Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Iraq inquiry: let the light shine in

I was going to do a posting about Gordon Brown's disgraceful decision to hold an inquiry into the Iraq war behind closed doors, but I don't think I have anything to say which has not already been said by, amongst others, David Watts, Caron, Costigan Quist, Paul Reynolds and Willie Rennie. Public scrutiny is the best way to ensure something like this never happens again. Light must be shone on the murky workings of government which led us into this disaster.


Stephen B said...

I'm not sure about the 'let the sun shine in' thing. As someone who undertakes research that often involves speaking to a lot of people who operate in a (small 'p') political context, I know that I wouldn't get the most out of them if they knew they would suffer repercussions from publicly voicing their true views.

The fact that my work will face scrutiny from a body of people within an organisation rather than at a public meeting does not mean that there is a need to be any the less rigorous in approach. Indeed facing a panel of experts, rather like the report will be to the HoC, you know that a good number of people on that panel want to dispute your findings (and find an excuse not to pay you!) so you need to be pretty robust in being able to defend your findings.

Finally, in the case of an Iraq inquiry, I suspect that 'the public' would also be represented disproportionately of the ‘angry left’ types who would act as judge, jury and executioner which wouldn’t be helpful to say the least. That’s not to say that their input is not legitimate but it is recognising that, in these situations, people or groups with loud voices can dominate when clarity is required. If there was, for example, a systemic failure in the army in their intelligence gathering methods in the field, it is as important that this is brought to light as establishing that ‘BliaR Lied! MiLLion$ DieD!’

Bernard Salmon said...

Neil Craig, don't bother posting comments of any kind to this blog in future, they will not be published. I've given you enough warnings.

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