John Prescott – now Baron Prescott of Kingston-upon-Hull – is the man who was supposed to represent true working class values in the money, celebrity and power-obsessed New Labour. He is now complacently ensconced on the benches of the House of Lords, oozing self-satisfaction from every pore, probably still nursing a self-image of himself as an honest, straight-talking working class boy.
The Chilcot Enquiry eventually got around to him, doubtless worried that his uncertain grasp of the syntax of his native language would pose some difficulties for them. But after all, he is now safely embedded in the British Establishment, and there is little chance that he will say anything to jeopardise that new status and incriminate himself, nor is he likely to shed any light on the criminal venture known as the Iraq War. If he does inadvertently give something away, it can be safely laughed off as “just John just being John”.
In spite of being at the centre of events – he was after all Deputy Prime Minister – his testimony reveals a man almost unaware of the fact that he was part of an unfolding tragedy of global proportions, one that would result in death and destruction for hundreds of thousands, perhaps over a million innocents, the polarisation of relationships between the Muslim World and the nominally Christian West, and destabilisation of the entire Middle East.
A few quotes -
On intelligence reports: “ --- a bit of tittle-tattle here and a bit more information there ---”
On his evaluation of the reports: “ --- they made me a little bit nervous ---“
On Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, former Head of MI5: “She was always on about the threat of terrorism. Along with it came ‘Give me some money.’”
On Tony Blair’s handling of the decision to go to war, and criticisms of his decision: “We have seen a few people gloss over their part in the history of what happened. I have learned that true leadership is not about having the benefit of hindsight. It is about having the gift of vision, courage and compassion, and I believe that Tony Blair had all three.”
Thank you, Baron Prescott of Kingston-upon-Hull, for that deep insight into a man that a large proportion of the world now considers a war criminal, who failed completely to display any vision about the appalling consequences of his actions, who failed utterly in courage in dealing with the Bush Regime, and who, while regularly engaging in displays of gross sentimentality, showed no compassion whatsoever for the lives ruined by his decision.
The multi-millionaire peace envoy to the Middle East, Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, will doubtless be grateful for your heartfelt endorsement. It vindicates his decision to keep you on board throughout his regime to sanitise his government’s actions in Iraq, in the safe and secure knowledge that you would never questions them, because you would never understand them.
Enjoy the ermine, the cosy benches of the Lords and the generous attendance allowance, Lord Prescott – it is small enough reward for loyalty such as yours. Greater love hath no man than he avert his eyes from the transgressions of his friend.
Some quotes on Lord Prescott’s testimony to the Iraq Enquiry -
Rose Gentle, mother of Gordon Gentle of the First battalion of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, an early casualty in Iraq. “I’m disgusted. This is my boy’s life they’re talking about. The smug look on that man’s face made it look as if it was just a joke to him”.
Michael Aston, father of Corporal Russell Aston, Killed in Iraq. “His remarks are absolutely disgraceful – there are 179 families who have lost their loved ones in this war.”
Angus Robertson, SNP Defence spokesman in Westminster. “There can be few more serious decisions than taking a country to war, yet John Prescott has dismissed some of the key intelligence as mere tittle-tattle.”