Today’s surprise event was Alistair Campbell’s display of tiredness and emotion on The Andrew Marr Show. The Internet is, perhaps unsurprisingly given the person involved, rife with arguments about how truthful or otherwise his “moment” was. At first I totally believed it, but having watched it back a few times now, I’m not quite so sure. The current joke going around is that Campbell “couldn’t get an acting part in the film version of his own novel.” But I don’t really see what the former Spinmeister General would have to gain from faking it. Making him look more human? I don’t know.
I agree with Campbell on one point, though – there are many people who seem completely uninterested in learning the truth about Iraq from the Chilcott Inquiry, instead solely focused on simple revenge against Blair and co. They’ve already made up their minds about the reasons for war, and nothing that anyone says on the subject will change their views. I’ve always personally been of the opinion that WMD was simply a convenient excuse for regime change, and that Blair should have attempted to make the argument to the British people that the removal of Saddam would leave Iraq, our country and the world better off – if that’s what he thought – rather than force the ridiculous charade of the dodgy dossiers down our throats.
But having said that, I’m totally prepared to have my mind changed, and I’ve been very interested in the evidence to the inquiry so far, particularly the “differing recollections” of ministers and civil servants. While the end result may be as useless a fudge as that of the other inquiries so far, Chilcott at least appears to be uncovering a fuller picture of the political machinations and maneouverings that took us to war.
Getting back to Alistair Campbell, here’s a video of the interview (I managed to find one that didn’t have a childishly accusatory title). Real? Acting? You decide.