Delays paint picture of a looming whitewash

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The inexcusable delay in the publication of the Chilcot inquiry report into the Iraq war – the last witness gave evidence three years ago – has now been followed by a process which will ensure the British public will not (probably ever) have access to the full and unvarnished truth about the conflict.

Hundreds of lives were lost, including more than 100 British service personnel. If ever there was a case for the public knowing what was done in its name, this is it.

Yet crucial elements of communications between Tony Blair, then Prime Minister, and President George W Bush are to be kept under wraps. We are simply being allowed to see a gist of these communications. How very magnanimous of them!

The Establishment claim this is in the interests of “transparency”. Nonsense.

There are still grave suspicions that this apparently illegal war was accompanied by lies to Parliament. And the present Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, seems to be at the centre of attempts to avoid publication of things which could be of immense damage to Blair.

Given Sir Jeremy’s past association with Blair – he was his principal private secretary at the time of these events – it grates somewhat to find that he is at the centre of the current furore.

The Butler and Hutton inquiry reports into this war were laughable whitewashes. If this one goes the same way – and it looks as though the Establishment is successfully closing ranks – then it is no wonder that the so-called political elite and their advisers are now held in such widespread contempt by the public.

One positive thing: Thank God for the British press. At least they, if nobody else, is doing its best to winkle out the truth – and the official

Opposition is not making the sort of noise we would expect.

The British public is being hoodwinked yet again.

The extreme efforts of a man to win a seat as an Independent in the recent local elections at Chingford, North-East London, backfired on him rather embarrassingly.

He changed his name by deed poll to “None of the Above”.

Alas for him, his name was rearranged by officials to read: “Above, None of the”.

This meant that his name appeared at the top of this alphabetical list of candidates.

He didn’t get in.