Integrity

Tony Blair bleated about attacks on his integrity at the time of the Kelly Inquiry. Will he have the temerity to bleat again, now that the former Director of Public Prosecutions has put into words what so many of us were thinking?

Kevin Macdonald QC said:

It is now very difficult to avoid the conclusion that Tony Blair engaged in an alarming subterfuge with his partner George Bush and went on to mislead and cajole the British people into a deadly war they had made perfectly clear they didn’t want, and on a basis that it’s increasingly hard to believe even he found truly credible.
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Iraq

Revelations about the invasion of Iraq just keep on coming. Sir John Scarlett told the inquiry into the invasion that intelligence indicating that battlefield munitions could be made ready in 45 minutes were misinterpreted by the government as referring to chemical or biological weapons - WMDs.

Now Tony Blair has disclosed that he would have thought it right to invade Iraq even if he’d known that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction.

I would be the first to admit that Saddam Hussein was a very unpleasant dictator (although this didn’t stop the US government from backing him for many years) but the UK and US broke international law in the most flagrant way. Their actions will be used as an excuse to annex attractive neighbouring countries by despots the world over. British security services warned the government before the invasion that it would increase rather than decrease the terrorist threat to the UK and there is every reason to believe that they were right.

This has been one of the most disreputable foreign escapades since the days of Cecil Rhodes.
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Open University

I have signed up for another Open University course. I’m a great fan of their teaching materials, at least the printed stuff. With their E303 course (English Grammar in Context), they include an ‘activities’ CD-ROM which achieves something quite incredible. It is a simple interactive presentation created in the Adobe Director. Director is a cross-platform tool and yet the OU’s presentation is Windows only. Not only that but it will run in XP but not in Windows Vista. I’ve been slow installing Windows 7 so I don’t know if it works in that, but I doubt it.
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Charleston

I’m not a great fan of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, but this is just such fun! Not bad for a girl who until recently played a police officer in The Bill.

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General Gunning

Among the books which Tiger of the Stripe has in the pipeline is An Apology for the Life of Major General Gunning. I (under the name Gerrish Gray) started on this after publishing Elizabeth Gunning's translation of Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds. I don’t want to give anything away but there really are some interesting revelations, especially about Miss Gunning and the ‘Gunning Mystery’.
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Bus Passes

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a change to the age at which buss passes will be issued. I shall not now get mine until I am 63. GRRR!
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Ann Widdicombe

Many months ago I wrote a long, rambling and rather intemperate letter to Ann Widdicombe MP about some remarks she made on Radio 4 concerning MPs’ expenses. I shan’t go into the details but I was most impressed by her long and detailed reply. I didn’t agree with everything she said but she made her points well.

I do not share her politics or her religious views (my own opinion being that all religion is just the most foolish peasant superstition, and no branch of Christianity more so than Catholicism) but I admire her honesty and integrity. She was in no way caught up in the expenses scandal herself and it is a great pity that she is planning to stand down at the next election.
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Long absence

The eagle-eyed among my readers will have noticed the long absence of posts. I didn’t think anyone would notice because I didn’t think anyone was reading! However, on Tuesday I met someone who had. Spurred on by that, I have decided to write again (sounds like the title of a Western - Destry Writes Again).

This long silence was occasioned by: (1) uncontrollable fury at bankers and politicians; (2) a complete feeling of impotence in that regard; and (3) a heavy workload. Well, I’m still livid with the politicians and the bankers and I still can’t do much about it, but life must go on.
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