Of course it didn't 'bring peace' but it was an integral piece of the jigsaw that brought about peace, not in the least showing that the British government was approaching the peace process in good faith and willing to ask itself hard questions when demanding hard decisions from those in the political process in the province.
Wounds are always opened when speaking of difficult things but there was a remarkable involvement by many of the leading characters and hard matters addressed which I thik has only helped the process to move onward. Overlong and expensive perhaps, but cheap at the price.
With somewhat less beer inside me I'll be a little less impassioned about why I think we need an enquiry, and why Iraq itself is almost irrelevant to the tale. Yes I'd love to see Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfovitz etc in a court of law, preferably Washington or even the Hague, but we know no such thing will ever happen.
It is the state of our
politics that I worry about, and no matter how much spoken of or printed about the subject so far, all we have is a weight of evidence that supports the speculation about why Iraq really happened and how much our politicians lied to us.
Peter Oborne says it far more eloquently than I
Peter Oborne - The Art of Political Lying
"The British system of democracy as we enter the twentieth century has brought back the [18th century] distinction between a tiny governing elite and an apathetic and largely disenfrachised electorate. A modern political leader must surround themselves with members of this new elite, one aspect of their job being to mislead and cheat on behalf of the leader in order to manufacture his image for public consumption.
Ahead of the Iraq war the Bush administration were told from an early stage that the British people supported regime change, but the British people were told 'weapons of mass destruction' were the main issue were the main issue and regime change was not the reason for war. [Blair] had a clear objective of his own, but his predicament as a post democratic leader prevented or discouraged him from revealing what it was to the voters preferring to deceive them and advance through subterfuge.
This is why it is so easy for advisers like Rove or Campbell to treat the whole of perceived reality as one enormous fabrication to bolster and support the image of the leader they serve. This approach can often bring short-term advantages. But it means that the population at large ceases to participate in the political process. It has been reduced to the role of dupe or victim, to be manipulated by the expert media and communications manipulators who have emerged as the new platonic guardians."
In other words it has become morally imperative to lie not just because they think they will do, but in order to
do the right thing.
The thing is they rarely seem to do the right thing, and this isn't a politics that I believe is healthy for this country.
Iraq was just the biggest episode, but New Labour (and the new conservatives are willingly now following this same philosophy in order to gain power, the true successor to Blair as Cameron called himself) have applied this to everything they do. They talk about the need for a debate then distract with sound bites. They will then do whatever they want and lie in order to achieve it.
I want this systematically exposed and written down. I want every mendacity documented in black and white.
I want those who demurred in order to protect their careers to sit there and squirm so that politicians know that by doing the wrong thing in future their day in front of an enquiry will come.
It may not have the power to impose punishment but I certainly want all those involved to have their day of shame, and if it's one piece of the jigsaw that allows the electorate a genuine part in the political process of this country without being patronised and misled then amen to that.
If the best we can say of ourselves is that, like Silverfox, we werent duped and saw through their pathetic dissimulation, then that's not a political process to be proud of, I'd like it to be better than that.
phew, no wonder i didnt manage that on an iPhone with 4 pints inside me.