelevant rather than to get to the main issue that anjem ch. was actually stating.

    anjem ch. is where he is wholly as a result becasue of the media and the governmens wish to have a local bogeyman that can help to scapegoat their illegal wars..

  • Comment number 47.

    #46 wendymann, ah, choudry, just like Nick Griffen then, he is the far right bogeyman on the other side, he opposes the illegal wars as well.


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