I have long speculated, usually to friends over alcoholic beverages, as to what the content of Tony Blair and George W’s conversations in the lead up to the Iraq War might have been. As many of them are potentially libellous, I shan’t divulge any of my pet theories on the subject here; sufficed to say I am as eager any anyone to find out what the Chilcot investigation tells us on the matter.
Which leads us all to ask in unison: when exactly will Chilcot’s findings be revealed? Sir Peter Tapsell, Conservative MP for Louth and Horncastle, is quoted as saying that it is “well known by the cognoscenti that it was completed months ago”, the “it” meaning the final report into the matter. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister states that it is not in his power to release the final paper. Or rather, the Prime Minister doesn’t have the power to release it before it is finished, just to be clear. Which, officially speaking, it isn’t, whatever backbench Tory MPs may pronounce on the subject.
There is also the small matter of the fact that we are now into a general election campaign. The final Chilcot report will be a potentially explosive document, and I can understand any concerns people might have regarding its release during this period. The strange this is, it is hard to know before the report is released who it would hurt or help more, the Tories or Labour. Yes, Blair was a Labour Prime Minister, but also one who has been pretty much disowned by most of his party. Meanwhile, Miliband can claim he was against a war that Cameron was for at the time of it beginning. Likelihood is the report wouldn’t really affect the general election result very much either way were it to be released pre-May 7th.
So is there some sort of conspiracy going on to prevent the truth from coming out? I very much doubt it. These things always take forever to finalise and when you’re dealing with an inquiry that has this much public interest, you want to make extra sure that the findings that you publish are spot on.
I think we won’t see a final Chilcot report until after the general election comes and goes. Wait for it to be the story of this summer, however.