Daily Archives: June 11, 2010

Some interesting names on the latest list of witnesses to the Iraq inquiry.

The Lord Prescott will be making an appearance to (presumably) explain his role in cabinet. It should make for good viewing.

Hans Blix, the weapons inspector, will have a chance to rebut some of the criticisms thrown at him by the likes of Jack Straw.

Baroness Manningham-Buller, the former head of MI5, may shed some light on the official advice given over whether the invasion of Iraq would increase or decrease the threat of terrorism in Britain.

Another name that stood out is Carne Ross, a ex-FCO official who served at the UN. He’ll be the most junior former official to speak out against the mishandling of the build-up to war.

The most intriguing detail is surely the absence of Tony Blair’s name from the list. This, I’m told, does not preclude a re-appearance on the witness stand. The panel clearly want to speak to all their witnesses at least once, before they start recalling old stars.

Here is the list in full: 

Cameron has made some striking pledges on how he will cut the deficit. The trouble is that most of them are at odds with his promise to protect the vulnerable.

As this excellent Social Market Foundation report contends, it is hard to see how any of his pledges on ring-fencing middle class benefits, limiting tax rises and increasing health spending will survive, at least if Cameron really isn’t going to balance the books on the backs of the poor.