When things go badly wrong in the UK, we get a public inquiry. Usually these are simply ways to shunt the problem into the long grass. Inquests into suspicious deaths are often used in the same way – sometimes taking many years to get to a decision, by which time it is often too late to take any sensible action.
These inquires are often scrupulously conducted and provide a great deal of highly lucrative employment for solicitors, barristers and the whole legal system. Chilcot too 7 years to tell us what we already knew – that Tony Blair had deliberately mislead both Parliament and the nation.
But if your crime is large enough, you can get away with it, at least most of the time. The bankers emerged largely unscathed after their dubious actions cost many billions and are now richer than ever, and Tony Blair has kept out of jail despite his crimes having emerged.
The top picture, with Blair holding up bloodstained hands in front of a ‘Stop the War ‘ banner is perhaps too obvious, and the image immediately above this, with the bloodstained hand of President Bush handing over bundles of Tenners is rather on the crude side – and needs explanation in a caption as to whose hands these are.
I rather prefer the third Blair image here, which shows him below the posters with the simple text ‘Bliar’ and its bloody bullet holes.
Wikipedia summarises the Chilcot report as saying:
Saddam Hussein did not pose an urgent threat to British interests, that intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction was presented with unwarranted certainty, that peaceful alternatives to war had not been exhausted, that the United Kingdom and United States had undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council, that the process of identifying the legal basis was “far from satisfactory”, and that a war in 2003 was unnecessary.
But more interesting still for me are the pictures of protesters – the man shouting at the left of this image, and, at the opposite side a guy in a rather improbable shirt holding the clear message ‘Impeach Bliar’. Of course it hasn’t happened and is extremely unlikely for political reasons, despite the fact – as the poster held by one of the Global Women’s Strike protesters points out, 2 million Iraqis died as a result of his and Bush’s actions.
I like too the dynamism of the woman in black headscarf and top holding up the Iraqi flag as she shouts out “Blair lied , Millions Died”.
You can see more of my pictures from the protest at Blair lied, Millions Died – Chilcot.
Inquiries such as this do sometimes come up with the more or less the right result, but if so, always too little and too late. No action has been taken as a result of Chilcot, which considerably pulled its punches in the way it dealt with many of the issues.
The British public, and Labour voters in particular, had already made up their mind about Blair. We knew he had lied and led the country to take part in a war that was a mistake for our country and a disaster for Iraq. It was a failure that played an important part in Labour’s failure to win the 2010 and still the 2015 elections, and one that only a complete break by the party as a whole from his ‘New Labour’ project can overcome in the foreseeable future.
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All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.