Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Attacked from right and left, HMG’s decision not to have another Iraq enquiry must be sound.

On the basis that the centre ground of politics is the most sensible place to be, today’s newspaper leader columns suggest that MPs made the correct decision when they rejected the call for another enquiry into the Iraq War whilst our soldiers are still engaged in its aftermath.

The Guardian and Telegraph leader writers are worryingly united in writing that the wrong decision was made. Working on a similar basis to the one that the BBC apparently uses when accused of political bias (weigh the complaints of leftwing bias and those of rightwing bias – if they’re about equal then that’s ok) should lead a rational man to conclude that, on the contrary, it is the writers of those leaders who are incorrect. (the waffle meter has gone off the scale after than sentence – sorry).

More sensible is the Times (wo)man who writes of "those who moved the motion": "Their ambition was not to empower a committee of seven distinguished individuals to conduct a forensic examination but to embarrass and, if possible, humiliate the Prime Minister."

The leader goes on: "So what on earth was Mr Cameron doing yesterday standing shoulder to shoulder with such bizarre allies [as the likes of Plaid Cymru and the Scottish Nationalist Party]? The same Mr Cameron who at the Conservative Party conference a month ago affirmed his stance that "when the Government is right, we will support it"? The Mr Cameron who, in his several previous opportunities to make a statement on Iraq, saw no need to ask for any inquiry on any timescale? The Mr Cameron who seeks to be seen to have the qualities of a prime minister?

The simple, shameful truth of the debate yesterday is that it was driven by spectacularly shallow opportunism."

5 Comments:

At 18:43, Blogger Elephunt said...

It may have been opportunism, and I think that is what saved the government from defeat-the sight of a grinning Alex Salmond boasting of 'impeaching Blair' on the BBC certainly helped concentrate backbernch MPs minds before the vote, but the need for an inquiry is still paramount.Not just the issue of ballsed up intelligence but the woeful lack of post invasion planning and strategy, I can't imagine many members of Britain's armed forces not wanting an inquiry...

 
At 20:54, Blogger cassilis said...

There's something to what 'elephunt' says - even if it was opportunism on the part of the Tories (I'm not convinced but I'd have a hard time arguing the contrary!?) that's irrelevant to the issue of whether or not an inquiry is justified.

As I argued here the usual lines trotted out in opposition to an inquiry hold very little water. Didn't Orwell once say something about when opponents to your left & right agree you have err'd they may have a point..?

 
At 23:31, Blogger Manchester University Labour Club said...

We do need an enquiry but not while our troops are still there doing their best in an awful situation.

And certainly not one driven by a shameless coalition of tories and Nats most of whom were actually pro war but seem more concerned about gaining cheap political points.

 
At 11:24, Blogger Hughes Views said...

The Tories seem to be adopting the classic but dangerous and reprehensible stance - 'my enemy's enemies are my friends'.

And there are many people (including some journalists who can't forgive Hutton for not saying that Gilligan was a god) who will never except any inquiry or enquiry that doesn't produce the result they want viz. proof that Tony Blair is a murderous war monger who lives with George Bush on a remote island connected by secret passages to Downing Street and the White House. There they spend most of their time stroking longhaired cats and saying 'nee har har har har' as they think up more ways of bringing misery to the people of Surbiton.

 
At 15:57, Anonymous Vanky said...

When would be the right time for an inquiry? When we have 'finished the job' in Iraq? Will any of the protaganists (Blair et al) still be with us at that stage?

This is a matter for now, not for historians in years to come. Or do you think we'd be better off starting an inquiry into the Suez debacle and impeaching Eden?

 

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