Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s “sycophancy” towards
Washington and the failure of the governing class to speak the truth
were cited as key factors for Britain’s involvement in the second
Gulf war against Iraq in 2003.
A former prosecutions chief, Sir Ken
Macdonald, told the Lord Chilcot Inquiry that Blair indulged and
engaged in an “alarming subterfuge” with George Bush, and then
misled and cajoled the British people into a war they did not want.
“Blair’s fundamental flaw was his
sycophancy towards those in power. Perhaps this seems odd in a man
who drank so much of that mind-altering brew at home. But Washington
turned his head and he couldn’t resist the stage or the glamour that
it gave him,” The Times quoted Macdonald, as saying.
In his most savage comment, he writes
that the heart-rending sacrifices made by British forces would
become the stuff of poetry and song in future years. But none of
that would sprinkle any starlight on Blair.
“On the contrary it is entirely the
work of warriors cast carelessly into death’s way by a Prime
Minister lost in self-aggrandisement and a governing class too
closed to speak truth to power,” he says.
Sir Ken’s intervention comes after Blair’s declaration in a BBC
interview that he would have favoured removing Saddam Hussein
regardless of whether he had possessed weapons of mass destruction.
The inquiry yesterday insisted that
Blair would give evidence in public, after reports that he might
A spokesman for the inquiry said: “Mr
Blair will be appearing very much in public and will be questioned
in detail on a wide range of issues.”
Sir Ken suggests that the inquiry’s
performance so far has been generally unchallenging and he goes
close to warning of an establishment cover-up.
“In British public life, loyalty and
service to power can sometimes count for more to insiders than any
tricky questions of wider reputation. Disloyalty, on the other hand,
means a terrible casting out,” he says.
He claims that Blair secured support
from the Commons for the Iraq war largely on the ground that it was
needed to remove weapons of mass destruction.