By Terence Bunch Published 2010-01-29 00:00:00 Last Edited 2010-01-29 00:00:00
On an emotional day for many, the Iraq Enquiry hears testimony from former British Prime Minister, Anthony Blair, over his part in the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.
The enquiry takes place just north of Parliament Square and has been hearing evidence from those involved in the preparation of the case for war against Iraq. Outside the enquiry building, people gather to continue to voice their anger over the war, Mr Blairs conduct and the appalling aftermath of the invasion for both members of the British military and ordinary Iraqis. Inside the enquiry itself, Mr Blairs testimony proves weak and, at times, openly belligerent.
After almost eight hours of questioning, Mr Blair refuses to accept that his decision to commit British forces to the action was in error and refuses to concede that the primary device used by his government to garner public support for the invasion, was also in error.
More seriously, Mr Blair also demonstrates profound political illiteracy in his understanding of the structure of democratic principle, democratic representation, democratic consent and the role of the rule of law.
He ends the hearing having largely failed to make any progress with the nation as a whole and, therefore, sets in motion the long process of jurisdiction evasion as international courts and tribunals around the world find authority for his prosecution for criminal conduct in war.
Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, London. 29th January 2010.