Monday, 5 December 2016

A Jot About The Truth

Peter Oborne writes:

There used to be a convention that ministers told the truth in Parliament.

If they failed to do so, they were under an obligation to return to the Commons and put the record straight at the first opportunity.

Last week, MPs turned their backs on that honourable tradition when they debated the false and misleading statements made by Tony Blair over the Iraq War.

Former SNP leader Alex Salmond called the debate so that Mr Blair could be held accountable to MPs. 

Shockingly, 439 MPs voted against Mr Salmond's motion and just 70 in favour.

This is astonishing.

I have in my files a long list of the untrue statements made by Tony Blair to the Commons about Iraq.

Here are a few of them.

In September 2002, the then Prime Minister told MPs that the intelligence evidence contained in the dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was 'extensive, detailed and authoritative' — when Britain's spies had explicitly told him it was sketchy. 

On February 25, 2003, Tony Blair told MPs that Russia believed Saddam had WMDs.

This was not true.

In his notorious speech of March 18, on the eve of war with Iraq, Mr Blair gravely misrepresented the findings of UN weapons inspectors on the ground.

On June 4, he falsely told MPs there had been no objections from the intelligence world to his notorious claim that Saddam could deploy WMD in 45 minutes.

There had been.

So have any of these been put right? 

This week, I checked. 

All Tony Blair's claims remain on the official Hansard record. 

No attempt has been made to remove them. 

The determination of MPs to protect Mr Blair, 13 years after he lied to take this country into an illegal and catastrophic war, sends out an appalling message that MPs from all sides are worthless schemers who don't care a jot about the truth.

No comments:

Post a Comment