Pig gate. Cui Bono. Who will be ruined

21 Sep 2015 at 20:05

Now that we have pigged and punned out on swine gate it is time for some serious reflection. Michael Ashcroft is a man of judgement and serious discernment, after all he published my book. However……….. The allegations that are made have the potential to be a very serious libel with a prospect of punitive damages. To say that the story is so flaky that it does an injustice to Cadburys is an understatement . The best that Oakshott (niece of the ghastly Lib Dem peer Mathew) can say is that there is no evidence that Cameron was a member of this debauched club as there is no list of members. All the evidence we know of is that a sitting Tory MP stood up the story. This means that at sometime the lawyers would have demanded a Statement of Truth, which in the old days we would have called an affidavit from him or her. It must exist. It will eventually come into the public domain.

I am not going into the law of libel. But can the story stand up to be true, fair comment or justification? Tricky one. The way newspapers work is fairly simple. Is it a libel? If not let’s print. If it is, is the guy going to sue? And no Prime Minister will ever take a libel action to court. It is a side show. It is a distraction. It will lead to digging that could be potentially damaging, although not really relevant to the action. And my God it will sell papers. That, I suspect, was the editorial judgement. It was a seriously wrong one.

And Ashcroft. He did wonders for the Tory party finances. He was brilliant at targeting the marginals. He was an asset to my party. He deserved a big job in government. But then, like so many others, because of the coalition and a whiff of a problem with his non dom status, he wasn’t offered a job in 2010. These things happen.

The trouble with the pig story is that it is so off the wall, so patently wrong and so absolutely daft, that it devalues any proper story in the book. So for the sake of a couple of days of sensationalism the whole ethos of the book, the destruction of Cameron, has been destroyed. All very strange.

Quite sensibly, Corbyn as a decent man won’t touch it with a barge pole. But what about Bercow? If he has any sense he will stop any reference to it in debate. We shall see as both him and Cameron loathe each other.

And what about the alleged MP who ‘broke’ story? He, or she will be ruined. That is the story.

Will it wait until the Sundays? I doubt it


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Bloody Tories look after the fat cats

17 Sep 2015 at 18:12

I am beginning to feel rather sorry for Jeremy Corbyn who is giving a passable impression of being chief mourner at his own protracted political funeral. If someone had submitted a storyline of what is happening within Labour for a film it would be spiked for being too phantasmagoric. Rule one. If you are a party leader at least sort out the clap and laughter lines in a speech and brief the press beforehand. Rule two. Don’t be allow yourself to be photographed with backdrops which make you look foolish. Rule three. Ignore the press at your peril. It’s a dog and lamppost relationship which works both ways. Rule four. Don’t put yourself in any position where the press can accuse you of insulting national treasures. The National Anthem fiasco could have been easily avoided. Rule five. Do not appoint seriously divisive and off the wall politicians who will give glorious copy to your enemies in the press. Rule 6. If your shadow chancellor goes on record as wanting to ‘lynch a bitch’ who happens to be one of your back benchers make him grovel an arse licking apology or sack the sexist dinosaur.
Rule 7. If who have had sex with someone as monumentally irritating as Diane Abbott let the nation know ASAP; there will be waves of sympathy for you. Well, he’s got one out of seven.

While we are on the subject of Ms A, her little spat with Jess Phillips was rather revealing. Jess had the temerity to ask Jezz a tricky question. Ms A called her sanctimonious. Jess told her to fuck off, and off she fucked. Now the wicked Jess is revealed as a class traitor. She supports the apostasy of the renewal of Trident. Imagine if someone with a penis (whether in working order or not) had told Abbott to fuck off the sisters would lynch the sexist bastard oppressing member of the phallocracy.

Even at the height of the influence of EU hating loony tunes fuck up bunnies, who put the Tories in the wilderness for a generation, I have never seen such total abject misery in a political party. At PMQs yesterday it wasn’t fin de siècle, it was the end of the road and that road leads to a cliff edge.The idea that questions should be put by the public looks great on paper but in reality it is a political disaster and a gift to Cameron. All he has to do is look like a Prime Minister, be gentle, kind and spout departmental briefs. There are no stings in the tail from the public, no killer questions. And if there are all Cameron has to do is look compassionate and concerned and invite them to write to him. Where the wheels will come off the Corbyn approach is when aides will fake up or doctor questions to give their boss a bit of bite. But these sorts of japes are nearly always found out. And the press will have a field day.

I didn’t see much of PMQs yesterday as I was in court. But it was duller than a Bill Cash speech, which sets a very high bar (or is it bore?). The only highlight was Andrew Turner the Tory MP for the Isle of Wight whose only claim to fame is reported complicated domestic arrangements. Poor Andrew is never going to set the Thames on fire, nor probably even his AGA . He asked a question about the wicked Belgians who are detaining a tiger which belongs to his local zoo because of the fear of spreading rabies. Spotted the flaw in the Belgian argument yet? Well here we go. If a rabid tiger bites you rabies are the least of your problems. The tiger has come for tea. Not even a grumble from that ghastly old fraud Dennis Skinner of, ‘bloody Tories, they only want to look after the fat cats’. And then Cameron delighted us with a tale about a fecund Rhino named after his daughter Nancy. Well, it’s better than being called Spearmint. Hang on, Andrew is famous for something. In 2006 he was strolling round the Isle of Wight Show with his dog Pickles when something rather unfortunate happened. Pickles took a fancy to one of his master’s constituent’s polecats, shook it to death and eat it. In politics I always thought that it was dogs that eat dogs. But unlike Norman Tebbit this polecat was trained.

But briefly back to Corbyn. The brothers have already lined up a replacement just in case Corbyn loses his political purity. Step forward Lisa Nandy, the Ann of Cleavage from the left. And she doesn’t even deny it! Oh well, it’s probably just a storm in a D cup.



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John McDonnell won't last the month. Angela Eagle will get the job. But how can you soar with the Eagles when you are flying with Turkeys?

15 Sep 2015 at 17:28

I have been trying to work out a reasonable analogy for Labour’s white knuckled roller coaster ride to democracy and oblivion. Imagine a truculent teenager called Jeremy who is told by the grown ups that they will be away for the weekend. ‘And for heaven’s sake don’t do anything silly’. So the first thing that Jeremy does is tell all his chums that he is going to have a party. Sadly, this appears on Facebook and rather than his close friends rolling up for a few vodkas, the house is besieged with wilder elements over whom he has no control. The house is trashed. He can’t get rid of them and can’t even persuade them to behave in a civilised manner. There is drunkenness, drug taking and a total disregard for other people’s feelings or property. Worse, it appears that the grown ups will not be returning at all. So the rowdy, excitable and unpleasant crowd have forced his friends to leave and all the decent, moderate folk who live in the same road are contemplating whether they can live there anymore and desperately try to sort out an exit strategy.

Anyone who attended the PLP last night would have felt the same. They feel unloved, unwanted and in the grip of something that they have no control over. They have a dread in the pit of their stomachs that unless they leave their homes voluntarily they will be forced out. As I predicted a couple of weeks ago the purges and denunciations have already begun. And despite promises that there will be no formal deselection procedures we all know that it will happen. Since the election of Corbyn 30,000 new members have joined Labour. It will be no surprise to learn that these are neither Blairites, Tories nor anyone who wishes Corbyn ill. It is the beginning of entryism. Blunkett was quite right to say that left wing thugs are on the march. On the streets there will be violence and in the constituencies the ethnic cleaning has begun.

New leaders are very often out of tune with their parties to begin with. Macmillan, Heath and Thatcher and Blair are good examples. But what keeps them in office is the promise of winning backbenchers their seats back and catapulting the front bench into office. With Labour it is the other way round. And that is what makes it so dangerous for the majority of backbenchers who are decent, pragmatic and moderate. Step out of line and you are dead. Best jump before you are pushed. Pragmatism is seen as class treachery amd weakness. The people’s flag is now deepest red and it is flying high.

There is silly talk of Tom Watson taking over. We have an extraordinary scenario when the Deputy Leader is pro Europe, pro NATO and pro Trident; everything that Corbyn despises. We have a Shadow Foreign Secretary who is at loggerheads with the leadership and we have a Chief Whip who had to beg people to take the top jobs. Did someone bug the office or was there a deliberate leak? God knows how she will fill the junior jobs. And one question which I don’t know the answer to, is how many Jews are in the Shadow Cabinet? Ivan Lewis, who has had to put up with the most vile anti Semitic abuse on social media, has been sacked. Most sinister of all is the talk of the creation of a Minister for Jews. That has disturbing resonances. And the left are now setting out to smear the Blairites. Simon Danczuk writes for the Mail but mostly about the wickedness of child abuse. His fearless campaign is costing him his health and his marriage. It is being said that he is being paid a thousand pounds an hour by them. What nasty bastards.

But back to Tom who could be a serious threat to the Tories if he was leader. He has the mood of the Parliamentary Party. You would expect he would as deputy field questions at PMQs when Corbyn is away. Not to be trusted. Give it to Angela Eagle. The party is being packed with placemen. And the conference? God help them. It will be worse than the block vote. The game changer might be slaughter at the local elections. But I doubt it.

The only prediction I make is that Corbyn will have to make one blood sacrifice. John McDonnell won’t last the month. Too much of a gift for Osborne. And despised by the PLP. Good God even Livingstone sacked him! It will go to Angela Eagle to appease the wimmin. And she gives as good as she gets. But how can your soar with the Eagles when you are flying with turkeys? It would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic.



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The Tories have been given a precious gift they must use it wisely.

12 Sep 2015 at 11:50

At midday New Labour was buried. And like Commissars who had fallen out of favour with the old Soviet Politburo and executed in damp cellars, all people and all things Blair have been airbrushed out of history. The excruciating embarrassment of winning three elections is just a distant and unpleasant memory. By the time the history books have been revised it would never have happened. Labour history begins today; a good day to bury bad views. This was a crushing victory for Corbyn and quite unchallengeable. But this was a blistering humiliation for Burnham who looked as sick as a dog. 19% of the vote is a catastrophe from which he will never recover.

Yet probably the most remarkable result for Corbyn was the reaction to his speech. For the first time in living memory there was an outpouring of genuine affection towards a Labour leader. They tolerated Blair because he was a winner. But he was never loved. Corbyn’s attraction is simple. He believes in what he says. And he is not programmed by focus groups. He articulated the beating heart of Labour well. Decency compassion and fairness. But these are just words.

The press will murder him of course. He will be portrayed as a friend of the men of terror which he is. He will portrayed as an enemy of business which he is. He will be portrayed as a security risk which he is. But don’t underestimate him; do so at your peril. His simplistic ideas may gain traction.

His election is a mixed blessing for the Tories. 2020 is not a certainty. But it is more probable than not. But the real gift to Cameron is that he too can articulate decency and compassion. Better than any other leader or potential leader. And he can deliver it through economic growth not a command economy. And Europe? If Corbyn is an outer it will make Tory splits look like a Teddy Bear’s picnic. Can you imagine Bill Cash and Nigel Farage on the same platform as Corbyn? Delicious.

Of course there is ersatz unity in the Party but once the spoils of victory have been distributed comes the rape and pillage. The left are a vicious bunch with long memories. They expect Corbyn to deliver. And if he compromises as he must? It will be bloody. Labour conferences will now become a blood bath.

The Tories have been given a gift. They must use it wisely.



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The sheer incompetence of government business managers over Purdah has all the fingerprints of the smug arrogance of Grayling

8 Sep 2015 at 11:37

If I was David Cameron I would have Harper and Grayling dragged into Number 10 in chains and threatened immediate execution if they cannot give an reasonable explanation of last night’s Euro vote fiasco. Harper is fairly new to the job and has yet to make an impression (any, according to my moles) on backbenchers. But this little cock up has a Gastropodian slime trail leading to Grayling. The way Purdah was handled reeks of smug arrogance, insensitivity and mind numbing incompetence. It’s got Grayling’s fingerprints all over it. Firstly, assumption in the mother and father of most political fuckups. Assume that the likes of Bill Cash who bores for Britain on the minutiae of constitutional law in relation to the EU won’t rumble a crap legal argument at your peril. Assume that the advice from a serious Parliamentary lawyer that the foundation of the legal argument is founded on candy floss won’t leak is an act of insanity. And assume that the SNP is not dedicated to destabilise and destroy the Tories at whatever cost and you are living in la la land.

And who on earth thought it was a bright idea to put up the deeply moral and thoroughly competent, Minister for Europe David Liddington, to argue the most appalling species bollocks is beyond imagination. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall at that FO meeting when he was handed that hospital pass. Actually, a stronger Foreign Secretary would have put a stop to it. I remember as a PPS at the old DOE when John Gummer was Secretary of State we had a similar request from the business managers. He told them to fuck off. And good on him because he was right and not just politically.

What sensible Tories have to remember is that Cash and the usual suspects have spent most of their lives dedicated to the destruction of the EU pretending that they want a level playing field which of course they don’t. They want to drown out any voice in favour of remaining in. And now the bloody, buttock clenchingly mind numbingly stupid ‘business managers’ have given them the moral high ground. Sound thrashings are deserved. Sometimes I could weep.

Oh, and while I’m on my high horse bayoneting the wounded what about Javid? I am beginning to suspect the cut of his jib. I know if you want to be in the circus you have to be able to ride two horses at once, but at some stage you will have to decide who to give loyalty to. And a word of advice. Matey, if you want to end up like Adam Afriyie just keep on digging. Your line manager is Osborne and unless you want the nipple clamps out and a car battery attached to your testicles do not piss him off. Sometime fairly soon you will have to come off the fence.

Now all that is off my chest I’m heading back to the beach and a cool Turkish beer. But let me share with you the sad and surreal events of this morning. We were having breakfast on the beach and a distressed young woman was on the telephone trying to call the coastguard as two hundred yards away a group of Syrian refugees had washed up. And not all that far way from that poor little toddler. I could just see them stranded on a little island. Tiny Lowry like figures awaiting help. The lady’s name was Katie. She told me that those who survived would probably end up begging on the streets. She helps run a charity helping Syrian refugees with food medicine and shelter. Have a look at their website www.carepackagesforsyrianrefugees.com A donation might just save a life.



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The first 100 days of Corbyn will be like Eastern Germany before the wall fell: purges, denunciations and fear of the STASI

6 Sep 2015 at 08:29

On Saturday 12 September St Jeremy will ascend into political heaven and the PLP cast into the pit of eternal damnation. Well, perhaps not eternal, but for an awfully long time. And this brave talk about coups seems to have disappeared. They might as well have got Mark Thatcher to organise it. And the RESISTANCE? Those rats left that sinking ship long ago. That dreadful little fuckwit Burnham has proved he is incapable any form of leadership let alone any moral compass and has rolled over to let Corbyn’s mob tickle his tummy. Sadly, it will be a few hefty kicks to his cojones; if he had any. He thinks he will be offered the shadow chancellorship. Dream on sonny. And Ibiza Umunna is not much better. After protestations that he couldn’t serve under the man, he now, ‘for the good of the party’ would serve under him. He honestly thinks he will be offered Shadow Foreign Secretary. Well matey, Foreign Affairs are off limits for you. And if I wasn’t writing this swinging on a hammock on a beautiful Turkish beach I would be violently sick. Don’t be surprised if former foreign secretary Margaret Beckett gets that gig. In fact there are enough ambitious little Quislings (I don’t accuse Margaret of this as she will want to steer Corbyn onto a more realistic tack), only too willing to sell their souls for not so much a mess of pottage as just a mess.

The first few weeks of the Corbynistas for Labour will be like living in Eastern Germany before the wall came down. There will be purges, denunciations and back to the days when Militant Tendency entryists used to hire bedsits and take over constituency executives. There will be a reign of terror as nobody will know who is a member of the Stasi and reporting back to the whips. It is going to be hell on earth for senior officials (those who remain) at Labour HQ and terrifying for moderate MPs who will face deselection. Many will go quietly and collect their pensions. But who will be prepared to fight like Frank Field did all those years at Birkenhead? The left take no prisoners and will wreak revenge upon the class traitors; anyone who thinks that Blair is less than the anti Christ. And where will the Labour asylum seekers go? It’s too early to call.

There will be an awful lot to speculate about. What will Corbyn wear at the Cenotaph? Will he lay a wreath? Will be wear a white poppy? Will he rock up at all? Whose telephone call of congratulation will he take first? Obama, Hamas, Putin? Despite his Privy Council oath what intelligence material can he be trusted with? One thing is certain. He will not get an invitation to Washington. And where will his first overseas trip be to? Greece or Gaza?

Then there is the press. Apart from Owen Jones (discuss) who will support him? Polly out of loyalty will give him a spin but will soon tire. Perhaps Johan Hari might be resurrected from his journalistic grave. And who will be the first to get a cut and paste biography to the presses?

So many questions, yet so few answers. But the biggest one is this. Will Corbyn be received as a political visionary or simply the Worzel Gummage of the left; a scarecrow frightening off the majority of voters. Only time and Peter Kellner will tell.



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It is time we spat in the hatred filled angry faces who dehumanise the bodies washed up on Europe's shores. It is time for Britain to rejoin the human race

2 Sep 2015 at 21:41

Like millions of others I wept when I saw the limp body of a tiny child being carried with dignity by a Turkish policeman from his watery grave. The bodies of his five year old brother and their mother followed in this desperate parade of wretchedness and death. They were not terrorists. They were not scum. They were migrants. And once, before wicked regimes deprived them of their livelihoods, their homes and their self respect and after the dead eyed smugglers took their money and their dignity, they were once human too. I am beginning to wonder with all the comfort of a middle class professional with a roof over my head and a decent job, whether we in the abundant west are losing our humanity too. Tonight’s images of that desperate family hopefully will be a game changer. Perhaps the contorted rage raddled faces of UKIP who are screaming that these people are scum might just be spat at by decent caring families who in their hearts are revolted at the indecision of Brussels and the handwringing of politicians who do nothing but turn their heads away in shame when the bloated bodies of the dispossessed wash up on our shores. And tonight I saw the look of anguish in David Cameron’s eyes on the BBC news. He more than most politicians has a strong belief in doing ‘what is right’. In the pit of his stomach he knows that we have to play our part in taking some of these people in. It is time for decency. It is time for leadership. It is time to do something which flies in the face of short term unpopularity. It is time for Britain to rejoin the human race.



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Boris has become the Norma Desmond of the Tories & wants his last close up. He could wreak havoc & destruction on Europe

1 Sep 2015 at 08:39

Over the next few months prepare to see more and more of George Osborne and less and less of David Cameron. We are witnessing a seamless passing of the mantle of power. By the time 2020 arrives there would have been no need to be a year or so’s introduction to the electorate. By then they would have visualised George as the man waiting in the wings. He would look like a Prime Minister simply because he has been allowed to. And yesterday’s delightfully cynical announcement of a £500m investment in Faslane was just the beginning.

Most commentators thought that Cameron was mad announce that he would not fight another election as leader of the Conservatives, but it was a shrewd move. The golden rule in British politics is that the favourite to win the leadership of any political party rarely does. Butler, Whitelaw, Healey, Heseltine, Davis and David Miliband bear painful witness to that. They lost for a whole range of differing reasons and different circumstances, but in the eyes of the chatterati they were all front runners.

What we are witnessing with the Tories is almost unique. A Prime Minister is anointing his successor in actions rather than words, which shows the personal trust that they have built up over the years. It could have been the easiest thing in the world for Cameron to have ditched Osborne as Shadow Chancellor when the going was rough with mad financial journalists baying for his blood. Rather than take the traditional route of allowing aides to brief against him Osborne moved into the same office as a public and personal demonstration of support.

All this Osbornisation (well, it’s hardly Osbomania) is driving the other leadership contenders nuts. Boris will become the Norma Desmond of the Tories refusing to accept that his political looks are fading and is no longer good box office. But he is demanding his last close up Mr. De Mille and will soon get it soon; Europe. The wailing of sirens and hooters should be reverberating around Number 10. This is when Boris will be at his most dangerous. This is his large chance for the big one.

Watch Boris very closely. Borisologists should scrutinise every word that he utters. Nothing is as it seems. He will feign loyalty to Cameron, but he is the Galileo of the Conservative party in that he is convinced that the political universe revolves around him. He will be invited by mischievous producers to pronounce on Europe in the hope of tempting him to depart from the script. The script? You must be joking. Not a chance. Keeping Boris remotely on message is like trying keep an alcoholic away from the beer tent. The first test will be how he votes or what he pronounces on government money being spent on ‘promoting’ the EU which has become something of a fetish for the Amish wing. The dilemma is whether you give him a proper job before the referendum campaign begins in the hope that collective responsibility might just keep him on side. But then there is the risk that he would do a Heseltine and resign.

So the perfect storm for Boris would be for a NO to remain in the EU vote. The architects of the the YES campaign, Cameron and Osborne could not possibly stay on. An guess who would accept the crown?

So whose side will Boris be on during the referendum? Why Boris’s of course! And you thought that Jeremy Corbyn will have problems. Yet the trail of Tory destruction wreaked by Boris on manoeuvres is Corbyn’s best hope of winning in 2020. It seems unthinkable at the moment. But……….it’s always the unexpected, unexpected. And the Johnson tanks will soon be trekking towards the perfectly manicured lawns of Numer 10 and 11.


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What a Ghastly, whining little shit Armani Andy is. Wallowing in self pity and crying foul before the game is even over

22 Aug 2015 at 16:39

What a ghastly, whining, unprincipled little shit Armani Andy is. I would like to say that he is a thoroughly revolting individual, but as he has never ever revolted against his party I can’t. He is a loyalist and doesn’t want to rock the boat. But he will shove his nose so far up the party machine anal passage that sniffer dogs would have to remove his head. Wow, that shows great leadership. If, God forbid, this oily little chancer and greaser ever became Prime Minister we know that his Party would always come before his country. Now in true Merseyside mode he is wallowing in self pity and about to scream to the ref that he was robbed even before the result is in.

His ludicrous and overweening ambition has made him a laughing stock to be trusted by nobody. His credibility doesn’t much exceed King Herod’s job application to become a baby sitter. Even an old cynic like me feels a sense of disgust at the antics of this awful little man who oozes a misplaced sense of entitlement. And now he is doing a re rat Marc Anthony. ‘I come here not to bury Corbyn but to praise him’, as Shakespeare might not have written. After slagging off Corbynomics he is psychotically desperate for a senior role; shadow Chancellor would be fun. But we all know that this is a ruse. He has trashed the hapless Yvette for being deader than a Gordon Brown grin and demands her second preferences. Corbyn will humiliate and destroy him. Well, life can be shit.

But enough of my Burnham charm offensive. Chuka and his chums seem to have stepped onto the set of Allo Allo. ’I’m from the resistance, I will only say this once’. The resistance? What a joke. These guys are finished. They will be purged. The left are a ruthless bunch. And as I imagine that Jezza wants to abolish the Lords there won’t be a peerage in it either. Their only choice is to jump or be pushed. Lessons can be learned from ‘dear friends’ in Hamas.

All this talk of entryism really is a little wide of the mark. The leftie baddies are only just beginning to remove the wooden stakes from their hearts and rise from the dead. When Corbyn is anointed they won’t be entryists at all they will be running the sweet shop. Time to bring in that old Van Helsing of the left, John Spellar. That guy really brings meaning to New Labour’s much revered obsession with the ‘stakeholder’. As corporal Jones used to say ‘they don’t like it up ‘em’. And that is the problem of Labour’s so called moderates who might be considered Papabile they are all so bloody dull and a bit of a joke. Where are the charismatics? Where are the guys who can set the pulse racing? And where are those who can make a jaded electorate pause for thought and allow a pencil stub to hover above a Labour box which is not a coffin. At the moment they are nowhere to be seen. Dad’s Army on tour. However………just remember the name Tom Watson. Whether he becomes leader, deputy or a senior member of the Shadow Cabinet, you will be witnessing the birth of a very big beast. He is the most credible threat to the Corbynistas available.


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The Maxwellisation of Inquiries must be curbed. It's like concluding that Fred West merely rearranged his patiio

15 Aug 2015 at 08:40

If your enjoyment of Celebrities Bake Their pets is being ruined by strange whirring sounds and irritating distortions, don’t worry it is probably the fallout of Mr. justice Forbes spinning in his grave. In case you have forgotten, he tried a civil case against the DTI brought by that great paragon of truth and virtue Robert Maxwell. Way back in 1969 a DTI Inquiry into Maxwell’s business banditry came to the perfectly sensible conclusion that Maxwell, ‘was unfit to hold stewardship of a public company’. M’lud though otherwise accusing the DTI of ‘committing the business murder of Maxwell’. To be fair to Forbes he was just setting out the basic principle that witnesses should be treated fairly and that before a report could be published which criticised named individuals they and their lawyers should have the right to reply. This is how the Maxwellisation of Inquiries began.

I really do feel very sorry for John Chilcot. Everyone is getting thoroughly pissed off with him from the Prime Minister downwards. The tabloids are screeching whitewash, cover up and accusing the establishment of sticking together like shit to a blanket. And the families of those who tragically died in Iraq are anxious to demand the truth and seek closure.

The trouble is that Chilcot inherited these rules and has to abide by them. The added difficulty for him is that there seems to be no limit on a witnesses right to reply. Well, there bloody well should be. Flotillas of lawyers letters are passing backwards and forwards and clogging the system up. And this is not the only inquiry bogged down in the swamps of obfuscation and red tape. The inquiry into the collapse of HBOS is still limping towards producing a report nine years on. This is insane and should be stopped. It wouldn’t happen in a court of law and it shouldn’t be allowed happen at an Inquiry. Counsel can’t bang on and on in cross examination in court. No sensible judge would allow it. He has to see that witnesses are treated fairly. So may we please introduce a little common sense here? When all reasonable avenues of replying to a criticism have been exhausted at an inquiry that should be the end of it. It is ridiculous that they give the appearance of being treated like old immigration appeals where every opportunity to delay is exploited.

Chilcot is bound by the judgement of Mr. Justice Forbes. Is it not beyond the wit of the Lord Chief Justice to issue a practice direction? Or if it is felt to be necessary, could not some short statutory instrument rectify this? These delays are no good for anyone. It unfairly makes Blair look shifty and casts a shadow over the other witnesses and damages the reputation of a thoroughly honest civil servant. I served with Chilcot in Northern Ireland in the early nineties and he is no politician’s poodle. But action needs to be taken now as it will be meat and drink for the Blair hating Corbynistas.
Oh, and I read this morning that anybody who has been criticised will not be named. Complete bonkerism which will undermine public confidence in the inquiry system. It would be like holding an inquiry into the activities of Fred West and coming to the conclusion that he had merely rearranged his patio. Years ago their was an interesting book written by a Parliamentarian called Communication. I do hope that it doesn’t feature in Sir John’s library as there is a fascinating chapter entitled How to avoid answering difficult questions. Ah, and I expect you want to know who the author was? Step forward Greville Janner. You couldn’t make it up.



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