Iraq Inquiry boost
3rd April 2008
A nest of cooing turtledoves replaced the PASC bear pit this morning.
The public Administration Committee has a reputation for sharp hostile questioning. Not today. We and our witnesses conspired to find a way to seek out the truth that the Executive wish to conceal. It is a favourite subject of chairman Tony Wright.
How can we get a proper Inquiry into the Iraq War? Our witnesses included the accumulated wisdom of political giants David Owen, Douglas Hurd, Ming Campbell and the welcome well-informed chutzpah of Adam Price.
As committee PASC published a cunning plan for a new style of Inquiry that would by-pass the Government. Why should we wait for Government to decide when the time is right for a probe into what is likely to be their own embarrassing behaviour? There never was an inquiry into Britain’s previous worst foreign disaster of Suez.
Would future Governments behave better if they knew their actions were certain to be investigated by an inquiry outside of their control? Our witnesses were all supportive of PASC’s initiative. They also came up with one of their own.
Thinking aloud, Lord Owen said that perhaps the Lords could pass a proposal to set up their own. That would then have to be considered by the Commons and would difficult to reject.
One way or another, today’s session may set the Iraq Inquiry ball rolling.