29 May 2016

Matt Woodhead and Richard Norton-Taylor (ed. and compiled): Chilcot

In a deeply unpopular decision on 20 March 2003, Tony Blair declared that Great Britain was at war with Iraq. The majority of the public of Great Britain was against it, realising that this was a decision that Blair had made with George Bush long before, realising that it was a disastrous move, and realising that Tony Blair was a hypocrite, a serial liar, and a stupid clown. How could so many politicians have been hoodwinked into voting to destroy a country, to kill countless innocent people there, and to create Daesh, making the world a much more dangerous place to live in? How could such a calamitous international action, the closest in terms of importance to the (far less calamitous) Suez crisis of 1956, have taken place?

Well, this is of course what the Chilcot Inquiry (or the Iraq Inquiry) was about, and its findings will at last be published on 6 July 2016. It is of course well known that the results will come down heavily on Blair and his supporters in government, although probably everyone also realises that Blair will never end his life where he belongs: behind bars.

The Chilcot report of the inquiry is a 2.6 million word document: not exactly a work that can be summed up in a few words, although Matt Woodhead and Richard Norton-Taylor's dramatization of some of the key words used during the inquiry (premiered at The Lowry in Salford) goes some way towards understanding the gist. Here we have actors using the words of such people as Jack Straw, Geoff Hoon, Alastair Campbell, and of course the main offender, Tony Blair, talking a great deal, but none of them actually saying anything: this is the language of spin, designed to impress by its rhetoric but these days only fooling a certain number of fools (largely the remaining Blairites in the Labour party who think Jeremy Corbyn is a menace).

The main piece of real sense in the play (apart from the words of the Iraqi victims detailing violence on the part of anti-Iraqi forces during the invasion, and the violence that followed after Iraq had been, er, liberated) is when Clare Short speaks. She was Secretary of State for International Development before resigning in 2006. She felt that she had been 'conned' into accepting the 'weapons of mass destruction' nonsense. Surprise, surprise, but what took her so long to realise this?

Tony Blair's legacy is in tatters, like Iraq itself. The world is far more dangerous. Oh, and he inevitably managed to more or less destroy the Labour party, which will also probably never recover from his destructive policies, meaning the country will not be able to fight back against the privatisation lust of the EU-supporting fat cats.

Great play though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds very good, can't wait for the publication of the enquiry.