Actually Fred, I only started this thread because I felt the debate was terrific entertainment, with opponents making very strong and eloquent statements, tensions very high in the room, all the PMs in attendance making lots of “here heres” and other noises whenever someone spoke, and the overseer (I don’t know his official title) constantly calling for “orrderrrrrrr, orrderrrrr” before stating in a most polite tone that any shouting “will nauuut be tauulerated.” Even if one doesn’t care a hoot about the underlying subject matter, it was great fun to watch.
But as for the subject of the debate, like many, I would hardly deem the Hutton report a holy sacrament and I don’t believe Blair is exonerated.
Hutton accused of whitewash
His report, which clears Blair of blame in the death of arms expert Kelly but castigates the BBC, is said to be biased.
LONDON - Lord Hutton, who led the inquiry into the suicide of arms expert David Kelly, is under fire for not addressing the broader question of whether the government exaggerated the case for war on Iraq. The judge’s response: his remit for the inquiry did not extend to that.
. . . the Independent said, Lord Hutton failed to settle the crucial question of whether Mr Blair took Britain to war in Iraq on false pretences.
‘On the really big picture - did the government exaggerate the case for war’, there was ‘not a word’ from Lord Hutton, said Mr Jeremy Paxman, the presenter of BBC’s Newsnight programme. . .
. . . The opposition Conservatives and Liberal Democrats also renewed their demands for an independent inquiry into the build-up to war.
The Independent quoted Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy as saying: 'The report leaves big questions unanswered. ‘We are still no closer to determining whether this country went to war on a false prospectus.’ . . .Many were amazed at the extent to which Mr Blair escaped censure . . .
. . .The findings surprised many lawmakers and analysts, who had expected Lord Hutton to apportion blame more evenly between the government and the BBC. Instead, The Washington Post said, the report seemed to accept the government’s version of events and directed almost all its fire at the BBC.
‘Lord Hutton has been very severe on the BBC, rightly so in many respects in my view. But he has been overly generous to the government machine and some individuals within it,’ The Guardian newspaper’s political editor Michael White told the BBC.
The National Union of Journalists branded the judge’s report ‘selective, grossly one-sided and a serious threat to the future of investigative journalism’. Labour MP Austin Mitchell added: ‘It is a whitewash, basically. The danger is that it is so one-sided a report that it is going to lose credibility. People just aren’t going to believe it.’
straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/storyp … 25,00.html?
See also washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar … v=hptop_ts