One of the sad aspects of the Chilcot report is that most of its contents was known at the time leading up to the Iraq War in 2003. Through Whitehall & various media sources – e.g. Govt leaks, Private Eye magazine and documentaries made by Panorama and Dispatches.
That is why – with the exception of the late Robin Cook – Tony Blair’s cabinet of 2002-3 must also shoulder blame for their support for the war.
Former cabinet ministers such as Jack Straw, Jack Cunningham, David Blunkett, Margaret Beckett, Stephen Byers, Geoff Hoon and Deputy PM John Prescott are as culpable as Tony Blair.
Today, some of those ex-ministers say they didn’t have all the facts or felt shut out by Tony Blair at the time. Yet these ministers voted to commit young men and women to an illegal war. Unforgivable.
These cabinet and backbench Labour MPs voted for war only to boost their career prospects within the government. Gordon Brown was told bluntly that if he did not publicly support the war he would not succeed Tony Blair as PM.
I find it hypocritical that Tony Blair and his former colleagues attend war memorial events such as Rememberance Sunday.
Today, almost 70 of those Labour MPs who voted in 2003 are still in the House of Commons. Yet most of them has said little about Chilcot’s report or even apologise for their selfish act. The majority of whom are plotting the bring the current leader Jeremy Corbyn down via Angela Eagle – who voted for the war.
Some Labour MPs did their devious best to block the setting up of the Chilcot Inquiry. Some tried restricting the Inquiry’s terms of reference and even delay the report’s release.
Do any of those MPs have the moral right to represent their constituent following such poor judgement and its consequences?
Friday morning 2 May 1997, was one of the happiest days to be in London. The sun was out and Labour had defeated John Major’s Tory government the night before. We couldn’t believe that for some of us we were witnessing a Labour government in our adult lives.
But Tony Blair, his cabinet colleagues, his inner circle and pro-war backbench MPs just blew the goodwill they were given to make the UK a proud, honest and prosperous society.
As we digest the contents and impact of Chilcot’s report, I am reminded of the late Brian Haw (1949-2011) who lived in front of the Houses of Parliament for almost 10 years protesting against the Iraq War.