Getting it wrong when doing the right thing

Gordon Brown did the right thing in announcing an inquiry into the Iraq war but got it so wrong by saying it would be held in private. Even when it was so apparent that the public mood demanded that it be held in public, Brown seemed reluctant to shift.

Today Peter Mandleson has said the privatisation of the Royal Mail was unlikely to go ahead. Great news! Was this decision taken on the grounds of a deeply held principle that would galvernise support from disillusioned Labour voters? No. He has said that the legislative programme is too full.

Why why why does Labour get it so wrong when doing the right thing?

Iraq Inquiry

Gordon Brown has made a concession saying that part of the inquiry into the Iraq way can be held in public. Earlier this week in this blog I said that such a compromise would satisfy no one.

And with every passing day this becomes more apparent.

There are now allegations that Tony Blair knew about a secret policy on the torture of terror suspects.

Brown is hiding behind a cover that national security could be compromised. There is no longer a threat to national security, and I don’t believe Iraq ever posed such a threat.

If, as Blair and Bush claim, the war was properly conceived and executed, a public enquiry would vindicate them. If not, they deserve to be exposed, given the cost in human lives, and held accountable for war crimes carried out in our name.

A part public, part private inquiry will be seen as a shoddy little cover up, further eroding the credibility of a man who advocates the values of the Manse.

A public inquiry is the honourable act, Gordon

I understand that Gordon Brown is coming under increasing pressure, not least from military chiefs(!), to hold in public at least part of the inquiry into the Iraq war.

Brown Error Number One was to announce a non-public inquiry

Brown Error Number Two will be to announce a half hearted, part public, part secret inquiry.

Brown could have been credited by holding a wide ranging, fully public inquiry. But his instincts to mistrust the public prevailed.

If he agrees a part public inquiry he will attract no plaudits. Supporters of Blair and Bush will be angry; those opposed to the war will remain outraged.

Do the honourable thing, Gordon. Allow a full public inquiry into whatwas done in our name.

Brown lets us down on Iraq Inquiry

Gordon Brown had the perfect opportunity to put clear blue water between himself and Tony Blair. However, rather than announcing a free-ranging, public inquiry into the war in Iraq, he has chosen to conduct the enquiry behind closed doors.

This has already provoked outrage amongst both supporters and opponents of the war.

Brown himself had, until now, escaped largely untouched by the bitter recriminations of this ill-fated and illegal venture. Yet because of his lack of judgement he will be seen as a co-conspirator and apologist for the war.

What is more, if he bows to the intense pressure that he will no doubt come under, he will be seen as weak and will not benefit from what could otherwise have been seen as a positive and brave mood designed to draw a line under the worst decision of New Labour.

Oh dear, Gordon. You have really let us down.