Government Undergoes Death by Civil Servants ; THE HUTTON INQUIRY: THE SKETCH
Carr, Simon, The Independent (London, England)
THAT WAS the day the establishment rallied round the Government; I hope they never do that to me, it's a very painful experience.
Some funny wee fellow came on first, then the man who used to run the Royal Air Force, and then by telephone from (by the sound of it) a sewer, the head of MI6.
Each in their way threw their cloak around the Government's exposed parts, but then under cover, each took out that special civil service knife and used it to sever a governmental limb.
But first: James Dingemans QC, counsel for the inquiry - a sort of Bulldog Drummond character - promised that the process of cross examination in the coming fortnight would maintain a standard of courtesy because "how we treat others is the way we define ourselves".
It's not easy to get away with a noble sentiment in these degraded times, and he deserves some sort of spiritual recognition, well beyond the gift of sketch writers. However, his observation does not bode well for Geoff Hoon, I fear, or the conspirators who released David Kelly's name.
The first wee fellow up yesterday was a sometime member of the Joint Intelligence Committee and was there to say that everything to do with the dossier was impeccably done. Then he made clear that he was happy to take instructions from Alastair Campbell as to the dossier's wording, but not from the intelligence officer Brian Jones (he's the weapons expert who wrote to express his unhappiness at some of the dossier's sexier phraseology).
The wee fellow didn't discuss Dr Jones' reservations with him. Why not? Because he went on leave instead! Very wise, frankly. …