Monthly Archives: August 2013

Would a libertarian society deprive individuals of cultural roots and collective identity?

Robert Henderson

There are many rooms in the libertarian  ideological house.  That fact often derails rational discussion of libertarian issues, but it need not be a problem in this instance because the question being asked is most  efficiently  examined   by testing  it against  the flintiest wing of libertarian thought.   If  that pristine, uncompromising  form of libertarianism is incompatible with the maintenance of cultural roots and collective identity, then  all other shades of libertarianism will be incompatible to some degree.

The pristine libertarian has no truck with  any form of government, believing that  personal relations  between individuals  will adequately order society no matter how large or complex the society,  and that such ordering will arise naturally if  only the artificially constraints on human behaviour such as governments and laws are removed.   Such a society  would supposedly  work along these lines.    If the society is threatened by an invader,  individuals will join together to defend it out of a sense of self-preservation.  To   those who cannot work for reasons of sickness, injury, age or innate infirmity,  compassion and a sense of duty will ensure that private charity is  extended  to relieve the need. If  public works such as roads and railways are required, self-interest and reason will drive individuals to join to together to build them.   Matters such as education may be safely  left to parents and such charitable provision as arises.   Above all the individual is king and personal choice is only circumscribed if a choice involves the imposition of one individual’s will on another.   You get the idea.  The consequence is a vision of a society not  a million miles away from  Rightist  forms of anarchism.

This concentration on the individual makes for a fissile society. If each person  is to follow his or her  own way  without any requirement to believe anything other than to respect the conditions necessary to realise libertarian ends , that in itself  would definitely weaken  collective identity and probably affect cultural unity.  Nonetheless in a truly homogeneous society, especially if it was small, the probability is that cultural weakening would not be great and the absence of a conscious collective identity would not present a difficulty provided the society was not subject to a serious threat from outside.

Serious problems  for the pristine libertarian  arise if the society is heterogeneous,  because  then there is a loss of collective unity. If the heterogeneity comes from class,  the cultural roots may  be largely untouched or at least develop in a way  which ensures that there is still much cultural  uniformity  and that uniformity is clearly an extension of  past cultural traits. It is also true that in a racially and ethnically homogeneous society, a sense of collective unity will be easily rekindled if the society comes under external threat.

The most difficult society for libertarians to deal with is one which is ethnically divided, especially if the ethnic divide includes racial difference. There a society becomes not so much a society but a series of competing racial and ethnic enclaves.   In such a situation,  it is inevitable that both  cultural unity and collective identity is undermined because there is no  shared general cultural experience and this plus racial difference makes a collective identity not merely impossible but absurd even in concept.

The brings us to the most obvious threat presented by pristine  libertarians to the maintenance of cultural roots and collective identity. That  is the idea that national boundaries  should be irrelevant with people travelling and settling wherever they choose.  This presumes human beings are essentially interchangeable and in this respect it echoes  multiculturalism.  The consequence of such a belief is to greatly increase the heterogeneity of a society through the mass immigration of those who are radically different from the native population.  We do not need to guess what the result of such immigration is because it  has happened throughout the western world in our own time. More specifically, it has happened in those  countries whose populations which are most naturally sympathetic  to libertarian ideas: those which may broadly be described as Anglo-Saxon; countries such as Britain, the USA and what used to be known as  the old white dominions.

The influx of millions of people who  see themselves as separate from the native populations of the countries to which they had migrated has resulted in the Anglo-Saxon states gradually destroying their tradition of freedom. Driven by a mixture of liberal internationalist ideology and fear, their  elites have severely restricted by laws and their control of the media  and public institutions  what may be said publicly about immigration and its consequences.  In Britain it is now possible to be brought to court simply for saying to someone from an ethnic minority “go home”, while any allegation of racist behaviour  – which may be no more than failing to invite someone from an ethnic minority  to an office party – against a public servant will result at best in a long inquiry and at worst with dismissal.  Nor, in practice, is application of the law or the  witch-hunts  directed equally against everyone for it is overwhelmingly native Britons who are targeted.

At the same time as native Britons are being silenced and intimidated, an incessant tide of pro-immigrant and multiculturalist  propaganda is pumped out by government, the public organisations they control such as the civil service and state schools and the mass media , which is overwhelmingly signed up to the liberal internationalist way of thinking.  The teaching of history has been made a non-compulsory subject in British schools after the age of 14 and such history as  is taught  is next to worthless in promoting a sense of collective unity,  both because it fails to give any chronological context to what is put before the pupils  because it concentrates on “themes”  rather than periods and because the amount of British history that is contained within  the syllabus is tiny, often consisting of the Tudors and little else.  The consequence is that the young of the native British population are left with both a sense that their own culture is in some strange way to be valued less than that of the various immigrant groups and the lack of any knowledge about their country’s past.

The most  and sinister  consequence of  post-war immigration and the British elite’s response to it  is the development within Britain of  a substantial number of Muslims who not only do not have any sense of belonging to the broader society in which they live, but who are actively hostile to  Britain and its values.  But if this is the most dramatic example of the fracturing  of British society, it is merely symptomatic of the separatist attitude of  ethnic minorities in Britain generally, especially those from radically alien cultures allied to racial difference.

All of these developments are antithetical to pristine  libertarian ideals,  both because they  undermine  shared values and because they  result in actions to control friction between competing racial and ethnic groups which in themselves undermine the conditions in which libertarian ideals  flourish.  That libertarians so often subscribe to the ideal of open borders despite the overwhelming evidence of  its counter-productive effects for libertarian ends is indicative of the blinkered nature of much libertarian thinking.

The fundamental weakness of pristine  libertarianism is its complete  failure to take  account of  human psychology  and the way humans behave as groups.  This is unsurprising  because of the central position given to the individual.  But by doing this pristine  libertarians  ignore the central fact of being human: we are a social animal. Being  a social animal entails two defining behaviours: all social animals  produce hierarchies  and   all social animals place limits to the group.  Homo sapiens is no exception.

Because hierarchies in the human context arise not only from the personal efforts, qualities and talents of each individual, as is the case with animals,  but from the  position  each individual occupies through the accident of birth, this raises two difficulties for libertarians.  The first is there is not a level playing field and without that the pristine  libertarian ideal of society organising itself through freely  entered into relationships is severely distorted because it is clearly absurd to say that a man born poor is freely entering into a master-servant relationship with a man born rich when the poor man needs money simply to feed himself.  The second difficulty is that the very existence of an hierarchy,  whether or not it is based on merit, undermines the notion of free choice because once it is established different power relationships exist.

The question of hierarchy becomes more complex as the heterogeneity of a society grows whether that be ever deeper division into classes or increasing ethnic and racial diversity . All social animals have to have boundaries  to  know where the group begins and ends.  This is  because a social animal must operate  within a hierarchy and a hierarchy can only exist where  there are  boundaries.   No boundaries,  no hierarchy, because  no  individual could  ever  know what the dominance/submission situation  was  within their species or at least within those members of the species with whom they interact.

The need to define the group is particularly important for libertarians.    Above all libertarianism requires  trust. In the pristine libertarian society this means each individual believing that other people will keep their word and generally behave honestly. But as we all know only too well  people cannot  be trusted to observe societal norms and a society which is fractured by class, race or  ethnicity  is the least likely of all to have a shared sense of what is right.  Therefore,  libertarians need to recognise that however much they would like to believe that each human being is an individual who may go where he or she pleases and do what he or she pleases, the sociological reality precludes  this and that the only sane ideological course for a libertarian is to advocate closed borders and the preservation of the homogeneity of  those societies which are most favourable to libertarian ideals not because the society  consciously espouses them,  but because the  society has evolved in a way which includes libertarian traits.

There will be libertarians who find it immensely difficult going on impossible to accept that the individual must in some respects be subordinated to the group.  They will imagine, as liberal internationalists do, that human nature can be changed, although in the case of libertarians the change will come not from re-education but the creation of circumstances propitious for libertarian behaviour to emerge.  Let me explain why this is impossible because of the innate differences between  human beings and the effects of cultural imprinting.

Because Man is differentiated profoundly by culture, the widely accepted definition  of a species – a population of freely interbreeding organisms sharing a common gene pool –   is  unsatisfactory,  for  clearly Man is  more  than  a brute   animal  responding   to   simple  biological   triggers.  When   behavioural differences  are perceived as belonging to a particular group  by  that group  as differentiating  members of the group from other  men,    they perform the same role as  organic differences for  they divide Man  into cultural species.

An analogy with computers can be made. As hardware,  a particular model of  computer is  practically identical to every other computer which  is classified  as  the same model.  But the  software available to every computer of the same model is not identical.   They may run  different operating systems, either completely different or different versions of the same program. The software which runs under the operating system is different  with different versions of the same program being used.  The data which is input to the computer varies and this in turn affects the capabilities of the computer.

It  clearly makes no sense to say every computer of the same  model  is the same even if the computer is loaded with the same software.   But of  course  not  all  computers  are  of  the  same  model.  They  vary tremendously  in  their  power.  The same software  will  run  at  very different  rates  because of this.  Storage and memory size  also  vary tremendously. Some computers cannot run programmes because the programmes  are too large.   We  may call all computers computers ,  but that is to say little more  than that  all  animals are animals,  for  computers  range  from  the immensely  powerful super computers – the homo sapiens  of  the computer  world  as it were – to the amoeba of the  simple  chip  which controls  lights  being put on or off in a room  depending  on whether someone is in it.

Are the circumstances of computers  not akin to those of  Man?  Do  not the racially based  differences in IQ correspond to the differences  in power  of  older  and  newer computers?  Do not different  languages  represent different operating systems? For example, think how different must be the mentality of  a native Chinese speaker (using  a language which  is entirely  monosyllabic)  to that of a native English speaker  (using  a polysyllabic language) simply because of the profound difference in the structure  of the language. A language will not merely impose limits on what  may  be  expressed it will affect the  entire  mentality  of  the individual,  from aesthetic appreciation to  social expression. Is not the experiential input analogous to the holding of different data?

But the most potent of human behavioural triggers are racial differences,  for they exercise the strongest control over the group in a territory where different racial groups exist. Race trumps ethnicity where the ethnic clash is one of people of the same race but different ethnicities.  Place a significant population of a different race into a territory where ethnicity rather than race is the cause of unrest and the ethnic factions of the same race will tend to unite against those of a different race.

To argue that racial difference is  not important to the choice of a mate is as absurd as arguing  that the attractiveness of a person is irrelevant to the choice of a  mate.

In  Freakonomics  Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner  cite a study made of a  US dating site (the full story is on pp 80-84).  The site is one  of the  largest  in  the US and the data examined  covered  30,000  people equally  divided  between San Diego and Boston.   Most were  white  but there was a substantial minority of non-white subjects.

The  questionnaire the  would-be  daters had to  fill  in  included  a question  choice on race as “same as mine”  and “doesn’t matter”.   The study  compared  the responses  by white would-be  daters  (those  from non-white were not analysed) to these  questions with the race of  the emails  actually  sent soliciting a date.   The result  in  Levitt  and Dubner’s words was:

“Roughly  half of the white women on the site  and  80  percent  of  the white men declared that  race  didn’t  matter to them. But the response data tell a different story  The white men who said that race didn’t  matter sent  90  percent of  their e-mail  queries  to  white women. The  white women who said race  didn’t  matter sent about 97 percent of their e-mail queries to white men.

“Is  it  possible that race really didn’t  matter  for  these  white women and men and that they simply  never  happened  to browse a non-white date  that  interested them?”

Or,  more likely, did they say that race didn’t matter  because they wanted to come across  especially  to potential mates of their own race as open-minded?” In short, around 99% of all the women and 94%  of all men in the sample were  not  willing  to  seek a  date of a  different  race.   How  much stronger  will  be  the tendency to refuse to breed with a  mate  of  a different race?

If sexual desire will not commonly override the natural disinclination to remain racially separate nothing will.

Because the tendency to mate with those of a similar race is so strong  and universal,  both in place and time, it is reasonable to conclude  that the  behaviour  is innate and that cultures  necessarily include  the requirement for a member of the society to be of a certain racial type. The  consequence of this is that someone of a different racial type  is effectively precluded from full integration because one of the criteria for  belonging has not been met.  That is not to say,  of course,  that many  of the habits of mind of an alien culture may not be  adopted  by someone  of  a  different race.  What is withheld  is  the  instinctive acceptance  of the alien and his or her descendants  as members of  the society. Just as no human being can decide for themselves that they are a member of this or that group, no individual can decide that they belong to this or that nation because it is a two-way process: the other members of the group they wish to join have to accept them as a true member of the group. (Stephen Frears the English  film director once wryly remarked that he had known the actor Daniel Day-Lewis “before he was Irish”).

Where does this leave us? In its present form libertarianism is a most efficient  dissolver of cultural roots and collective identity. It is this because it ignores the realities of  Man’s social nature.  This results in the  creation of the very circumstances which are least conducive to the realisation of libertarian ends.  If libertarians are to realise those ends, they must recognise that the society  most favourable to their beliefs  is one which is homogeneous in which the shared values create the platform of trust which must underlie libertarian behaviour.   Of course, that does not guarantee a society favourable to libertarians because  the shared values may be antithetical to them, but it is a necessary if not sufficient condition for libertarian ideals to flourish. To that libertarians must add a recognition that there are profound differences between ethnic and racial groups and identify those societies which are most worth protecting because they have the largest element of libertarian traits within them.

Written for entry to the 2010 Chris Tame prize

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Inventing trouble

Robert Henderson

Someone is trying to kill me. Or to be more precise a number  of people are trying to kill me. Or to be utterly exact  various professional killers employed by sundry powerful  men are trying to murder me.

Why are powerful men trying to kill me? Because  metaphorically speaking I invented a better mousetrap. Mark  Twain was right was right; the world does beat a path to  your door when you invent something useful. Unfortunately he  was under the misapprehension that the world beats a path to  the inventor’s door to make him rich. What the world actually does is beat a path to the inventor’s door to  kill, maim or cheat him. How did I get into this  predicament? I went to a patent lawyer who…no that’s moving  the story on too fast. Let’s get back to the why.

What have I discovered? Nothing less than the engineer’s  version of the philosopher’s stone, free energy. In  approximately two seconds of conscious thought I invented a  perpetual motion machine. You just set it off and it goes on  and on and on without any further power input until you want  to stop it. No fuel needed and precious few moving parts to  break.

Hell! the machine’s so neat it won’t even cause heartbreak  to the scientific gentry because it doesn’t transgress  the most biblical of scientific writs, that infuriating old  first law of thermodynamics which won’t allow more energy to  come out of system than goes into it. Bit of a shame that,  not outraging the boffins, but at least it means they won’t  be able to say in their canting obscurantist way that the idea’s nonsense because it breaks a scientific law.

The basic invention is such a damn simple thing. If you saw  the machine you would say how the devil didn’t anybody  think of that before! I did myself at first, but I got to  reflecting on how I was forty nine when I came up with the  idea and how that idea came out of nothing. Pure serendipity.

Happens every now and then. A young boy inadvertently  invented the centrifugal governor for Watt’s steam engine  by casually hooking up a lever to a valve and a distracted  Archimedes comprehended specific gravity whilst staring at  his bathwater. My idea was that easy and sudden.

Strange how people have these ideas. Watt’s boy did it to save himself the trouble of minding the steam engine so that  he could play with another lad; Archimedes did it to please a  king. Me? I don’t rightly know. I’ve always had a fascination  with the way things are, not why they exist you understand,  but how they’re made, how they function. But that’s not an  explanation in itself. Perhaps it’s because I’ve a mind which  works primarily on logic. That means I’m naturally inclined  to understand processes rather than cold data. Ask me to  memorise a list of names and I couldn’t do that to save my  life. Ask me to memorise a complicated process using the same  names and they would slip into my brain as easy as ABC. Come  to think of it, perhaps it’s the logical structure of my mind  which gives me my interest in the form and function of  things.

Anyway, whatever the reason, there I was one evening less  than a year ago, feeling old, flat broke, sitting in a  rented room with cheap furniture and even cheaper wallpaper,  staring blankly at a couple of common or garden objects  owned by the stranger who rented out the room. Suddenly I  thought you put this here and that there, join this to the other and bingo! there it was, an idea to turn the whole  world through eighty degrees. Suddenly I’m thinking that I’m no longer booked on a one way ticket to Palookaville with no  chance of a refund.

I’ve had a small model running nonstop for near on nine  months. As I write this I could hold out my hand and touch  it. I knew the machine must work when it was only an idea  in my head. But being intellectually convinced is only half  the battle, so I made the machine to pay heed to my emotions. I needed to see it working to believe.

It’s a very basic thing this model I’ve made, but in  principle it could go on for ever. However, parts will wear  out and materials deteriorate and accidents happen, so at  some point it will fail. As things stand I reckon that it  could take a thousand years or more to break down. With  better materials perhaps hundreds of thousands, perhaps  millions of years. Eventually who knows? Prevent the  materials deteriorating, avoid accidents, let the Earth  remain much the same and it’s forever. But even a thousand  years is as good as infinity for the individual man, so for  all practical purposes it’s a perpetual motion machine as it  stands. And the additional beauty of the thing is that it  takes precious little energy to start and next to no energy  to stop.

How does the machine work? It…well, that’s my big  problem, that’s why I’ve got all these people after me. I don’t dare tell anybody until I’ve got a few things right side up in my head, number one being how do I keep alive. But  I’ll describe it in general terms so someone reading this can understand what is making powerful men so angry and desperate that they want to kill a man without money, power or influential friends. Just hang onto your concentration for paragraph or two and you’ll get the general idea.

My miraculous engine uses a simple natural phenomenon to  produce motion which in turn is linked to another example of the selfsame phenomenon and the synchronised reciprocating action of these two phenomena sustains the motion of each other. Ergo, a self sustaining cycle is formed. Ergo it need  never stop. Now motion equals power, mechanical or electrical to your choice. So you can either use my machine  to drive something directly – a ship’s propeller say – or link it to a generator to produce electricity.

The power it generates is unusually stable. Because it  doesn’t use fuel, you need never worry that you’ll get an  irregular performance from supposedly similar fuel and it  isn’t overly dependent on the immediate weather conditions  like wind and solar power or naturally inconsistent in  strength like running water or wave power. My machine just  starts off at a pace and never changes unless gravity,  pressure or temperature alters.

Gravity and pressure aren’t a problem because neither vary  significantly on the Earth’s land surfaces, so that leaves  only temperature to fret about. That’s a theoretical problem  because the lowest natural land temperatures can make the  natural phenomenon impossible. In practice it’s no problem  because most places will never get cold enough most of the  time and, in those that do, the problem could be overcome  easily enough by insulation. Come to think of it, I could  overcome the difficulty by substituting the machine’s normal  primary material with one which reacts differently to heat.

At the worst, one of my machines might run a fraction faster or slower as the temperature goes up or down. In any case  if you want an absolutely stable power flow, all you need to do is put the machine into a pressure and temperature controlled environment which, of course, you can create  using power from the machine. Beautiful ain’t it!

Producing virtually free, stable power is recommendation  enough, but my machine has other flag waving advantages which say BUY BUY BUY ME. The materials needed to build it are plentiful and easy to work. It doesn’t use fuel. There is absolutely no pollution so there are no gas emissions, no chemical leaks, no nuclear waste, no interference with the  environment such as you get with wave power and no noise. You don’t even have the aesthetic problem of ugly equipment such as electricity pylons. In fact, my machines could be built in a way which made them part of the natural landscape.

Best of all the machine depletes no natural resources other  than those required to build the machines and is permanently sustainable. Sounds like fairy gold, don’t it? But there’s  more.

My machine could provide the power for most human needs at  the point of use. Imagine a world in which each building,  each home, each business, each factory had its own machine to  generate power. Out goes the great paraphernalia of  electricity lines and gas pipes we now have, out go the great  power generating plants. Even if a few public generators were required for undertakings such as the railways, they could be built using my machine.

The practical effects of the machine would have profound political consequences. All countries would have access to power so cheap as to be virtually free. No country could be utterly held to ransom by the oil and gas suppliers. Because pollution is zero, even the lowest tech economies could run it safely. In theory any country could industrialise.

If you’re thinking that the contraption sounds too good to be true, relax, no machine was ever built without a drawback or three. This one has two. The first comes from the stability of the natural process producing the motion. This stability means that power can only be generated at one rate by a particular machine.

Now that just goes to show the value of working things out on paper. Just after I wrote that last paragraph I thought of a novel way of gearing the machine to produce differential motion by restricting the opportunity for the motion producing phenomenon to occur. How easy it would be in practice is another matter, but as the gearing is a simple mechanical device I don’t foresee any great problem. A bit of tinkering here and there to discover the most efficient way f setting the gearing mechanism but that’s all. But even if the gearing did not work, all you need to do to produce differential power is store the electricity the machine produces and use it as required at what power level you want.

Goddamn! I’ve just thought of an even better way to gear the machine. I’ll use different materials to alter the rates of flow. So let’s say the machine has only one real drawback, size.

Even if I can make a machine which produces different levels of power, I am still constrained by its upper power limit. To alter its power I can only subtract from its maximum energy output. So what you say, the same applies to all powered engines. But with other machines you can improve their fuel or adapt their structure to gain greater power from the same size of mechanism. Unless I can find materials which act more efficiently than those I know of, I can’t make any significant improvements in power generation to my machine, because the natural phenomenon I utilise will only produce a given amount of motion in a given amount of space.

I could use greater pressures to speed the natural phenomenon, but that would be pointless because I would run into the old conservation of energy problem. The energy required to increase the pressure would cancel out any increased energy output from the machine. It really gets up my nose that conservation of energy law!

So the long and the short of it is that my machines will have to be on the large size for substantial power generation. Certainly too big to power a car or a plane because the power/weight ratio would be impractical. For the technically virginal, that’s just a fancy way of saying the machine would not generate enough energy to move its own and the vehicle’s mass.

But if my machine could not propel cars and planes directly, it might power a large ship. And even cars could be powered by it indirectly if electric propulsion becomes not merely possible, but at least as convenient and efficient as petrol driven engines.

How big can my machines be? In principle any size above the microscopic. The beauty of the machine is that it can be linked to any number of other machines or the process of the natural phenomenon could be replicated infinitely in a single machine. As for machines going the other way on the size scale, there is a limit because another natural phenomenon kicks in at the microscopic level to prevent the perpetual motion process happening. There’s probably a way round that as well, but I can’t think of it as yet, although I suspect the answer lies in using materials of different density.

Sounds like I’m a lucky man just waiting to coin as much money as a man could conceive of doesn’t it? Wrongity wrongity! There is a positive forest of stricken circumstantial oaks across the road to my fame and riches. After I had made my first machine and had it running for long enough to convince me that it was stable, I sat down to think about how I would bring the idea to the market. The trouble was that the more I thought about it the more impossible the business seemed.

To begin with I thought about patents. To patent an invention all over the world costs about thirty grand. I won’t keep you in suspense, I didn’t and don’t have thirty grand. But that thirty grand is only the beginning because you are bound to get pirating, and that’s particularly so when the machine is cheap and easy to produce. So you need more money for patent infringement law suits, lots and lots more money, boy! do you need money to keep lawyers happy. And the funny thing is it doesn’t matter where you go in the world, lawyers all have the same three principal character traits, greedy, greedy and greedy again. I was tempted to throw in idle, incompetent, dishonest, ignorant and cowardly before greedy, but that would be unfair to lawyers. Idle, incompetent, dishonest, ignorant and cowardly indubitably score just below greedy on the lawyer personality chart. And it’s been ever thus. First let us kill the lawyers! wrote old Will Shakespeare. I can’t say I’m utterly opposed to the idea.

Those are your legal problems with patents. Your other more pressing slings and arrows – let’s be polite and call them extra-legal difficulties – come from those countries which either don’t recognise patents for foreigners or do but don’t if you know what I mean. It’s a sorry truth that most countries don’t have a meaningful legal system, they being more than a little remiss in providing such things as due process and the right to independent legal representation.

And in any case I sincerely doubt whether a foreigner ever gets fair treatment before a foreign court anywhere. So legal action is not really a paying proposition anywhere unless your indecently rich.

Some wiseguys might tell you the way to deal with such unobliging states is to bribe their rulers. The wiseguys who tell you that will even offer to hand over your money to the  said rulers. You would be better employed donating the money to your favourite charity. If one thing is certain in this world, you never can trust a man who takes a bribe. Either he will be willing to take another one to betray you or he won’t have the power to deliver his promises.

When it comes down to it, your only real safeguards against having an idea stolen are technical sophistication and cost. You need to produce a product which is either too technically sophisticated for easy production or so expensive that bootleggers can’t afford to produce it.

Generally if you have the first you have the second. Sadly my machine doesn’t exactly fall into the category of technically sophisticated although it could utilise a lot of high tech stuff to maximise its effectiveness. In fact, my machine is so simple in principle that your average cackhanded technophobe bozo could construct a basic model in his kitchen and that basic machine could power a 60 watt bulb. So that makes effective patenting more than a mite difficult.

But patenting was just the beginning of my worries. I also had to find the money to either start up a company to manufacture the machines or persuade a big company to fund the project. Well, I sure as hell couldn’t do the first and I was damn sure that no big company was going to look at somebody they didn’t know from Adam. But hopeless as that seemed I played make believe to progress matters. I asked myself to suppose that I could get the money for the patenting and persuade a big company to finance me.

I could just about believe that some lawyer with an eye to the main chance might do the patenting work on a contingency basis. In the small hours I could even see some big business taking me under its wing. But what was there to stop either a lawyer or a company taking me for a ride? How could I trust the lawyers and businessmen with whom I would have to deal?

How could I protect my idea? In the end the answer I came up with was the only sane one: I had damn all ways of guaranteeing that I wouldn’t be shafted and the idea stolen. But before I got to that inescapable, indigestible conclusion I tied myself in knots trying to close down all the alleyways and thoroughfares which a lawyer or a business could scuttle down. I created positive sheepshanks of logical reasoning and half-hitches of practical actions to lash everything down. I’ll give you a taste of the way I went, twisting and turning till my head was near breaking. My mind would work something like this.

I need to prove that the idea was mine. Therefore I’m going to send myself a number of letters with the plans of the machine inside. The envelopes will have stamps over the sealing flap of envelope. That way the point of entry into the envelope is date stamped by the post office. A court will accept that as proof of my knowledge of the machine at the stamped date.

Damn! but that doesn’t prove that I invented the machine, it merely proves that I knew about it by a particular time. So I shall send a letter to the patent lawyer describing what the machine does in general terms but without describing the machine. This letter will be sent by recorded post so again I have a date stamp. But what if he says that he never received the letter? I shall send the letter to his home not his office. That will mean that either he or his wife signs for the letter. But that won’t prove that I sent the lawyer a particular letter. So I shall videotape myself putting the letter into envelope before I send it. But that still won’t prove that I sent that particular letter. Hell!

Or I might be thinking about meeting the patent lawyer. Then I would go along like this. What am I going to do about the meeting? The lawyer’s got to come to me. That way I can control the physical circumstances. Then I can record the meeting. But I mustn’t rely on just one record because that the recording might be faulty or the man’s face be turned from the camera so his lips can’t be seen. So I shall videotape the meeting with four video machines placed at 90 degrees to one another. Just for luck I shall run half a dozen tape recorders as well. I can’t afford to buy the video recorders but I can hire them.

Shall I tell the patent lawyer I am recording? Indubitably yes because if I don’t as sure as eggs are ovoid objects he will go scuttling off to the patent office or a manufacturer or both and sew up the patent for someone else. If I didn’t have the recordings I would…jeez you see what this sort of thing does, it signposts the way to a home for the barking.

Finally I got thinking about the practical effects my machine would have on the world. Just imagine what would happen if a source of energy was given to the world which required no more than the initial outlay for the machine. All right, you could factor in the costs of security for the biggest machines and there will be some piffling maintenance costs for the moving parts, but whichever way you look at it, the cost is minuscule compared with any current means of power generation.

The problem is that my invention is not like any other in the history. Other forms of power have come upon the scene. Windmills competed with watermills. Steam competed with wind and watermills. Oil superseded steam, electricity competes with oil and gas. Nuclear energy vies with all these. But in those cases the change was never immediate nor complete.

Steam may be almost dead as a serious primary power source but it took two centuries to become moribund. As for the others, they all have their niches. What I have is the means to make all of them, except petrol for vehicles and ships and planes, obsolete in a matter of a few years, perhaps as little as ten. And if decent batteries can be invented for cars, then most of the oil used in cars will become redundant.

Now sit down and think of all the powerful men whose place in the world is dependent on power generation. Think of the gas companies, the electricity generators and the oil companies.

Think of coal and gas. Think of the oil dependent cars. Think of all the people employed in all those industries. Think of all the other people who live off the general expenditure of the energy producing people. Think of the politicians who tax and spend. Think of the economic and social disruption a form of energy so cheap that its cost becomes negligible could cause. Think of what the likely response to the man who has invented the machine which creates virtually free power.

What do men do when they are threatened. They become either aggressive or submissive, the Uriah Heap syndrome. When they are powerful men, they invariably become aggressive. When they are really frightened they will kill. So I thought there would be more a fair chance that someone would want me dead if I tried to patent the machine.

After all that thinking and conjuring of demons, there I was sitting on this wonderful idea which could change the world and I couldn’t see a way of through the thicket to the open fields beyond.

I tried to shrug my shoulders and tell myself to forget about it. But the idea was so strong in my mind that I couldn’t leave the thing alone . However hard I pressed it down it kept clambering back to my frontal lobes until it became a mental sore.

I knew that it was Lombard Street to a china orange that I would be cheated. I knew that the machine could cause great social dislocation. I knew that the machine could threaten the security of the powerful. I knew that I was putting myself in danger. But it didn’t make a damn bit of difference, that’s the God’s honest truth. I didn’t care about anything but the machine.

It wasn’t even the prospect of money which was uppermost in my mind. What was sitting there was the sheer cleverness of the thing and the fact that I had invented it. If a philosopher ever made a more profound observation than David Hume when he said that the heart has its reasons that reason knows not of, I would sorely wish to know it.

Well that was six months ago. What did I do? I found a lawyer who agreed to apply for patents in Britain, the US, Japan and the EU. I reckoned that would cover enough of the countries who could not afford to be without the machine to make me a fortune.

True to form the lawyer just couldn’t resist the temptation to go to an oil company. Needless to say he didn’t register the patents. I know the lawyer went to the oil company because they tried to buy me out. But the trouble was they wanted to suppress the machine. And my trouble was that I couldn’t bear that. So I said no. The oil company offered more and more money but I kept on saying no. Eventually the oil company stopped offering.

I was just about to look out another patent lawyer when the first attempt to kill me happened. A car swerving up on the pavement. I just managed to get into a side alley in time. It could have been an accident but it looked deliberate and I don’t believe in coincidences. Another car tried to run me down the next day. Caught me a glancing blow and I ended up in hospital for a couple of weeks.

I can take hint so I didn’t go back to my room when I came out of hospital. I simply left everything I had and ran. Where am I now? Sitting in another rented room with cheap furniture and even cheaper wallpaper, feeling old and flat broke. I’m even staring blankly at a couple of common or garden objects owned by a stranger.

Any difference from a few months back? Yeah, I’m scared, but I’m even angrier and angry trumps scared any day. And I’ll tell you the damndest thing about my anger. I’m not  angry because I’m not making a fortune. I’m not even angry because people are trying to kill me. No, I’m angry because the machine’s a truly beautiful idea and if I’m killed it will be gone.

So what do I do? Shall I patent it as best I can? Shall I do what Alexander Fleming did with penicillin and give it to the world for free? Or shall I simply let the idea come silent with me to the grave? I can’t even console myself by thinking that if I don’t make the invention public then somebody else will soon discover it. The natural physical phenomenon I utilise for my machine has been known for at least three thousand years. We have had something approximating to a proper scientific method for at least four hundred years and a respectable technology for far longer. Yet in all that time no one sat down and looked at this phenomenon and put two and two together. So why should I believe that someone will discover what I have discovered? In fact, I reckon it’s even less likely now than it was three hundred years ago because our scientific erudition and technological brilliance has blinded men to simple processes.

One thing is for sure, when shove comes to push nobody can stop me from making the idea public knowledge. If all other roads come to dead ends, I can release the genie by uploading the details of the machine onto the Internet.

Well, I reckon shove has come to push so I put this lead here and that lead there, join this to the other, switch on, log on , upload and bingo! there it is, an idea to turn the world through eighty degrees, singing through the ether of the worldwide web. I wonder which big company will be the first to apply for a patent?

Operation Elveden, Piers Morgan and the Crown Prosecution Service

Note: The CPS are getting nervous, hence the fact that they are responding with more than an anodyne non -reply. Robert Henderson

Mr Robert Henderson

16 August 2013

Dear Mr Henderson,

Your email of 25 July 2013 addressed to Keir Starmer Q.C., the Director of Public Prosecutions has been passed to me for a reply. I am the head of the Organised Crime Division of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). My division has responsibility for the prosecutions arising out of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

It may assist you if I explain the role of the CPS and that of the Police. The CPS is responsible for reviewing, and where appropriate, prosecuting the majority of criminal cases in England and Wales following investigation by the police. The CPS does not conduct investigations into alleged criminal offences and in the vast majority of criminal cases; this responsibility is borne solely by the police. The CPS has no power to instruct the police to carry out an investigation. That is a decision entirely within the discretion of the police.

I understand, however, that the MPS are currently considering the matters raised by you. If you are dissatisfied with the way the matter is dealt with by the MPS, any complaint  should be directed to the MPS itself and dealt with through its Complaints Policy rather than forwarded to the CPS.

Yours sincerely,

Gregor McGill

Head of Organised Crime Division

CPS

Rose Court

2 Southwark Bridge

London SE1 9HS

————————————————————————————————–

Gregor McGill

Head of Organised Crime Division

Crown Prosecution Service

Rose Court

2 Southwark Bridge

London SE1 9HS

OCDVRRandcomplaints@cps.gsi.gov.uk

19 August

Dear Mr McGill,

I have your letter of 16 August. I can assure you that I was very well aware of the relationship between the police and the CPS before I wrote to Mr Starmer.   I have been copying in the CPS and then eventually writing to the DPP only because these are wholly exceptional circumstances.  If the police were behaving honestly there would be no need for me to do so.

The exceptional circumstances are that we are in who shall guard the guards territory.  I have provided Operation Elveden with  categorical proof that Piers Morgan when editor of the Daily Mirror received information in circumstances which were illegal. That  proof is a letter from Morgan to the PCC in which he writes “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect…”.  You will find attached a facsimile of the letter showing the Mirror letter head  and the PCC date stamp on receiving it.  Have a look at that and then tell me with a straight face that there are no compelling grounds to investigate Morgan, the reporter who received the information (Jeff Edwards) and the police officer ( Det Supt Jeff Curtis)  who risibly failed to investigate my original complaint after promising he would do so.

Despite that exceptionally  strong  evidence Elveden have, as yet,  refused  to act.  In fact, until I wrote to Mr Starmer they were trying to fob my  complaint off in the crudest bureaucratic manner – see DI Daniel Smith’s letter to me of 13 June which is included below.  Only by copying in the DPP did I provoke any action by the police.

As for the MPS,  it is now almost a month since I was informed that they were investigating my complaint about Operation Elveden’s  refusal to investigate. I have not been contacted by those supposedly investigating the matter.   This suggests they will not be contacting me. That in  turn points to another whitewash.  A  failure to contact me  is, incidentally,  par for the course.  Despite my repeated requests to Operation Elveden  to be interviewed and to give a formal statement I have been granted the opportunity of neither.  That behaviour may be reasonably interpreted as guilty policemen not wanting to have to meet me and tell me to my face that a letter  from a Fleet Street editor in which he admits receiving information from the police in illicit circumstances is not grounds to investigate that editor.

Where the police are failing to do their duty there has to be a mechanism by which the they  can be brought to book for their misbehaviour.  It is no good telling me to make another complaint to the police because the police have shown themselves to be corrupt in this matter.  The DPP may not be able to order an investigation but he could certainly make representations to Operation Elveden  that my complaints should be investigated or have a word with the Met Commissioner.  The Attorney-General might also be brought into play in terms of applying pressure.

A failure to investigate serious crimes where there is such strong evidence must constitute both misconduct in a public office and an attempt to pervert the course of justice.  Because  Operation Elveden have refused to act on the evidence I have provided   the senior officers involved are also  guilty of these crimes.  Consequently, the police have a very strong vested interest in suppressing my complaint because it shows the Metropolitan Police is a shocking light and could (and should)  result in the prosecution of senior serving police officers.

There could also be a further reason for  not acting on my complaints. It is possible that either a senior police officer was  involved in the passing of the information to the Mirror or that the  officer was junior then but senior now.

The fact that this matter has not been investigated is a genuine scandal because it shows clearly that the Metropolitan  police cannot be trusted to act honestly when a complaint is made about someone who has genuine power and influence.

I ask you to meet me as soon as possible to discuss the matter.  If the DPP and his nominated  successor are willing to join the meeting so much the better.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

20 August 2013 [I only received this letter  on 9 Sept because the CPS failed to pay the postage on the letter].

Dear Mr Henderson,

Thank you for your email in response to Mr McGill’s letter of 16 August 2013.

As you acknowledge in your correspondence and indeed as referred to by Mr McGill in his letter to you, this matter is being dealt with by the MPS’ Department for Professional Standards.

Accordingly, I would invite you to direct any further correspondence regarding the handling of that complaint to the relevant contact at the MPS or DPS as appropriate,. Subsequent correspondence with the CPS concerning this matter will be filed without response.

Yours sincerely,

Emma- Jane Charles

Organised Crime Division

VRR Feedback and complaints

Crown Prosecution Service

Rose Court

2 Southwark Bridge

London SE1 9HS

OCDVRRandcomplaints@cps.gsi.gov.uk

 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Keir Starmer (DPP)

Rose Court

2 Southwark Bridge

London

SE1 9HS

Tel: 020 3357 0000

CC

Alison Saunders Chief Crown Prosecutor (London – CPS)

Gregor McGill (Head of Organised Crime Division CPS)

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Met Police Commissioner)

Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Sir Gerald Howarth MP

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

19 September 2013

Dear Mr Starmer,

As you will see from Emma-Jane Charles letter of 16 August  (copy  directly below) , the CPS is taking the position that no further correspondence will be entered into on this matter.  Most people would find that attitude extraordinary because I have brought to your attention the clearest possible case of an attempt to pervert the course of justice by the police by refusing to investigate serious crimes for which I have supplied the clearest and categorical evidence possible.

Ms James refers me to the “relevant contact at the MPS or DPS as appropriate”.  The problem with that is twofold: those at Operation Elveden have refused to meet me despite my repeated requests to do so.   Nor have I been contacted by the Department for Professional Standards (DRS).  I have requested the names, ranks  and contact details of those dealing with my case at the DRS from DI Daniel  Smith but he has failed to answer my request.

I cannot force you to act but you do need to ask yourself how your failure will appear if I manage to get the story up and running in the national media.

My reply has been delayed  because Ms James’ letter was sent without the postage being paid and consequently  I did not receive it until 9 Sept,  when I had to pay a postage due.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

From: Enquiries <enquiries@cps.gsi.gov.uk>
To: “‘anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk'” <anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk>
Sent: Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 9:15
Subject: FW: Operation Elveden – The remit of Operation Elveden and DCS Gordon Briggs

Dear Mr Henderson

 

Thank you for your email.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the police are separate authorities.  The CPS is responsible for reviewing and, where appropriate, prosecuting most criminal cases in England and Wales following an investigation by the police.  The CPS is also responsible for providing legal advice to the police about cases, although we cannot provide legal advice to members of the public. 

The CPS is not an investigative body and has no power to investigate allegations of crime.  Therefore, when a criminal offence has been committed, it should be reported to the police so that an appropriate course of action can be taken.

I note your concerns about the police, although I cannot comment on them.  If you wish to complain about the police you should contact the complaints and discipline department of the police force concerned.  You can also write to the Independent Police Complaints Commission at 90 High Holborn, London , WC1V 6BH .  Their telephone number is 08453 002 002.

I hope that this information is of assistance to you.

Yours sincerely,

 

Parliamentary and Complaints Unit (PCU)

Public Accountability and Inclusion Division

Crown Prosecution Service

Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS

www.cps.gov.uk

 

 


From: Magness Samantha
Sent: 30 September 2013 08:50
To: Enquiries
Subject: FW: Operation Elveden – The remit of Operation Elveden and DCS Gordon Briggs

 Dear enquiries, 

Please see the email below and attached from Mr Henderson. I have not acknowledged.

 Kind regards,

 

Samantha Magness

Private Secretary | Director of Public Prosecutions

Private Office | Crown Prosecution Service HQ

Rose Court | 2 Southwark Bridge | London | SE1 9HS

t: 020 3357 0884 | f: 020 3357 0902

e: www.cps.gov.uk 

See also https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/operation-elveden-piers-morgan-et-al-the-dpp-advised-of-elvedens-refusal-to-investigate/

Sorting out the mess after the Euro collapses

Robert Henderson

17 of the 28 EU states make up the Eurozone. If the Euro collapses 17 new national currencies will have to be established. A conversion rate for Euros to each re-established national currency will have to be agreed.   The weaker a country’s economy,  the less favourable the conversion rate.

That  will be painful for the weaker Eurozone economies, but it will be administratively relatively simple because the transaction can be made  bilateral,  just as the assimilation of the East German Ostmark into the Deutschmark was accomplished at the time of German re-unification, although this would be more complicated.

The bilateralism would  have to come through a system something like this:   the Euro coins and notes issued in each country’s name  and the Euro bank deposits of each country held at a certain date would be convertible only into the re-established national currency.  For example, this would mean that those holding Euros issued by France and Euros in French bank accounts  at a designated date,  would have their Euros converted to Francs at whatever the agreed rate was.

Unless such a system was adopted almost everyone holding  Euros would  demand that their Euros were converted to attractive currencies  such as a re-established Deutschmark rather than a new drachma or escudo, regardless of how attractive the conversion rates were for the weaker re-established Eurozone currencies.  This would happen because the weaker re-established currencies would be viewed by most as potentially worthless at worst and likely to devalue severely and quickly at best.  There would also be no guarantee that all the newly established currencies would be freely convertible.

The domestic administrative complications will be daunting enough,  but  they will be nothing compared to those that arise for  those holding the Euro as a reserve currency.  As the Euro is a supranational creation,  there can be no neat conversion of Euros held as a reserve currency to another currency as there was at German re-unification. Instead, each holder of Euros as a reserve currency would probably  have to receive a basket of currencies made up of all the 17 Eurozone’s new national currencies with the amounts  of each currency determined by some criterion such as the size of population of each Eurozone country. This would mean substantial losses for Euro reserve currency holders,  because most of the basket of 17 currencies they received to replace the Euros they held would be currencies which were weak and hence undesirable internationally.  Only the new Deutschmark would probably be considered genuine  reserve currency material.

In 2011  currencies held in reserve throughout the world amounted to about $10 trillion (http://www.investopedia.com/articles/economics/13/reserve-currencies.asp). The Euro makes up just under a quarter of that, say $2.4 trillion.  The effect of a Euro collapse would be massive, not just on the EU or even the developed world generally,  but on the entire world because the developing countries hold around two-thirds of the $10 trillion, much of which will be Euros.

The potential damage the collapse of  the Euro would wreak may be the primary explanation for the ruthless treatment of Eurozone countries such as Greece, Spain and Portugal in the struggle to maintain the Euro, although the contemptible desire of the EU elites  to save face at any cost  is  doubtless also in play.

A subsidiary problem is how  non-reserve currency holders of Euros (individuals, business, other corporate bodies) outside the Eurozone would be treated. It would scarcely be a practical proposition to hand them a basket of currencies like the reserve currency holders because the vast majority would be holding only a small or relatively small number of Euros. For those holding just coins and notes there would not be a problem because those notes and coins would be identifiable as having been issued by a particular state and could be converted at the agreed Euro/re-established currency of the particular country rate just as the notes and coins held by those living in Eurozone countries could be converted. Ditto any Euros held in banks in Eurozone countries regardless of the nationality of the holder or their place of residence, the state in which bank account is held being the determining factor.

But a  severe problem would arise with those holding Euros in bank accounts outside of the Eurozone. How those Euros could be allocated to any Eurozone member by any rational or objectively fair scheme  I frankly cannot see. I suspect that they might have to settle for either  a basket of  Eurozone re-established national currencies as the holders would do (impractical for small amounts) or whatever (almost certainly decidedly penal) conversion rate each ex-Eurozone member might be willing to offer.  For example, France might offer a better rate than Germany. The foreign holders of Euros in bank accounts   could of course  simply be cut adrift and lose the entire value of their Euros.

Then there is the problem of what to do with contracts drawn up in Euros. What value would be put on the Euro cost of the contract?  I suppose it might be dealt with by using the conversion  rate  of the Euro to each Eurozone ex-member’s  re-established currency  with the place where the contract was to be carried out  determining to which newly  re–established currency  the contract would be converted. Or perhaps the contract could be converted to another currency such as the US dollar or pound sterling with payment either being made in that currency (which the contracting party doing the paying  would have to purchase using their own currency or any other foreign currency reserves) or in a newly re-established national currency at whatever  the exchange rate  between  that currency and  what might be termed the third party currency was at a moment in time. For example, suppose the third party currency was the US dollar and the ex-Eurozone state was France.  Francs would have to be given to the value  of whatever the exchange value of the Franc against the dollar was,  either at ts value at a given date or at an agreed conversion value.

The potential mess is colossal. What if a newly established currency is simply too weak to be able to either buy sufficient of a currency such as the US dollar or to make payment  in a new re-established national currency because the exchange rate was so penal it made the completing of the contract impossible?  What if  the contractor who  is  to be paid refused to complete the contract because they had no faith in  the newly re-established national currency? What if a newly  re-established currency was not strong enough to be fully convertible?   The outcome could be very severe because of the potential for a large shrinkage of economic activity across a  healthy slice of the world’s economy. What will happen generally if the Euro collapses?  The stark  truth is that no one knows because there is no historical example of a currency union on the scale or type of the Eurozone  failing .  The nearest example is the Latin Currency Union which lasted from 1865-1927, but that was small beer compared to the  Eurozone ,based on precious metals and not involving a reserve currency. Nor of course was international trade and finance developed to anything like the extent  it is today.

The architects of the Euro, whether intentionally or not, have behaved with a criminal recklessness in venturing where no one had gone before.

A Diary of the Hutton Inquiry

It is ten years since the suspicious death of the British weapons expert Dr David Kelly who disagreed with the claims of the dossier used  by Tony Blair to justify committing the UK to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.  His death has never been satisfactorily explained. The journalist Andrew Gilligan, who was a central figure in the furore over the Blair dossier’s claim that Saddam Hussein could have nuclear weapons in the air within 45 minutes has looked back at the years since Kelly’s death in a recent article:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10192271/The-betrayal-of-Dr-David-Kelly-10-years-on.html

I wrote the diary  below day by day during the Hutton Inquiry.  Particularly noteworthy are these general matters:

1. The frequent contradiction of evidence.

2. The eagerness of Kelly’s wife and daughter to support the suicide theory.

3. The thinness of the suicide theory.

4 No  public  enquiry has every fingered a  serving  PM  as  being seriously at fault.  That alone told you the Hutton inquiry would be  a charade.   Hutton’s willingness to sell-the-pass on honest enquiry  was confirmed  when  he failed to recall Blair for  re-examination  in  the second  half  of  the  hearing.  The failure  to  publish  the  further submissions    confirms Hutton’s tacit complicity in protecting  Blair.

Robert Henderson 2 August 2013

=====================================

The Hutton Inquiry

Preliminary statement 1 8 2003

Lord Hutton opened the inquiry today, 1 August. He made a statement detailing  how  he  would proceed generally,  the  sequence  of  events leading  up to the inquiry and the detailed agenda of witness  hearing.

The main points are:

1. He and he alone will determine the way the inquiry is  conducted, citing Lord Scarman’s words in the 1974 Red lion disturbances inquiry.

2. He will hold public hearings except where national security prevents it.

3. A transcript of the   public hearings will be available to the public.

4. Lord Hutton delayed a decision on the issue of televising the proceedings until the inquiry reconvenes on 11 August.

5. Lord  Hutton  will allow cross-examination where  he deems it necessary.

6. Those called before the committee will be allowed to use legal representation.

7.  Lord  Hutton will call, amongst others,   Blair,  Straw,  Campbell, Hoon,  MoD civil servants,  BBC members including Gavin Davies  and  Dr Kelly’s widow to give evidence.

8. Lord Hutton has the post-mortem report compiled by a Dr Hunt.  This suggests  death was due to bleeding.  However,  it also  revealed  that Kelly  had  serious coronary disease and this may have  contributed  to the  speed of his death.  Intriguingly,  Kelly had four electrode  pads such  as  are  used  for  ECGs on his  chest  (I  have  ECGs  performed regularly. Occasionally the technician will forget to remove an odd pad but it is pretty rare.  Moreover,  if they do forget it is very obvious that they have done so – RH ).

9. Dr Kelly’s wrist was described as having several cuts and the watch had been taken after bleeding had begun. Dr Hunt, rather oddly, took this as an indication that it was suicide.

10. Lord Hutton will call both medical evidence on Dr Kelly’s physical state and psychiatric advice as to what his state of mind might have been.

11. Lord Hutton will seek details of what  religious tenets the Baha’i faith  might  have  which could have affected Dr  Kelly’s  attitude  to death.

12. Lord Hutton will consider submissions from anyone who thinks they have useful information to give. (This is my note taken directly from his broadcast address. RH)

-Note: I rang them today and attendance for the public is first come first served on the day. I know court 73. It is not large. There will be places reserved fro the  media, so public seats will be very limited.

No schedule of hearing dates is yet available.  RH

http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk

Hearing Dates

For public attendance enquiries, please contact the Hutton Inquiry team on 0207 855 5295 .

For Press attendance enquiries, please contact Mike Burrell on 0207 210 8692.

Unless otherwise noted all hearings will take place in Courtroom 73 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

At the opening of the Kelly Inquiry, Lord Hutton  stated that the four ECG electrode pads  found on Kelly’s chest had been placed there by the ambulance staff  who had attended the discovery of his body. They supposedly put them on the chest to allow them to test for any heart action.

So, we are asked to believe that it takes three weeks for this explanation to come to light  – surely the ambulance staff  would have come forward rapidly?  Moreover, would paramedics check for heart activity in this manner? Is it normal practice? Opinion in the main British ngs seems to be that it is within the competence of paramedics but not routine practice.  RH

Whose in for a grilling this week from the Hutton Inquiry ?

http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/

The inquiry does not sit on Fridays. Day 5 will be next Monday.  During WC 18 Aug  Alastair Campbell and Tom Kelly (No 10 spokesman  who called David Kelly a Walter Mitty) will appear. RH

THE INQUISITORIAL PHASE

WEEK  1

The Hutton Inquiry day 1 – 11  8 2003

At the opening of the Kelly Inquiry, Lord Hutton  stated that the four ECG electrode pads  found on Kelly’s chest had been placed there by the ambulance staff  who had attended the discovery of his body. They supposedly put them on the chest to allow them to test for any heart action.

So, we are asked to believe that it takes three weeks for this explanation to come to light  – surely the ambulance staff  would have come forward rapidly?  Moreover, would paramedics check for heart activity in this manner? Is it normal practice? Opinion in the main British ngs seems to be that it is within the competence of paramedics but not routine practice.

Two other important points.

(1) It was confirmed that  Kelly was a high level state employee who  was THE British expert in his field,  who had  top level  security clearance  and   who  worked  with the  security  services  of  various countries. Ergo, he had every reason both to know what the WMD evidence was and to have knowledge of intelligence service dissatisfaction with the dossier.

(2) he was a disappointed man who may well have felt moved to tell  the truth to Andrew Gilligan out of pique at what he saw was a lack  of official recognition. RH

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry day 2 – 12 9 2003

The BBC reporter, Andrew Gilligan, stood by his story that Kelly had raised  the subject of the dubious nature of some of  the  intelligence and the name of Campbell but admitted some of his language in one Today interview  was unfortunate – he  suggested that the government knew the 45-minute warning was wrong when it was merely dubious because it came from a single source.

The  Newsnight  reporter,   Susan  Watts,  also  gave  evidence   which supported Gilligan’s story in its main details,  the 45-minute  source, Campbell’s involvement etc.

Watts’ tape of her meeting with Kelly is to be broadcast to the Inquiry today. RH

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry day 3 – 13 9 2003

The main entertainment of the day was the Newsnight presenter Susan Watt’s  tape of a meeting she had had with Kelly. Unfortunately the tape was of poor quality  and even with technical enhancement was unclear in parts.

An  interesting  development  was   conflict  between  Watts  and   her employers  (the BBC).  The BBC had a transcript of the tape made  which Watts  was  not  satisfied with and she made  her  own  which  differed places  where she used “her recollection of the meeting”  to  “clarify” indistinct passages.

Watts  claimed that BBC management had tried to  pressurise her into massaging  her  story  to agree with Andrew  Gilligan’s   and  she  had refused   to   do  so.   (Interestingly,  Watts  has  her   own   legal representation at the hearing, reputedly paid for by the BBC).

Despite Watts claims about BBC management’s attempts to tailor her story, the odd thing was that the tape  essentially told the same story as Gilligan had told – Kelly is to heard saying that the British intelligence bods  are unhappy with the treatment of their material and that No 10 is the point at which it was  mistreated –  with the exception of claiming directly that Campbell had doctored the story.

Even here the difference is  less  than decisive.  On the tape Kelly is to  heard  saying  that  the NO 10 press  office  was  responsible  for altering  the dossier.  When Watts asks him if Campbell was involved, Kelly says he cannot say that but adds that  the No 10  press office is “Synonymous with Campbell” because he runs it.

Bizarrely,  Watts interprets  this as a clear statement  that  Campbell had  not  part  in altering the balance and tone of  the  dossier  with regard  to the 45-minute warning.  To  most people,  including me,  it looks  like a routine oblique finger-pointing at Campbell by  Kelly  “I can’t name him but nudge, nudge, wink, wink…”

Very odd behaviour by Watts, suggesting she had been got at by either the security services or NuLabcur.

The  question also has to be asked,  if the BBC did try to get  her  to massage  her  story,  why  on earth did  they  bother?  Her  story  and Gilligan’s  did not contradict one another in any fundamental  way  and her  tape   supported   Gilligan’s  on all the  major  points   of  his original story. RH

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry day 4 – 14 9 2003

The main interest  on day 4 was the involvement of the Government, MoD and by implication, the intelligence services, in exposing Kelly to public scrutiny.

The permanent under secretary at the MoD, Sir Kevin Tebbit, advised that Kelly appear only before the Commons Security and Intelligence committee – which meets in private – and not before the Foreign Affairs Committee which holds public hearings. He was overruled by Geoff Hoon, the Defence Minister.

Kelly  was  called to two internal MoD disciplinary  meetings.  At  the first  he  was “read the riot act” .  The second took  place  after  Blair wanted  a further examination of the  discrepancies  between Gilligan  and Kelly’s account of what was said.  Mr Velveteen’s  wishes were committed to paper in a letter from Sir David Omand,  the  Cabinet

Office  co-ordinator  of  intelligence.  At  the  disciplinary   second interview, Kelly was interviewed by the MoD head of personnel,  Richard Hatfield.

The head of the Joint Intelligence Committee , John Scarlett, wanted Kelly subjected to a “security-style” interview to “clarify” inconsistencies in Kelly’s remarks. This never took place. Kelly was told at his first disciplinary interview that if further details came out which contradicted his original story, he could face further disciplinary action. However, on 14 July, three days before Kelly’s death,  a friend of Kelly’s a  foreign office employee, Patrick Lamb,   phoned Kelly to assure him that his pension was safe and added “David, the worst is over. You have nothing to fear.

Kelly was receiving phone calls and emails from the MoD hierarchy right up to his death, including one from his line manager Brian Wells, after Kelly had gone for his final walk.   RH

Other Kelly news in the week:

The Kelly Inquest was resumed yesterday, 14 August, by the Oxfordshire coroner, Nicholas Gardiner, to hear medical evidence not available at the previous hearing.

An amended cause of death was submitted. This stated that Kelly’s death was from a  “massive haemorrhage”  from the left wrist, compounded by furred arteries, which Kelly probably did not know about. An overdose, but not a fatal one, of co-proxamol was found in his body.

One can understand that tests for drugs would take time, but why would death through massive haemorrhaging not have been immediately obvious from the post mortem?

Also, how likely is massive haemorrhaging likely to take place from a cut to a single wrist? RH

——————————————–

WEEK 2

Monday, 18 August

Pam Teare Ministry of Defence Press Office

Jonathan Powell Prime Minister’s Office

David Manning Prime Minister’s Office

Tuesday, 19 August

Alastair Campbell  Prime Minister’s Office

David Manning Prime Minister’s Office

Wednesday, 20 August

Sir Kevin Tebbit Ministry of Defence

Godric Smith Prime Minister’s Press Office

Tom Kelly Prime Minister’s Press Office

Thursday, 21 August

Donald Anderson MP Foreign Affairs Select Committee

Nick Rufford Sunday Times, journalist

James Blitz Financial Times, journalist

Richard Norton-Taylor Guardian, journalist

Tom Baldwin The Times, journalist

Lee Hughes Hutton Inquiry Secretariat

The Hutton Inquiry Day 5 –  18 8 2003

— Jonathan Powell, Blair’s  chief of staff appeared, Sir David Manning,  Blair’s chief foreign policy advisor and Pam Teare, MoD director of news, appeared.  Main points:

1.  Powell admitted no consideration was given to  the effect on  Kelly on being forced into the public fold – failure of an employer’s duty of care.

2. An email sent by Powell  before the  Sept 2002 dossier was published and referring to an earlier draft, ran: “The  document does nothing to demonstrate a threat, let alone an imminent threat from Saddam Hussein.

In other words it shows he has the means but it does not demonstrate he has the motive to attack his neighbours, let alone the West.”  Clear evidence that the original draft was altered to demonstrate a political point rather than an interpretation of the raw intelligence.

3. On Sept 5 2002 Alastair Campbell chaired a meeting of the Iraq Communications  Group.  Afterwards Powell emailed Campbell asking  what was going on. Campbell replied: “Re dossier, substantial rewrite,  with JS  [John  Scarlett,  chairman of JIC] and Julian M [Miller ,  head  of Cabinet  Office  Assessment staff] in charge…Structure  as  per  TB’s[Tony Blair’s] discussion.”

4. On July 7 2003 Balir  called a meeting of Sir David Manning, Sir Kevin Tebbit (MoD permanent Secretary), John Scarlett (chairman of Joint Intelligence Committee), Jack Straw (Foreign Secretary), Alistair Campbell, Jonathan Powell and others to discuss the matter.

5.Blair  was concerned about Kelly might say before the committee, ie that he would say something at odds with the official Government  line on the dossier –  Powell: “The Prime Minister asked what do we know of Dr Kelly’s views on weapons of mass destruction?” Kelly was probably only allowed to go to the FAC after Balir  had been reassured that Kelly was a supporter of the invasion.

6.  An email from Tom Kelly, the No 10 press spokesman,  was introduced to the evidence.  It read ”  It is now a game of chicken with the  BBC. The only way they will shift is if they see the screw tightening.”

7. Kelly reviewed the final draft of the Sept 2002 dossier with defence intelligence staff.

8. Powell admitted that Kelly’s identification to the media was done to disprove the BBC story. At the time  Blair and co.  were unaware of Kelly’s   deep  involvement in the intelligence side of the  dossier.

Because of this No 10 believed exposing Kelly would discredit  Gilligan as  Kelly could not possibly have known what the dossier  contained  or the  disputes which had arisen between the intelligence people  and  No 10.  If true,  it reveals an incredible ineptitude by Blair and co.  in not establishing Kelly’s true status and knowledge before throwing him to the media.

Further material:

From:  Jonathan Powell

Sent:  17 September 2002 19.41

To:  Scarlett John – SEC – A

Cc:  Alastair Campbell; David Manning

Subject:  Dossier

The  dossier  is good and convincing for those who are prepared  to  be convinced.  I have only three points,  none of which affect the way the document is drafted and presented.  First the document does nothing  to demonstrate a threat, let alone an imminent threat to Saddam.

In other words it shows he has the means but it does not demonstrate he has  the  motive to attack his neighbours let alone the west.  We  will need  to make it clear in launching the document that we do  not  claim that  we have evidence that he is an imminent threat.  The case we  are making  is that he has continued to develop WMD since 1998,  and is  in breach  of  the  UN resolutions. The  international  community  has  to enforce those resolutions if the UN is to be taken seriously. Second we will be asked about the connections with Al Que’ada.  (The next section is blanked out but seems to start with) The dossier says nothing  about those  and TB will need…?  ( it continues) Third,  if I was Saddam  I would take a party of western journalists to Ibn Sina factory or one of the  others  pictured in the document to demonstrate there  is  nothing there. How do we close off that avenue to him in advance.

———————-

Second email

———————-

From:  Jonathan Powell

Sent:  5 September 2002 14.41

To:  Alastair Campbell

Subject:  RE

what is the timing on preparation of it and publication? Will TB have something he can read on the plane to the US? —original message— From: Sandra Powell On Behalf Of Alastair Campbell

Sent:  5 September 2002 14.38

To:  Alastair Campbell

Subject:

Re dossier, substantial rewrite, with JS and Julian M in charge, which JS will take to US next Friday, and be in shape Monday thereafter.

Structure as per TB’s discussion. Agreement that there has to be real intelligence material in their presentation as such.

—original message—

From:  Jonathan Powell

Sent:  5 September 2002 13.50

To: Alastair Campbell

Subject:

( A blank section, then)

What did you decide on dossiers?

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry day 19 8 2003

The Inquiry  devoted  most the day to questioning  Alastair Campbell. Campbell’s performance can be summed up  as  er, didn’t see that… er can’t remember… er… if I’d known them what I know now… er… 1. References to dossiers in emails to Campbell, from Campbell, between other No 10 staff,  before a meeting  on 5 Sept 2002 between Campbell and various MoD and FO officials were, Campbell said, not references to drafts of the dossier but, wait for it, “documents”.

2.  At the meeting of 5 Sept 2002,  Campbell claims that it was decided to create a new dossier. Challenged by Lord Hutton – “It looks like a fairly detailed draft dossier [Mr Campbell]” – about his email to Jonathan Powell of 5 Sept that ran “Re dossier, substantial rewrite, with JS [John Scarlett, chairman of JIC] and Julian M [Miler, head of Cabinet  Office  Assessment staff] in charge…Structure  as  per  TB’s [Tony  Blair’s] discussion…”  Campbell replied “I don’t  recall  this document  forming a substantial part of our discussions [on  writing  a new dossier].  In other words, a an earlier draft dossier did exist and Campbell must have had sight of it.

3. Various emails relating to the early drafts of the dossier  were introduced into the evidence,  for example,  an email from David Pruce, an FO press officer working in no 10, called for the dossier to be “personalised” and concentrate on Saddam Hussein. In another mail to Philip Bassett, a special adviser in Downing Street, Pruce  wrote ” I think we are in a lot of trouble as this stands.” Campbell claimed that he had either not seen  the emails or they were disregarded because the people sending them were acting above their station.

4. A week before publication, Campbell asked the Joint Intelligence Committee for 15 changes to the re-written dossier.  The JIC accepted some and refused others. The question has to be asked, if intelligence is to be trusted, why should politicians and their creatures have any influence into its presentation?

5. Campbell admitted that it was in his interest for Kelly to have been identified.

6.  Campbell said that with out old friend hindsight things could have been handled better in presenting Kelly to the media.

7. Campbell claimed that Blair had told him to “stand back” from the question of what to do about Kelly after Kelly had admitted that he might be Gilligan’s source.

8.  An email from the BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan to a Lib Dem  member of  the  Foreign  Office  select  committee,  David  Chidgey,   MP  for Eastleigh,  has come to light.  This suggested that Chidgey  ask  Kelly certain  questions  when he appeared before  the  committee,  including Kelly’s assessment of the threat  from Iraq saying with Gilligan saying that  :   “If  [Kelly  is]  allowed  to  answer  frankly  it  will   be devastating.”  RH

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry Day 7  20 8 2003

No 10 mediafolk Tom Kelly and Godric Smith official (title: The Prime Ministers   Official  Spokesman)   and  Sir  Kevin  Tebbit,   permanent secretary at the MoD, provided the main entertainment of the day.

Tom Kelly

1. Kelly was the No 10 creature who called David Kelly a “Walter Mitty fantasist”.  Asked why he had described him so, Kelly said: “it was a mistake to be sucked into that conversation  in that climate.” Not ashamed or morally wrong, but simply an error of tactics. Kelly claimed he had been speaking off the record.

2. Asked if he was trying to plant an impression in journalists minds, Kelly said:” I wanted journalists to be aware of possible questions and issues from the government’s perspective.”

Godric Smith (Smith has already announced that he would be leaving No 10’s employment before the Kelly story broke).

1. Smith related how he had overheard a conversation between Alastair Campbell  and the defence secretary Geoff Hoon (on speaker phone) in which Campbell suggested that  “the news that an individual had come forward who could be  the possible source be given that evening  to one paper”.  This rather destroys Campbell’s claim in evidence yesterday that he had kept well away from the Kelly affair on Blair’s orders.

2. Asked why drafts of the Sept 2002 dossier had landed on the desks of relatively junior press officers when it was supposedly “owned” by the intelligence services, Smith said “It is not unknown fro drafts of documents to be circulated”.  Compare this with Campbell’s assertion that the oversight of the dossier was kept within senior advisors and civil servants.

Sir Kevin Tebbit

1. Tebbit confirmed that  Geoff Hoon had overridden his wish to keep away from the Foreign Affairs select committee. On being asked how he felt about it, Sir Kevin replied: ” I acquiesced. It’s perfectly reasonable for ministers to decide who appears before  committees, not for officials. That was the secretary of state’s prerogative and I accepted that.”

2. Tebbit advised ministers that Kelly should not be treated as a “windfall bonus”.

3. Lord Hutton asked why, after the Foreign Affairs committee had exonerated Campbell  of the charge of deliberately putting in false

evidence and the BBC  had accepted that Campbell had not done so,  that it  was necessary to expose Kelly to public view.  Sir  Kevin  replied: “The pressure and strain issue was not one we were aware of in the sense you are implying,” A clear failure of an employer’s duty of care.

4. Sir Kevin said that he had had no input into the dossier whatsoever, an amazing thing if true as he is in charge of the MoD.  Taking his statement as true, it means the dossier responsibility  was kept strictly within No 10 and the intelligence agencies.

Other news

Documents released by the Inquiry yesterday showed that Campbell had urged a change to the text of the “45-minute warning”, changing a “may” to an “are” in the original se text.  The change was ostensibly to ensure that the summary and the main text agreed in sentiment.  Compare this  with  his  claim  to  the  Inquiry  that  he  had  no   influence “whatsoever” in the wording of the claim of 45 minutes deployment.

The Foreign Affairs committee have also complained that Campbell only mention  11  of  his   15 suggested  changes to  the  dossier  when  he appeared before them. RH

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry days  8 – 22 August 2003

The main players were Donald Anderson, the chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) and a surprise witness, David Broucher, a British FO diplomat who is Britain’s permanent representative to the Conference of Disarmament in Geneva, an ambassador rank posting.

Donald Anderson

1. Anderson said that his instincts were against calling Kelly at all because he did not want to get involved in the dispute between the Government and the BBC. He agreed that  Kelly should appear after Blair and Campbell made it clear they were determined he should appear.

2. Anderson revealed that the Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon had imposed conditions on the questions David Kelly  could be asked if he appeared before the FAC. These included the issue of Iraq’s WMDs. Anderson said that he agreed to the request because he thought it reasonable and also feared Kelly would not be allowed to appear at all if he refused Hoon’s request.

3. Anderson claimed that the briefing of an FAC member (David Chidgey) by Gilligan was “unusual and unprecedented” (Chortle). 4. Anderson said that he though the interviewing of Kelly by the committee had been fair overall.

David Broucher

1.  Broucher  met David Kelly in February 2003 before the  decision  to go to war had been officially made. 2.  Broucher  said that at that meeting Kelly ,  far  from  being  100% behind the war as previously claimed,   was seriously disturbed by  the prospect of war.

3. Broucher said Kelly had been telling Iraqi contacts working for Saddam  Hussein that if  they persuaded Hussein  to cooperate  with the weapons inspectors then no invasion would take place. By February Kelly doubted this and feared he would had put his contacts at risk if and when an invasion occurred because Hussein would see them as traitors.

4. Just before the end of their meeting Broucher asked Kelly what he thought would happen if an invasion took place. Kelly replied ” I will probably be found dead in the woods”.  Broucher said he took it as a throwaway  remark  and  thought  little of it,  thinking  if  it  meant anything Kelly feared reprisals by Iraqis against him. Broucher did not mention  it to anyone else at the time,  and only revealed it  to  the Inquiry recently – see email at the bottom of the post.

Assuming Broucher is telling the truth, and there is no obvious reason why  he  should not be,  what are we to make of Kelly’s  statement?  It could  be  indicative  of   either a deep  feeling  of  pending   moral betrayal  by  Kelly  of  his Iraqi  contacts,  he  could,  as  Broucher surmised,  be  afraid of reprisals in the event of an invasion   or  it could simply be a flip remark without Kelly meaning anything serious by it.

If Kelly was in a  suicidal mood or feared for his life from Iraqi  before he became embroiled in the Gilligan affair, he both resisted the urge to kill himself and had the reassurance of not having been attacked for months after the invasion. The suicide and fear  would surely have been diminishing if they existed at all. So,  why would he kill himself in July after he had ostensibly got through the worst of whatever would happen to him? The answer may lie in the “dark actors”

Kelly referred to shortly before his death. Could he have been threatened  by  someone  representing the British state  or  a  foreign power?

Other points

The second  page of Gilligan’s email to LibDem MP David Chidgey   was released. It showed Gilligan trying to steer Chidgey away from Kelly as his source.

David Broucher’s memo to FCO

Text of ‘death in woods’ e-mail

This is the text of an e-mail sent by senior diplomat David Broucher to Patrick   Lamb,  deputy head of counter-proliferation  at  the  Foreign Office on 5 August,  2003, marked confidential and personal.

Patrick,

Is the FCO preparing evidence for the Hutton Inquiry? If so, I may have something relevant to contribute that I have been straining to recover from a  very deep memory hole.

In  a  conversation  in Geneva which took place in  late  February,  he explained to me that he thought that the weapons inspectors could  have a good idea what  the  Iraqis had built and destroyed because they were inveterate keepers of written  records, something they had, he thought, learnt  from  us.  There was a paper file on  everything  down  to  the smallest item.

He said that his Iraqi contacts had pointed out to him that revealing too  much  about their state of readiness might well heighten the  risk that they would be attacked. To gain their trust he had been obliged to assure them that if they  complied with the weapons inspectors’ demands they would not be.

The implication was that if an invasion went ahead that would make  him a liar and he would have betrayed his contacts,  some of whom might  be killed  as a  direct result of his actions.  I asked what would  happen then  and  he replied in a  throwaway line he would probably  be  found dead in the woods.

I did not think much of this at the time, taking it to be a hint that the Iraqis might try and take revenge against him,  something that  did not  seem  at  all  fanciful then.  I now see that  he  may  have  been thinking on rather different  lines.

This aspect has not come out at all in the press, though for all I know it  may  be common knowledge amongst his colleagues,  in which case  my contribution would add nothing. But if it is a new thought,  perhaps it should be fed in.

——————————————–

WEEK 3

The Hutton Inquiry day 9 –  25 August 2003

The  Joint  Intelligence  Committee  (JIC)  chairman,   John  Scarlett, provided  the  main event of the day.  Labour MP  Andrew  Mackinlay,  a Foreign  Affairs  Committee (FAC)  member,  and Sir David Omand  of  the cabinet office also appeared.

John Scarlett

Note:  Scarlett’s   evidence  should  be read  in  the  knowledge  that Alastair Campbell described him to the inquiry as “a mate”.   It should also be remembered that Scarlett is a senior civil servant. Such people do not rise to their positions unless they are thought to be compliant personalities  as  far as politicians are concerned.  The  Yes  Minster  portrayal  of   politicians being terrified of civil  servants  is  the exact reverse of the truth. (I write as an ex-head office civil servant in one of the largest departments). Newspaper reports also describe Scarlett as being very close to Blair and  being a “moderniser” within MI6 when he worked there.  (Moderniser = Blairite)

Scarlett’s approach to the Inquiry is essentially keep repeating the mantra “I was placed under no pressure by No 10” whilst conveniently forgetting evidence to contrary.

1.  Scarlett  denied  feeling any pressure from No  10  to  alter   the wording of the Sept 2002 dossier.

2.  The Inquiry’s chief counsel,  James Dingemans QC,  referred  to  an email  sent  by  an (unnamed) member of  Scarlett’s  staff  which  ran: “Unsurprisingly, they [No10] have further questions and answers they want expanded… No 10 wants the document to be as strong as possible…”   Scarlett denied that this was pressure on intelligence services to come up with  something good.

3. Scarlett claimed he found it “quite useful to have presentational advice” from various Whitehall press officers such as John Williams, head of the FCO press office.

4. Alastair Campbell has told the inquiry that with regard to the 45 minute WMD claim,   he had “No input, output  or influence at any stage of the process” . Scarlett contradicted this by admitting that a memo from Campbell on 17 Sept 2003 – seven days  before the dossier was published – amounted to requests for changes such as changing the use may  in the sentence “the Iraqi military may be able to deploy chemical or biological weapons with 45 minutes”. Scarlett  replied the next day to Campbell saying the language had been “tightened”.  Scarlett denied that such changes were more than presentational and fell into the realm of intelligence assessment.

5.  Scarlett received several more emails from Campbell with further suggestions. 6. The 45 minute claim first appeared in an intelligence assessment from MI6 on 30 August and appeared first in dossier in the draft of 5 Sept 2003, ie before Alastair Campbell denies seeing any form of the dossier.

7. In the published dossier the 45-minute claim was unqualified stating that the Iraqi military “are able to deploy chemical and biological weapons with 45 minutes of an order to do so.”

8. Scarlett denied that there had been any dissent  within “the intelligence community” over the dossier  despite the claim by a former JIC head, Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, that the dossier had caused “turbulence” within intelligence circles.

9. During his questioning, reference was made to a Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) meeting to discuss the strong terms in which an early draft was  couched.   David Kelly attended that meeting  which  supports  his claim to have inside and detailed knowledge of the dossier  development and the opinion of intelligence officers of the dossier and the way  it was being changed.   Kelly;s involvement at such a high level conflicts with Scarlett’s  claim that Kelly could not have given the information Gilligan claims he gave.

Andrew MacKinlay

1. Mackinlay  was the MP who described Kelly as “chaff” at his  FAC appearance.

2.  MacKinlay defended  his  aggressive FAC questioning  because  Kelly was prevaricating.

3.  MacKinlay described Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon’s  restriction  on what could be asked of Kelly  by the FAC as ” monumental cheek”.

4. He criticised Gilligan’s contact with a FAC member to influence him in his questioning of Kelly.

Sir David Omand

1. Omand revealed that Geoff Hoon had originally wanted Kelly to appear before the Commons  security and intelligence committee in public session, a procedure absolutely out of the ordinary for this committee which almost invariably sits in camera.

2. Omand admitted that the MoD owed Kelly a duty of care as their employee.

What has the Inquiry shown so far?

1.  The complete absence of cabinet involvement in either  the  dossier

or

the Kelly affair before his death.

2. Blair’s utter reliance on an unelected circle of favourites.

3. No  obvious trigger for Kelly to kill himself has emerged.

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry day 10 – 27 8 2003

The Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon provided the main entertainment of the day.  Having  arrived  to a crowd of demonstrators  outside  the  Royal Courts of Justice singing “You ain’t nothing but a Hoondog,  lyin’  all the  time”,   Hoon  proceeded  to  unwittingly  engage  in   the   most excoriating  exercise in self humiliation as he comprehensively  denied having  any  meaningful  function within either the Government  or  the ministry of which he is supposed to be in  charge.  His performance can be summed up as “I am a British cabinet minister… I know nothing”.

Others to appear were  a friend and work colleague, Wing-Commander John Clark and a Labour MP, Ann Taylor, who is a member of the Commons Intelligence and Security committee to which David Kelly gave evidence in camera.

Geoff Hoon

1. Hoon said that he had first learned of Kelly’s name on 4 July from Sir Kevin Tebbit, permanent secretary at the MoD.

2. Hoon claimed that he had not wanted to name Kelly before it was certain that he was the BBC source and that was not certain until after Kelly’s death.

3. Hoon said that the only person outside government to whom he had revealed the name was the chairman of the BBC,  Gavyn Davies, and that revelation was

4. Hoon denied he was involved in a proposal by Alastair Campbell to leak  Kelly’s name to the media. Godric Smith gave evidence that he had overheard  a conversation on speakerphone between Campbell  and Hoon in which Campbell suggested leaking to a paper.

5. Hoon denied he had been involved in  the MoD decision to interview Kelly after he had admitted talking to Gilligan.

6. Hoon claimed that the decision to issue a public statement revealing that an unnamed civil servant had been identified as the BBC source was made in Downing St and the Cabinet Office.

7. Hoon denied that as far as he was concerned, “there was some sort of conspiracy, some sort of plan, some sort of plan to covertly make his [Kelly’s] name known [to the media]”.

8. Hoon claimed that he had not seen the instructions issued to MoD press  officers   instructing them to confirm a name if it was  put  to them by the media,  although under questioning  he admitted knowing  of its existence; “I was obviously aware of the advice that I had received that  if the right name was given to the MoD press office  they  should confirm it”.

9. Hoon admitted he had overridden the advice of the MoD permanent secretary, Sir Kevin Tebbit, that Kelly should not give evidence in public before the Foreign Affairs Committee, but, bizarrely, tried to evade responsibility by saying that his private secretary. Peter Watkins,  had written the letter overruling Tebbit, not Hoon himself.

John Clark

1. Clark shared an office with Kelly at the MoD. He is an expert in counter  proliferation and arms control.  He described Kelly  as  being THE EXPERT when it came to understanding Iraq’s WMD status.

2. Clark said  that Kelly  had not, as Downing Street and the MoD claimed, resigned to his name being made public.

3. Clark said that Kelly was much disturbed by having to appear before TV cameras.

4. Clark said that the Kelly’s were  greatly unsettled by  the media attention which forced them to flee to Cornwall.

5. Clark said that even after Kelly’s  appearances before the Commons committees, he [Clark] and other MoD officials were forced to harry

Kelly  with further questions  sent to them by the Foreign Affairs Committee.

6. Clark said that Kelly was utterly thrown by the FAC question about the Newsnight  journalist, Susan Watts, because he had not expected her name to come up.

Ann Taylor

1. Taylor said that in evidence given in camera to the Intelligence and Security Select Committee, “He [Kelly] did describe the dossier as accurate  – as a fair reflection of the intelligence available at the time.” RH

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry day 11 –  28 8 2003

The appearance of  Tony Blair and  Gavyn Davies (BBC Chairman)

Tony Blair

Balir arrived with his usual small  army of bodyguards in a bullet-proof car (very wise) and passed a group of demonstrators with a tasteful array of Blair  masks with Pinocchio noses and BLIAR placards.

His evidence is best  summed  up as  “I take full responsibility for everything  but none of it was my fault. ”

1. Blair gave evidence for two and a half hours.  His answers showed he had been intimately involved in the strategy to deal with the Kelly affair after Kelly admitted he had spoken to Andrew Gilligan – Blair convened at least 3 meetings   in four days of senior defence and intelligence staff to deal with the matter.   Compare this with http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=438133

“Just over five weeks ago, on learning of Dr Kelly’s apparent suicide during  an  official  flight  from Shanghai to  Hong  Kong,  the  Prime Minister had  “categorically” and “emphatically” denied he had played a part in revealing  the scientist’s name…

“But the Prime Minister, under questioning, conceded that no one was even  present from the MoD at a crucial meeting on 8 July, chaired by him, in which the decision was taken to issue a statement about a civil servant  coming forward as Mr Gilligan’s contact. He also acknowledged there was no such thing as “normal MoD procedure” in this unusual situation.”

2. Bizarrely, Blair claimed that the MoD had been left in charge of dealing  with  Kelly  while  admitting  that  he  had  been  intimately involved.

3. Blair claimed that Kelly’s name would have come out regardless. This is nonsense. Had Kelly kept quiet, Gilligan would have done and nothing could have been established. Had the MoD and No 10 kept quiet after Kelly came forward (I have my doubts whether he did this – I suspect he was  already  under  surveillance and  suspicion  by  Special  Branch), Gilligan  would  have kept quiet and no one outside  Government   would have known Kelly was involved.

4. Blair said the Sept 2002 dossier was produced after he had spoken with Bush about Iraq and they had decided “something must be done”.

5. Blair had the same  memory lapses as Campbell, Hoon et al. He had no recollection of seeing any draft dossier before  10 Sept. He had no recollection of John Scarlett (JIC chairman) wanting Kelly to be subjected to a “security interview”. He had no knowledge of any scheme to leak Kelly’s name to the media. In fact he could remember precious little of anything which happened.

6. Blair denied categorically that he or anyone else in NO10 had inserted the “45 minutes” notice of biological and chemical attack into the Sept 2002 dossier.

7. Blair said that if the charge of tampering with intelligence, in particular the 45-minute charge,  to justify action against Iraq  had been true he would have had to resign because it was “an attack that went to the heart of the office of prime minister, but also …to the credibility of the country.” (Note to  Mr Velveteen: you must resign immediately because this has been objectively  established).

8. Blair claimed the  dossier did not make the case for war but merely laid out the then position regarding Iraq’s WMDs.

9.  On  four  occasions Blair he said  he  took  “full  responsibility” without saying what it was exactly he took full responsibility for, but claimed  that all the decisions  he was responsible for were the  right decisions:  “I take full responsibility for the decisions…I stand  by them; I believe they were the right decisions.” (I suggest readers have a quick lie down after reading that).

10. Blair admitted he was the first person to  tell someone in Government that  a  source had come forward when he spoke to Gavyn  Davies.  Blair said that he felt that the only way to resolve the dispute with the BBC was for the BBC to issue “a clear and unequivocal# statement that the original story was wrong.

11. Blair was disconcerted by an email sent by Godric Smith, his official spokesmen, to his private secretary, Clare Sumner on 9 July, the day after the MoD had announced it had identified the possible source of Gilligan’s story. . Miss Sumner claimed that she had not opened the email until w/c 18 Aug. The purpose of the email appeared to be to instruct Labour members of the FAC to insist  David Kelly appeared. The text of the email runs:

“In the light of the new evidence from the MoD last night and the BBC’s own statement in response we believe we need to see AG [Andrew Gilligan], RS [Richard Sambrook, the BBC news chief] and source.

“If the individual who has come forward is the same source as the BBC source then we know he is not a senior intelligence source, which we believe could be material to our inquiry.

“”AG  said in answer to John Maples [a tory on the committee]  that  he had  only discussed the WMD dossier with one source before   the  story was  broadcast.  We  now  know from the MoD  statement  that,  if  this individual  is not the source,  that statement cannot be correct.  This too could be material to our inquiry.”

There  was  no indication on the email to whom it had been  sent  apart from Miss Sumner,  but the wording is clearly intended to give the  FAC reasons to call Kelly. Blair denied any knowledge of the  email.

Gavyn Davies

1. Davies apologised for the conduct of Andrew Gilligan in suggesting questions to a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.  The matter  is to be referred to the BBC board of governors.

2. Davies said it was wrong for a journalist to reveal a source of another  journalist’s  work  as  Gilligan  appeared  to  have  done  by revealing Kelly’s link with Susan Watts, the BBC Newsnight presenter, in his email to  a Lib Dem research assistant  who passed the information to Lib Dem MP, David Chidgey. Davies offered a partial excuse for Gilligan’s behaviour by saying that Gilligan was under great pressure and thought the  FAC was trying to discredit him as a journalist.

3. Davies blamed Alastair Campbell for keeping the story running and expanding it with his belligerent appearance before the FAC.

4. Describing his phone call with Blair on 7 July, Davies said that Blair wanted to come to an agreement with the BBC to lower the temperature. This did not happen because the BBC stood by Gilligan.

5. Davies said it was reasonable for the BBC to report a source who was trusted on the basis that it was simply their opinion and not that of the BBC.

6. Davies accepted that Gilligan had made a mistake in his first broadcast  of 29 May when he claimed that the Government  had  inserted the  45-minute claim into the dossier.  Asked by Lord Hutton   why  the BBC had not offered a qualified withdrawal,  Davies replied that it was up to people to make their assessment of what was said.

7. Davies said that Gilligan reporting style was one written in primary colours not in shades of grey.

8. Davies did make a reasonably convincing display of regret at Kelly’s death, unlike anyone on the NuLabcur side to date. RH

——————————————–

WEEK 4

The Hutton Inquiry – Day 12 – 1 9 2003

The  day  was  taken up by David Kelly’s widow,  Janice,  58,  daughter Rachel  and sister,  Mrs Sarah Pope.   Mrs Kelly and Rachel gave  their evidence via audiolink.

Janice Kelly

I.  Mrs Kelly said that it was part of her husband’s job to talk to the media.

2.   Mrs Kelly noticed a change in her husband’s behaviour towards  the end   June – the same time when he began to suspect people  thought  he was  Gilligan’s source.  (It is worth noting that  Kelly’s   subsequent claim  that Gilligan’s report bore little relationship to what  he  had told him  sits ill with the suspicion that he was being fingered as the source.  After all, if he had merely given Gilligan innocuous technical information,  why would Kelly have been suspected or thought himself to be suspected?).  Eventually,  Kelly told his wife  one evening that  he was going for a walk to “think something through”.  Soon after he  made his admission to the MoD.

3.   Mrs Kelly contradicted the claim put out by both No 10,  Blair and the MOD,  that Kelly expected to identified. According to Mrs Kelly the first  he suspected it was when he heard on the TV news of 8 July  that the  MoD  had  admitted that someone had  come  forward  as  Gilligan’s source.   Kelly told his wife at that point that he was the person  who had come forward.

Mrs Kelly asked whether his job or pension were threatened.  Kelly said they could be if things got worse. Note:  Kelly was told before he died that his pension was safe.

4.   On 9 July,  a Sunday Times journalist Nick Rufford  visited  their home.   He  spent  four or five minutes with Kelly  before  Kelly  said “Please leave now”.  Kelly then told his wife that Rufford had told him his name was about to be made public and the media would be  on the way en  masse.    Kelly   then  said  Rupert  Murdoch  had  offered   hotel accommodation   for the Kellys away from the then media if Kelly  would write  an  article for them.  Rufford subsequently wrote up  his  brief meeting with Kelly as a full blown interview.  Kelly commented: “Thanks Nick,  the  MoD will think I have been talking to the  papers  after  I expressly said I wouldn’t.”

5. Mrs Kelly said that the first Kelly had known of his name being made public was when Rufford  told him.   The first he knew of the MoD press statement was after the event.

6.  The MoD then rang and told them to leave in five minutes. They left within ten minutes and went to a hotel in Weston-Super-Mare. At no time did the MoD provide them with any active support.

7.   Mrs Kelly said that her husband had felt “let down”:  “He told  me several times that he felt totally let down and betrayed … by the way the  MoD  had  let his name be known.”  Note:  we  know  from  previous evidence   that the MoD  wanted to keep Kelly’s name out the media  but were overridden by No  Blair.

8.  Mrs Kelly described how, after Kelly’s name came out,   he appeared more and more unhappy and “diminished”. He was not only angry about his “outing”  by the MoD but regarded his description  as a middle  ranking civil servant as demeaning.

9.  Mrs Kelly said that on the day of his death,  17 July,  David Kelly worked  in  study  until the early afternoon.  Mrs Kelly  said  he  was subdued  and looked “wretched”…I just thought he had a broken heart ,  he  had  shrunken  into  himself.    He  couldn’t  put  two  sentences together”.

Note: I wonder if I am alone in finding the evidence of Mrs Kelly and her daughter a little Mills and Boonish?

10.  The police informed her of Kelly’s death on the 18 July and showed her  a photocopy of a knife which she identified as an old  Boy  Scouts knife he had had since childhood.

Rachel Kelly

1.  Rachel  said  that  her  father  was  “really  very,  very   deeply traumatised by the fact that [it] would be televised. It was playing onhis  mind.”    When he arrived at her house the day before he  appeared the  Commons committee  she could “see in his face [that] there  was  a lot of distress and anxiety…  he seemed childlike and I was conscious that our roles had reversed, he needed me to look after him.”

2.  Rachel said that when she saw her father  on 15 July soon after  he had  given his evidence to the Commons Foreign Affairs (FAC)  Committee he  was  angry at his treatment describing one of the  MPs  –  probably Andrew MacKinlay who accused him of being a “fall guy” and “chaff” – as “an utter bastard”  for the manner in which he had asked his questions. All  he would say generally about the experience was that it was  “very hard”   and blame himself for memory failures.

3.  Rachel said  that  her father  expressed incredulity at  Gilligan’s report being based on what he had told him. Here we know, from the tape made by the Newsnight reporter, Susan Watts,  that Kelly lied,  just as he  lied to the FAC.   Doubtless he was trying  to create a  protective fictional shell to protect himself, both emotionally and to sustain the story he had told since his admission to his MoD line manager onwards.

3. Rachel described how her father had been rather thrown by the change in his schedule in the Commons.  He was scheduled to appear before  the Intelligence  and  Security  committee (ISC) in camera  before  the  FAC public hearing and had hoped to use the ISC appearance as a dry run for the FAC.  In the event the ISC meeting was put back until the following day  and  Kelly had to go before the cameras with the FAC  without  any “practise”.

Sarah Pope

1.  Mrs Pope said  that David Kelly had,  a  ten years or so after  the event,   given  her  some  sketchy  details  of  his  debriefing  of  a biological weapons expert,  a task Mrs Pope suggested which would  only have been given to someone who was absolutely trusted.

2.   Mrs  Pope pointed to  a possible discrepancy between  the  British Diplomat, David Broucher’s recollection of his meeting with David Kelly at which he said Kelly had claimed that if the Iraq invasion went ahead he would be found dead in the woods. Broucher put this in February 2000.  Mrs Pope said that David Kelly’s diary put it a year earlier.

Further notes

1.  The painkillers found by Kelly were Mrs Kelly’s which she used  for her arthritis.

2.  Judging by a photograph published in the Daily Telegraph on 2 Sept, the  Kellys  own  a substantial detached house.  The  house  is  in  an expensive  area. It must be worth 500,000 plus. Hence, the Kellys were not without assets.

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry – Day 13 – 2 9 2003

A  medley of witnesses,  the main among them being Prof  Keith  Hawton, Professor of Psychiatry at Oxford University, Ruth Absolom, a neighbour who met him on his final walk,  Louise Holmes,  a volunteer dog handler in  the  local search and rescue team who found Kelly’s body,  Det  Sgt Geoffrey Webb of Thames Valley Police and Barney  Leith,  the secretary of the emanational Assembly of the Baha’i faith (in Britain).

Prof Keith Hawton

Note:  The kindest and most accurate  description of psychiatry is that it  is  institutionalised quackery.  As the psychologist  Hans  Eysenck never ceased to enjoy pointing out,  psychiatric treatment has no better record  in  curing  those with psychiatric  problems  than  the  simple passing of time,  ie, the evidence is that psychiatrists have no effect and  their claims of cures and alleviations are simply attributable  to the natural process of circumstances changing over time.

1.  Hawton claimed that Kelly’s death was almost certainly suicide:  “I am well-nigh certain.”

2.  Hawton believed the trigger for suicide was Kelly’s  sense of being publicly disgraced,  his fear of losing his job (he was very near civil service   retirement  age)  and the continuing pressure  he  was  being placed  under by the MoD to answer questions,  including  questions  by MPs.   On the day he vanished, he received an email from the MoD asking for  further  information  to answer a question from  the  Tory  Shadow Defence spokesman, Bernard Jenkin, about his links with the media.  Ask by counsel to the inquiry,  James Dingemans,    to describe the factors leading  to his death,  Hawton said: “The major factor was  the  severe loss  of self-esteem  resulting from his feeling that people  had  lost trust in him  and from his dismay at being exposed to the media.”

3.  Hawton said that Kelly had swallowed approximately  30  co-proxamol painkilling  tablets.

Note:  These are meant to his wife’s.  How many tablets did she normally have,  how many were left in the bottle  found by him  and how many would the bottle hold?

4. Hawton said a majority of suicides did not leave a suicide note.

5.  Hawton  claimed  that  a lay person would not  have  been  able  to anticipate Kelly’s suicide from his behaviour.

6. Faced with evidence such as Kelly’s arrangement with his daughter to meet  her on the 18 July and an emails sent at 11.18 am on the  day  of his disappearance which expressed optimism for the future,  Hawton said this pointed to Kelly’s decision to kill himself came late in the  day: “It is my opinion that it is likely that he formed the intention  either during  the morning,  or during the early part of the afternoon  before that walk.”   Dontcha just love the way psychiatrists fit the facts  to

their opinion?

Ruth Absolom

1. Absolom is the last  person known to have seen Kelly alive.

2. Absolom described Kelly as “his normal self”.

3.  “See  you again,  then Ruth”.  The last words of Kelly as  he  bade Absolom goodbye.

Louise Holmes

1.  Holmes said that her dog discovered Kelly shortly after 8am on the day  after his disappearance.   Note: This means the  paradmedics  must have seen Kelly’s body some time later. It is odds on that Kelly  would have killed himself before dark the previous day. If so,  he would have been  dead  for 12 hours or more by the time the  paramedics  saw  him.

Rigor mortis would have begun to set in. Why did the paramedics not see that he was obviously dead and put the ECG pads on him,  if indeed they did?

2. Holmes approached the body until she “stood within a few feet of the body…  He  was  at the base of a tree  with almost his  head  on  his shoulders,  just slumped back against the tree.  His legs were straight in front of his, his right arm was to the side of him, his left arm had a lot of blood on it and was bent back in a funny position.”

Note:  why the “funny” position?

3.  Holmes said that she was convinced the body was Kelly’s and that he was dead.

Note: compare this with the paramedics behaviour.

4.  Holmes checked for signs of life,  found none and the went back  to raise the alarm.  She estimates her time at the scene of death to  have been “probably a couple of minutes”.

5.  A  subsequent  police  search of the scene  revealed  a  flat  cap, glasses,  a wristwatch, a scout knife and a bottle of painkillers.  The police said there was no sign of a struggle.

Det Sgt Geoffrey Webb

1.  Webb interviewed the Kelly family before the body was found.:  “The Kelly family were very upbeat at that time.  They were hopeful that  no harm  had  come to Kelly  and genuinely believed that  perhaps  he  had become ill somewhere.”

Note:  compare this with the evidence yesterday

of Mrs Kelly and Rachel Kelly that David Kelly had been most  disturbed in the days leading up to his death.

2.  Webb told the Inquiry that a photograph dated to 1993 of  Dr  Kelly outside  the  parliament building in Moscow standing with  someone  who looked very like Andrew Gilligan was removed from Kelly’s study.

Note: if  it is Gilligan,  it would mean both Kelly and Gilligan  were  lying about how long they have known one another.  The BBC issued a statement on  Gilligan’s behalf (2 Sept)  saying that Gilligan had never been  in Moscow. No denial from Gilligan himself.

Barney Leith

1.  Leith  said that there was nothing in the Baha’i faith to encourage suicide.

Other notes

1.  Kelly was authorised to speak to the media but in theory only  with official permission.

2.   Kelly  began  “using  his  discretion”   to  speak  without  prior permission,  with the unofficial agreement of his bosses.  According to a  letter from one of Kelly’s line bosses, Patrick Lamb,  this  worked well until the past year, with Dr Kelly telling the Foreign Office (FO) press office about his   contacts after the event. By the beginning  of 2003  Kelly began talking to journalists without telling the  FO.   The MoD also complained that they were not in the picture.

3.  Kelly was only supposed to give technical information or  objective details about individuals engaged in the WMD world, ie,  what their job was.  Section  6  of  the  MoD personnel  manual,  under  the  heading “Principles governing disclosure of information” the manual states “You must  not  comment  on,  or  make  disclosure  of:  classified  or  ‘in confidence’   information;   relations  between  civil   servants   and ministers,  and  advice given to ministers,  politically  controversial issues…information that would conflict with MoD inter-state or  bring the  Civil Service into disrepute…anything that the MoD would  regard as objectionable about individuals or organisation.”  As the  Newsnight reporter, Susan Watt’s tape showed, Kelly had gone way beyond this.

4.  It follows from 3. that Kelly  clearly lied to his superiors in the MoD, the two Commons Committees he gave evidence to and his family.  It also  explains  why he was so disturbed the Foreign  Affairs  Committee member,  Andrew MacKinlay,  pressing him on his other contacts with the media.

5.  Kelly  denial of meeting another journalist,  Gavin  Hewitt,   also comes into the category of a lie.

6.  Kelly was receiving no medication from his GP,  who had very little contact with him in the past few years. No history of depression.

7.  An  unopened  letter  from the MoD’s  head  of  Personnel,  Richard Hatfield containing an official reprimand was found in Kelly’s home. It was sent some days before Kelly’s death. The police opened the letter.

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry – Day 14 – 3 9 2003

The  Inquiry  heard  evidence from Brian Jones,  the  recently  retired assistant  director  (nuclear,  chemical  biological)  in  the  Defence Analysis staff and a Mr A (The names A,  James A).  a chemical  weapons analyst  who  was  to chemical weapons what  Kelly  was  to  biological weapons.

Brian Jones

1. Jones said that David Kelly provided expert advice to his staff. He, Jones, had a friendly relationship with Kelly.

2.  Jones  said that the term WMD had become a  “convenient  catch-all” and that it was difficult describe most chemical and biological weapons were dubiously described as such.

3. Jones described disquiet within  his staff and other people involved in  intelligence gathering at the  way  the information supplied to  No

10   had  been  used.   He  described  the  use  of  the  material   as “over-egging”, ie the material was not invented but overemphasised.  As a regular visitor to the department, Kelly was aware of the disquiet.

4.  Jones said that reservations amongst his staff were not  heeded  by the JIC and left out of the dossier.   Jones said of   Mr A (see below) that    “He  was  very concerned that some of  the  statements  in  the dossier did not accurately represent his assessment of the intelligence available to him.”

5. Jones was so concerned at this failure to accept expert opinion that he  wrote  a  formal memo to the MoD’s  Defence   Intelligence  Service putting his disquiet on the record.

6.  Jones  contradicted  Alastair Campbell’s claim  that  he  had  only suggested presentational changes to the dossier.   He  said some of the changes  suggested by Campbell to John Scarlett,  the chairman  of  the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC),  such as the  successful request to strengthen  the  word  “may”  in the  45-minute  claim,  were  normally discussed  between intelligence staff:  “These are the kind  of  things which  we spend  hours  debating.  They are  very  important  in  this business.  The use of a might or a may does convey some uncertainty  in the information you are trying to present.”

7. Jones said that when he went on holiday in 2002  work on the dossier lacked urgency.  When he returned from  holiday on 30/8/02 he found the mood  had changed and it was all hands to the dossier wheel.  “”One  of the  first  things  that  my staff told me was  that  the  dossier  had suddenly become very active and that they had been very busy working on it,  looking at several drafts and responding to drafts in a very short timescale. It really had dominated their workload.”

8.  Jones said that Kelly was one of the first people he  saw  when  he returned from holiday. He asked Kelly his opinion of the dossier. Kelly said he “thought it was good”.

9.  Asked by James Dingemans, chief counsel to the inquiry, whether the extra  workload  had causes complaint amongst  his staff,  Jones  said: “There  was  certainly higher pressure than we normally relate  to  any particular  single piece of work.  My staff were being pressed  to  get their comments back to the assessment staff very quickly indeed.”

10.   Jones  said  neither  he  nor  his  director  had  seen  the  new intelligence  which  supposedly  backed up  the claim   that  Iraq  was producing  chemical and biological weapons.

11.   Jones said the 45-minute claim would have been acceptable to  him with the qualification “intelligence indicates”.

The  executive  summary  to the dossier said  that   the  weapons  “are deployable”. Jones  thought that was  “too strong.”

12.  Jones said he was aware that people within No 10’s  communications department were making suggestions about the dossier. Under  questioning  by Mr Dingemans, admitted that  pressure  had  been brought to bear by No 10.

13. Jones said that to the best of his knowledge the final draft of the dossier had not been discussed by the JIC.

Mr A

1. Mr A said he was a friend of Kelly.

2.  When he read the draft dossier  for the first time Mr A  concluded:  “There were errors of detail and errors of emphasis in my view.”

3.  Mr A was most disturbed by the inclusion of a chemical plant at  Al Qa’Qa which he did not view as a WMD threat.   Mr A was so disturbed by this  inclusion  that  he emailed Kelley on Sept,  the  day  after  the publication of the dossier saying”:  You will recall [blank – who  he?] admitting they were grasping at straws.  Another example supporting our view   that you and I should have been more involved in this  than  the spin  merchants  of this administration. Let’s hope  it  [the  dossier] turns into tomorrow’s chip wrappers.”

Further points

The  evidence  of  Jones and Mr A are utterly at odds with  the  No  10 version  of disquiet over the use of intelligence.    Blair  and  Straw before  the Foreign Affairs committee (FAC)  have denied  categorically that  they  were  aware of any dissent  from  within  the  intelligence services,   while   Alastair Campbell  told the FAC that   “I  remember being  called  out of a breakfast with the Prime  Minister  and  Polish prime  minister  because  I  had to speak  to  John  Scarlett  just  to absolutely  double/triple  check  there was nothing in  this  idea  the intelligence  agencies  were somehow unhappy with the  way  we  behaved during  the thing.  John said,  ‘Absolutely.  It is complete and  utter nonsense and you can say that with my  authority.'”

Scarlett  told  the   Inquiry a week later:  “I was not  aware  of  any unhappiness within the intelligence community about the contents of the dossier and the judgments we were making in it.”

However,  such denials are a little difficult to square with John Reid, the  then leader of the Commons, saying earlier this year that   “there have been uncorroborated briefings by a potentially rogue element –  or indeed  rogue  elements – in the intelligence services…  “I  find  it difficult to grasp why this should be believed against the word of  theBritish  Prime  Minister  and  the  head  of  the  Joint   Intelligence Committee”.

——————————————–

The Hutton Inquiry – Day 15 – 4 9 2003

A  short  day  – Lord Hutton ended the  proceedings  around  1pm.   The Inquiry is now adjourned until 15 Sept. The main players in the abbreviated day were Richard Taylor,  a special adviser  to the Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon,  and The  journalist  Tom Mangold and   a UN arms inspector Olivia Bosch.

Richard Taylor

1.  Taylor said that Kelly was never told his name would be made public in the way it was made public.  Note:  This raises questions about  the truth  of Hoon’s claim that he had never seen the document  instructing MoD press officers how to react to media questions.

2.  Taylor  revealed that Geoff Hoon,  chaired a meeting on 9  July  at which  the  decision to confirm Kelly’s name to journalists  was  made. Hoon  failed  to mention this meeting in his evidence.  Others  at  the meeting were Pam Teare, MoD director of news, and Peter Watkins, Hoon’s permanent secretary.

3. Taylor said that the decision to put Kelly’s name in a letter to the BBC  chairman,  Gavyn  Davies,  was made  at  the  same  meeting.  This contradicts Hoon’s claim that it was Jonathan Powell, chief of staff at No 10, who had made the decision.

4.  Taylor  confirmed  the  name of Kelly  to  a  journalist  from  the Financial Times later in the day (9 July).

5.   Taylor agreed with James  Dingemans, chief counsel to the inquiry, that  he  had never previously confirmed a civil servants name  to  the media in such a manner.

Tom Mangold

1. Mangold used Kelly extensively in preparing his book Plague Wars. He knew Kelly well.   He described Kelly as a “Decent honourable and  well informed man”.

2. Mangold related a conversation he had with Kelly about the 45-minute claim:  We  gossiped  about the 45-minute claim because  I  thought  it seemed risible to me.” Kelly agreed that it was risible and “He [Kelly] did not think that the weapons could be deployed or activated within 45 minutes.”

3.  Mangold  said that identifying Kelly as Gilligan’s source  was  not that  hard  for those interested in the subject because “It is  such  a small  world,  the biological weapons world, and there aren’t many  UK inspectors …I only know four or five. Of those, only he [Kelly] spoke to the press.”

4.   Mangold  emailed  Kelly  before  his  name  was  public  knowledge suggesting  he  might  be Gilligan’s source,  suggesting  it  might  be “Someone i know and admire.”  Kelly replied: “Tom.  Thanks.  Not a good time to be in communication.”

Olivia Bosch

1. Bosch is a former Unscom inspector who got to know Kelly well during that   work.    She  currently  works  for  the  Royal   Institute   of international Affairs and has dealings with the MoD.

2.  Bosch  related  a conversation she had had  with  Kelly  about  his meeting  with Gilligan on 22 May 2003:  “He [Kelly] said he  was  taken aback by the way Andrew Gilligan tried to elicit information from  him. I said:’Yes,  but that is what journalists do.’ But he said that he had never  experienced it in the way that Gilligan had tried to do so by  a name game.”

3.  That “name game”,  Kelly said,  consisted of Gilligan putting names for him to confirm or deny. The first name was that of Gilligan.  Kelly claimed that he merely said “Maybe”.

Note:  this directly  contradicts Gilligan’s  account which has Kelly mentioning Campbell’s name off  his own  bat.  As  Kelly has been shown to be a  liar  before  the  Foreign Affairs  Committee,    and  we  have  the  evidence  of  the  Newsnight journalist  Susan  Watt’s tape in which Kelly mentions  Campbell,   the odds  are  he  lied  to  Bosch  and  was  simply  trying  to  create  a psychologically comfortable version of what happened.

4. Bosch claimed to have had daily conversations with Kelly in the days leading up to his death, during which up to his death.

Note: a possible relationship  between the two?  He mentioned that his pension  and  job might be affected.

We know that Kelly had been told his pension was  safe  before  he died and that he was only months  away  from  the normal civil service retirement age of 60.

5.  Bosch said that Kelly had told her that the question of his  naming had  been raised at in meetings with MoD and that he had been asked  to comment  on  the  press  statement  before  its  release.

Note:   this contradicts  Janice  Kelly’s evidence that Kelly had told  her  he  had assurances  that  his name would not be made public and  that  he  knew nothing  about  the  press release until a few minutes  before  it  was released.   The possibilities that Kelly was either a pathological liar or more probably a man driven to systematic lying by pressure,  have to be considered.

Lord Hutton’s closing statement

1.   Hutton will now spend the next week digesting the evidence to date and  deciding  which  witnesses  should be  recalled  and  whether  new witnesses should be called.

2. Whether witnesses are recalled or not will not be evidence of itself of whether Hutton intends to criticise them in his report.

3.  Hutton has written privately to those witnesses whom at this  stage he intends to criticise.  If they accept his criticism they will not be ecalled unless there is a specific reason for doing so,  eg to clarify a point of fact.  Witnesses who wish to dispute criticism will be given the chance to do so by being recalled.

4.   Hutton stressed that he might well change his view of a particular witness between now and the end of the enquiry depending on what  fresh evidence was given.

Other points

1.  Documents released yesterday included  minutes of a Cabinet  Office meeting  on 18 Sept 2002.  The first item in the minutes is  under  the heading  “Ownership of the dossier”.  It states “Ownership lay with  No 10”.  This contradicts the Joint Intelligence Committee  chairman  John Scarlett’s  claim that ownership of the dossier lay with him until  the approved final text was handed over by him on 20 Sept 2002.

2.  The  minutes were not supplied to the Inquiry when  the  Government  submitted  its  original papers.  A covering note by  the  Government’s solicitors  stated  that  it  was  not  included  because  it  was  not considered “relevant”.

Summary of the four weeks

The first phase of the inquiry is now complete.  What are we to make of it?

1.  It is important to realise the limitations placed on the Inquiry. Hutton  does  not  have the power to compel witnesses  to  appear  or documents to be disclosed. The  documents  released by  No 10, the MoD et  al  are  only what they are prepared   to  release.    Think  how different  it would be if this was a police investigation  with   the power  to  enter premises and seize whatever documents  and  computer equipment they  alighted upon.

2.  The other  serious restrictions are  the fact that witnesses  are not compelled to give witness statements or give their oral  evidence under  oath.  This greatly increases the ability of witnesses to  lie and evade because the witness knows that they cannot be charged  with perjury.   Nor can they be held in contempt.

3.  The absence of  the oath also has had an important  side  effect. The  inquiry  has taken over the  function of the  coroner  and  will perform the inquest on Kelly. This means that unlike a normal inquest the evidence relating to his death will not be taken under oath.

4. Hutton’s hands may have been tied in the matter of oaths,  calling witnesses and seeking documents,  but I also think he has handicapped the inquiry by deciding that the first stage would  be inquisitorial, ie,  witnesses would be allowed to tell their story with a minimum of questioning.

5.  It  is all very well to get people  to  commit  themselves  first before  trying  to  pick  holes in  their  story,  that  is  standard interrogation technique. But it is necessary to pick holes as soon as possible  after the telling of the story to prevent the person  under interrogation being given time to think about what they have said and to  fabricate a defence of any weak points.  Hutton has  allowed  the witnesses ample time to do just that.  The question is why did Hutton decide on this way of conducting the inquiry?

6.  The other administratively weak point so far has been the failure to call people from No 10 who were involved with the dossier but  are further down the pecking order than the likes of Campbell and  Godric Smith.  Subordinates will often panic in such circumstances and spill the beans.

7.  Finally,  apart from John Scarlett,  there was a curious lack  of intelligence  witnesses.  In particular why was the head of  MI6  who gave evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee on the day of  Kelly’s disappearance (17 July), not called?

When  the inquiry resumes,  cross-examination will be allowed.  Counsel not only for the inquiry but for the government,  the BBC and Mrs Kelly (and possibly others) will be allowed to into the proceedings. RH

===============================================================================================

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 5

Day 16 – 15 9 2003

Phase 2 of the inquiry will allow cross-examination by  counsel for the government, BBC, MoD, Mrs Kelly and others,  eg representing the various witnesses. Apart from James  Dingemans QC, counsel for the inquiry, Jeremy Gompertz QC  will appear for the Kelly family, Andrew Caldecott QC for  the BBC, Heather Rogers, QC, for Andrew Gilligan and  Jonathan Sumption QC for the government. All will be paid  for, one way or the other, by the taxpayer – Mrs Kelly’s  legal expenses are being covered by the taxpayer, while the  BBC is using licence payers’ money to pay their own and  Gilligan’s legal expenses. God alone knows what the cost  will be.

Before witnesses were called counsel for the inquiry, James  Dingemans, outlined the manner in which matters would be  handled. From this statement it is clear that the  cross-examination will be tightly controlled and that the  inquiry will attempt work to a strict timetable, although the  timetable could be breached if Hutton thinks it necessary.  The suspicion must be that any really awkward questions for  the government will suddenly be discovered to be “not  relevant” to the inquiry and cross examination on them  forbidden.

The weakness of the general structure of the inquiry –  information gathering first, followed by a long gap before  cross-examination is obvious, giving as it does plenty of  time to prepare defences to weaknesses or contradictions in a  story.

The people to be recalled will include Alastair Campbell,  Geoff Hoon and John Scarlett (chairman of the Joint  Intelligence Committee) but not Blair. It is possible but  improbable that he could be yet called if further information  is unearthed in this stage of the inquiry suggest he should  be recalled, eg if evidence is brought forward which  contradicts what Blair has said or points to his direct  involvement in something relevant and damaging.

The fact that Blair has not be recalled to be cross-examined  despite the ample evidence that he had a central role in  deciding what to do about Kelly and the BBC is a strong

pointer to the way Hutton will approach the writing of his  report – unless some really dramatic and unambiguous evidence  is unearthed fingering Blair, I predict it will  criticise the likes of Hoon, Campbell and the BBC, but say  nothing about Blair.

The witnesses

The main entertainment of the day was provided by the head of  MI6, Sir Richard Bingham Dearlove, and the Director General  of the BBC, Greg Dyke. Supporting roles came from Tony Cragg,  former deputy chief of defence intelligence, and Sir Joe  French, the chief of defence intelligence.

Sir Richard Dearlove

1. “C” as Dearlove is known (I will leave readers to imagine  what the “C” stands for), gave evidence as a disembodied  voice over an audiolink.

2. Dearlove was not cross-examined – he could in theory be  recalled for it. This points to one of the great weaknesses  of inquiry, its disjointed nature. Dearlove should have been  called in the first stage of the inquiry and then, if he was  to be recalled, cross-examined yesterday before the recalled  witnesses reappear. That would have given the inquiry the fullest information to tax the likes of Campbell with when  they are cross-examined.

3. The appearance by Dearlove is (I think) the first occasion  where such a senior intelligence officer has given evidence  in public. His appearance, together with the considerable  amount of MI6 data made public gives the lie to the claim  beloved of all British governments that security data must be  kept secret. In fact, the vast majority of it, and especially  the analysis, could be made public with no damage to agents  and sources.

4. Dearlove criticised Kelly for having unauthorised contact  with the media declaring himself horrified to discover what  Kelly had done, describing it as a severe disciplinary  breach.

5. Dearlove defended the “45-minute” single source claim,  saying it was from a strong source and that much of  intelligence was “single-sourced”. The original source was  claimed to be a senior Iraqi officer (a brigadier) whose  statement was reported by another Iraqi source.

6. Dearlove denied having any knowledge of dissatisfaction about the dossier within the intelligence services.

7. Dearlove accepts, with the benefit of our old elite friend  “hindsight” , that the “45-minute” claim might have been both  misinterpreted by some as referring to long range weapons and  have been given too much prominence in the dossier.

Tony Craig and Sir Joe French

1. Craig and French admitted they ignored the concerns of  two members of their staff. They also disclosed under  questioning that the concerns went beyond those two, Dr Brian Jones and MR A, a memo of 16 Sept 2002 objecting to the  passage on Iraq’s chemical and biological capacity at that  time as “too strong”.

2. Cragg said that he had not passed on his staffs’ doubts  because he thought they had been resolved at a meeting between  Defence Intelligence Service staff, Cabinet Office officials  and MI6. Consequently, the doubts were never passed to John  Scarlett and the JIC.

3. French supported Cragg and attempted to play down the  significance of the staff who had objected, a rather  difficult thing to do considering the positions they held and  the work they did.

Greg Dyke

1. Dyke adopted the “I am in charge of the BBC; I know  nothing” as a general tactic.

2. Dyke admitted he had not heard Gilligan’s broadcast or  read a transcript of the broadcast until weeks after it was  broadcast – he read a transcript on 5 July 2003.

3. Dyke said that he had been on holiday at the time of the  Gilligan broadcast and he was not really aware of any great  difficulty until after Gilligan and Campbell had appeared before the Foreign Affairs Committee.

4. Asked by James Dingemans how many times a BBC journalist  had given evidence to a Commons select committee in recent  years, Dyke said “I do not know”.

5. Dyke said he believed Alastair Campbell’s general attack on BBC news reporting was pre-planned and that he heightened  the tension by writing to Richard Sambrook, head of BBC News.

6. Dyke said, with our old elite friend hindsight in close  company, that he should have ordered a full investigation  of the matter before responding to Campbell.

Other points

1. A document released by the inquiry headed “Note for the  record”, stated that the writer of the note, the BBC chairman  Gavyn Davies, had been told by an unnamed MP that Alastair  Campbell had hardened up the dossier. The MP claimed an MI6 official had told him this.

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 week 5

Day 17 – 16 9 2003

A rather quiet day with Martin Howard, the deputy chief of  defence intelligence at the MoD, Kate Wilson, MoD chief press  officer, Nicholas Hunt, pathologist and Det Con Graham Coe,  the first policeman on the scene.

Martin Howard

1. Howard prevented the views and doubts of Dr Jones (A  Defence Intelligence Analyst staff scientist) and those of Mr  A (a chemical weapons specialist) from being presented to the Intelligence and Security Commons Select Committee  (ISC). Asked by Caldecott why  this had been done Howard  replied: “My feeling was that this dealt with internal  correspondence in the DIS [Defence Intelligence Service]  which happened last September… it would not be appropriate  to reveal what was internal correspondence to the ISC.”

Note:  feeble in the extreme. The whole point of the ISC meeting in  public is that it can hear anything.

2. Eventually, after Kelly death, Howard did supply the  information to the ISC. Asked why, he admitted it was simply  due to the establishment of the Hutton Inquiry.

4. Questioned by Gompertz about the procedure for confirming  Kelly’s name to the media, Howard said that he thought  Kelly’s name would have come out regardless of the MoD  procedure, which he justified on the grounds that it allowed  the MoD to be avoid telling a direct lie. He also pointed out  that the failure of Kelly’s name to come into the public  realm would have led to others being suspected by the media.

Gompertz suggested that the MoD was “playing Russian roulette  on Kelly”. Howard unsurprisingly did not agree.

Kate Wilson

1. Wilson denied Andrew Gilligan’s claim that he had warned  the MoD of the story before it was broadcast.

2. Wilson denied that clues to Kelly’s identity had been  given to the media by the MOD.

3. Wilson denied of how the Q and A MoD material was altered.

Nicholas Hunt

1. Hunt described five cuts to the left wrist, with one,  presumably the last, cutting the main artery. Other cuts were  tentative according to Hunt. In Hunt’s opinion the nature and  development of the cuts was consistent with a normal  suicide’s pattern.

2. Hunt said that the overdose of painkillers hastened the  death, as did the hardening of the arteries.

3. There were no signs of a struggle on the body.

4. Hunt described the removal of the watch and spectacles as  also typical of suicide.

Note: The only problem with this  argument is that the first cut or cuts to Kelly’s wrist were  made while, apparently , the watch was still on – blood was  found on the strap.

5. Hunt said that the type of private spot in which Kelly was  found was “often favoured by people intending self-harm”.

Graham Coe

1. Coe found Kelly’s body lying on his back by a large tree:  “I saw blood around his left wrist. I saw a knife like a  pruning knife and a watch.”

Note: how difficult would it be  to cut the artery with such a knife?

2. Coe said that no other part of the body was bloodstained.  The body was fully clothed, wearing a Barbour jacket,  trousers and cap. A small water bottle was nearby.

Other points

1. Friction between the BBC Governors and BBC management is  reported. In particular a Governor Dame Pauline Neville Jones  apparently believes the BBC management  “betrayed” the  Governors . Dame Pauline has denied that she has said this.

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 5

Day 18 – 17 9 2003

The day was dominated by Andrew Gilligan, Richard Sambrook  (head of BBC News) and Richard Hatfield, director of  personnel at the MoD.

Andrew Gilligan

1. Before his cross examination, Gilligan made a number of  admissions which removed much of the potential venom from his  cross examination.

2. Gilligan admitted making a mistake in his initial  broadcast (at 6.07am) when he claimed that the government had  probably known the 45-minute claim was false. However, by  7.32am the wording had been changed from “wrong” to  questionable”.

Note: this is an unnecessary admission because  it is a reasonable conclusion from both the political  circumstances surrounding the dossier and what we now know  from the disclosures to the inquiry, that Campbell and Blair  had every reason to doubt the intelligence.

3. Gilligan apologised for his description of Kelly as a “intelligence service source:”It was not intentional, a kind of slip of the tongue. It is something that does happen in  live broadcasts. It is an occupational hazard.”

Note: This is a reasonable apology – Kelly should have described as  long the lines of “a source familiar with the preparation of  the dossier and the intelligence community”.

4. Gilligan apologised for sending an email to a member of  the Foreign Affairs Committee:”It was quite wrong to send it.  I can only apologise. I did not know for sure that David Kelly was Susan Watt’s source. I was under enormous pressure  at the time, I was simply not thinking straight so I really  want to apologise for this.”

5. Questioned by Mrs Kelly counsel, Jeremy Gompertz, Gilligan  denied that he had suggested the name of Campbell (or any  other name) to Kelly and insisted Kelly had come up with the  name off his own bat. Gilligan pointed out that he had  mentioned Kelly’s name to Susan Watts, the Newsnight  journalist, as well.

6. Gilligan directly contradicted Kate Wilson, MoD chief  press officer, who had claimed that Gilligan had given  neither her or anyone else in the MoD advance notice of the  story. Gilligan said that he had told the MoD the night  before the story went out to enable them to brief Adam  Ingram, Armed Forces minister.

Richard Sambrook

1. Sambrook said that Gilligan was a reporter who painted in  primary colours rather than more subtle shades. Good at  finding stories, weaker on presenting them.

2. Sambrook criticised Gilligan for not giving Downing  Street an opportunity to respond to allegations.

3. Sambrook said that the story should have been checked by  lawyers before it was broadcast but was not checked.

4. Sambrook denied he had given clues to Kelly’s identity  during a lunch at the offices of the Times newspaper.

5. Sambrook said that he had not know about Gilligan’s email  to the FAC committee member until it was revealed to the  inquiry. He described it as improper.

6. Richard Hatfield

1. Hatfield directly contradicted Mrs Kelly’s evidence that  the MoD had shown every consideration towards Kelly and  protected him as well as any employer could be expected to defend an employee. “The MoD gave outstanding support to Dr  Kelly”.

2. Hatfield said that Kelly had no power to veto the release  of his name to the media and had “not specifically discussed”  with Kelly the plans for naming him.

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 5

Day 19 – 18 9 2003

Richard Hatfield (MoD head of personnel) and Andrew Gilligan  continued their evidence. Pam Teare (MoD chief press officer)  and William Wilding (computer expert) were the main items on  the menu.

Richard Hatfield

1. Hatfield claimed that Kelly had only himself to blame for  becoming exposed to public scrutiny , because he was guilty  of a very serious disciplinary breach.

2. Hatfield criticised Kelly for failing to prepare his wife  for the media interest which he, Hatfield believed, must  have known would happen if his name became public.

3. Hatfield admitted that Kelly had not been told that he had  been identified to the media for two and a half hours after  it had happened.

4. Hatfield claimed that Kelly had been warned 24 hours in  advance of the press statement that it was to be made.

5. Hatfield admitted that no counselling had been arranged  for Kelly.

6. Hatfield said that had he known that it would come to an  inquiry such as this one, he would have asked Kelly if he was  happy to have his name given out.

7. Hatfield said with hindsight he would have instigated  disciplinary proceedings against Kelly.

Pam Teare

1. There were three versions of the Q and A drawn up by  Teare for MoD press officers if they were challenged on the  question of Kelly’s (then unknown to the media) identity.  The first refused to identify him, the second allowed him to  be named only after he had been contacted by the MoD, the  third allowed his name to be disclosed without contact.

Teare said the various drafts were simply a “work in  progress.”

2. Teare gave more details of a meeting she had with Geoff  Hoon, Defence Secretary. She said that contrary to his  denials, Hoon might have seen a copy of the Q and A briefing.

3. Teare denied having discussed with Alastair Campbell the  naming strategy. Confronted with Campbell’s diary entries  which said they had discussed it, she accepted that she had.

William Wilding

1. Wilding appeared on behalf of Gilligan. He had examined  Gilligan’s personal organiser in which he had made notes of  his meeting with Kelly on the 22.

2. Wilding found two versions of the notes, one dated 21 and  one date 22 May. Wilding said that judging by other files he  had examined the date setting on the organiser was out by a  day .

3. Of the two versions of Kelly’s file with his notes, the  earlier did not contain the name Campbell, the later version did.

Andrew Gilligan

1. Gilligan explained the two versions of the notes as being  made at the same time and the second version being what Kelly had agreed to Gilligan using for his report. He denied he had created the second file on the following day of his  meeting with Kelly. Note: Even if the organisers date setting  was a day out of kilter the only way that Gilligan could  have created the two files on the same day with different dates is if the organisers date change from the 21 to the 22 came during his meeting with Kelly. Rather improbable.

2. Gilligan remained adamant that Kelly had been the one to  mention the name Campbell first during his conversation with Kelly.

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 6

Day 20 – 23 9 2003

The defence secretary Geoff Hoon and Alastair Campbell were  back for cross-examination.

1. Hoon admitted approving the strategy to confirm Kelly’s  identity to the media and accepted that the strategy helped  the media to identify Kelly. He was not drawn on why he had  changed his evidence from his previous appearance.

Note: that  tells you what a farce this “inquiry” is.

2. Hoon’s change of evidence came after the publication of  extracts from Alastair Campbell’s diary which contradicted  his earlier evidence.

3. Hoon’s admission of responsibility for the strategy is the  first admission of responsibility for it.

4. Hoon said that he had overruled the Mod permanent secretary, Sir Kevin Tebbit, when it came to naming Kelly, but justified this on the grounds that civil servants merely  advised.

5. Hoon denied knowledge of the clues given to the media by Tom Kelly, the PM’s spokesman, to direct them to Kelly.

6. Despite the admissions, Hoon claimed that everything had been done “to ensure that Dr Kelly was properly supported.”

7. Hoon claimed that steps had been taken to keep Kelly’s name from the public and said that he had only revealed Kelly’s name to the BBC chairman, Gavyn Davies, in a private  letter.

8. Hoon denied that there was any Government policy to “out”  Kelly.

9. Hoon admitted allowing the country to falsely believe that  it was at risk from long-range weapons of mass destruction, a  misapprehension circulated by the media. Asked why he had  not corrected this misapprehension, he replied:”I have spent many years trying to persuade newspapers and journalists to correct their stories – – it is an extraordinarily  time-consuming and frustrating process.”

Note: an absurd  excuse in this reason as most of the media would have been only too anxious to point out weaknesses in the case to go to war.

Alastair Campbell

1. Extracts from Campbell’s personal diary contradicted his  and others previous evidence. They show that Campbell wanted  Kelly’s name out in the public sphere (“The biggest thing  needed…was to get the source out), that Kelly was to be  used as a weapon in No 10’s fight with the BBC and that, contrary to Blair’s claim, Kelly was coached by senior MoD officials before he went before the ISC and FAC Commons committees.

2. Campbell’s diary made clear the hysterical state he was in during the affair. He wrote of establishing Kelly as the  source to “f**k Gilligan up”. He also wrote of wanting a clear victory not a messy draw.

3. Campbell’s diary reported Sir Kevin Tebbit (Mod permanent secretary) as saying that Kelly was “a bit of a show off”.

4. Hilariously, Campbell’s lawyer tried to massage these highly damaging passages away by claiming that “The diary records Mr Campbell’s immediate reactions, which are not necessarily the same as the views he will take after a little time has passed fro reflection.” This is nonsense when it comes to the recording of facts rather than opinion. The sooner the writing after the event, the more accurate. Courts recognise this, treating contemporaneous notes and notes made shortly after an event by the likes of the police and the Revenue as of prime importance as records of fact.

5. Campbell was questioned again about his influence over the  dossier. Before the FAC Campbell claimed he suggested 10  changes, but in written evidence to the inquiry he admitted to 16. Campbell told the inquiry that he had not mentioned  the other six to the FAC because they merely “ironed out an inconsistency”.

6. Campbell insisted that his suggestions were merely  presentational and that John Scarlett (chair of the Joint  Intelligence Committee) was in control of the dossier.

7. Campbell denied that the 45-minute claim was an influential part of the dossier during the preparation of the dossier.

8. Campbell said that Blair would have resigned if it was shown that the dossier had been “sexed up”.

9. Campbell’s diary entries showed Blair to be arguing against extending the battle with the BBC and urging that the MoD deal with Kelly. Note: when were the diaries written?

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 6

Day 21 – 23 9 2003

Tom Kelly (Blair’s official spokesman), Godric Smith (No 10  press officer) and John Scarlett (chairman of the Joint  Intelligence Committee – JIC) were recalled for  cross-examination.

Tom Kelly (TK)

1. TK was questioned further on his description of Kelly as a “Walter Mitty” character at a private briefing with journalists. TK claimed he could not recall the conversation related by Paul Waugh of the Independent and claimed Waugh had “misunderstood him” both in terms of whether the briefing was off the record and what he intended when he described Kelly as a Walter Mitty. TK claimed any reference to Kelly as “Walter Mitty” was merely raising a possibility, ie was Kelly exaggerating.

2. TK apologised again for using the term “Walter Mitty”.

3. An email from Jonathan Powell (Blair’s chief of staff) suggested that Kelly was a “rogue element”. Questioned by the Kelly counsel, Jeremy Gompertz, as to whether Kelly was regarded as a rogue element by No 10, TK replied: “categorically not.”

Godric Smith

1. Questioned on the Alastair Campbell diary extracts showing that Campbell wanted to use Kelly to damage Gilligan Smith said: “I think there is a qualitative difference between a desire for something to happen and actually taking concrete steps to make it happen.”

John Scarlett

1. Scarlett admitted that he had changed a passage in the dossier at the suggestion of Jonathan Powell (Blair’s chief of staff). A memo from Powell – sent 45 minutes after the deadline for comments on the final draft – pointed out that the dossier as it stood implied that the threat from Iraqi WMDs would arise only if an attack on Iraq was carried out. Scarlett removed this reference claiming the change” was as a result of the exercise of my professional judgement, not the intervention of Downing Street” and that he had changed the dossier after going “back to the intelligence assessments” and finding that the original comment was not justified. (Ho,ho).

2. Scarlett was also questioned further on the changes requested by Alastair Campbell, particularly the change of “may be deployed” to are deployable” in the claim that Iraqi MDs could be deployed within 45-minutes. Scarlett denied the changes were anything other than intelligence driven: “In one way or another, all these points had a presentational angle to them, the question of clarity of language and the way things were expressed. At no point did I feel that there was a an attempt to question the editorial judgement or the intelligence judgement.”

3. Scarlett admitted that no final meeting of the JIC took place before the dossier was finally agreed. Scarlett said that such a meeting was not necessary because any member of the committee could have raised objections to the final draft and none did.

4. Contradicting his evidence in the first phase of the inquiry, Scarlett admitted he knew of concerns within the intelligence community about the dossier but said that he believed they were dealt with before publication of the dossier.

5. Questioned on the BBC’s counsel, Andrew Caldecott, about why battlefield weapons had been allowed to be described as WMDs, Scarlett said that they were WMDs. He was unable to explain meaningfully how these battlefield weapons could have threatened British bases in Cyprus or why the media misrepresentation of the weapons had not been corrected by the government.

Other points

1. When is Jonathan Powell to be re-questioned? He keeps popping up as the main mover after Campbell in this matter.

2. Kelly’s dental records disappeared from his dentist’s shortly after his death. The records turned up in the cabinettwo days later. The police said they could find no signs of a

break-in.

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 6

Day 22 – 24 9 2003

Gavyn Davies (BBC chairman) and Bryan Wells (Kelly’s line manager at the MoD), Nick Rufford (reporter on The Sunday Times), Keith Hawton (professor of psychiatry at Oxford) and Patrick Lamb (Kelly’s contact at the foreign office) were recalled.

Gavyn Davies

1. Davies admitted that the Director General of the BBC, Greg Dyke, had tried to stop the BBC governors publicly criticising editorial managers for their handling of the Andrew Gilligan story.

2. Davies based his defence of the Board of Governors robust stand against the government because “We were faced with such an unprecedented attack on our integrity. I think it was  perfectly reasonable for me to take the view that the public would look to the governors to stand up for the independence of the BBC.”

3. Pressed on why the Governors did not directly investigate what Gilligan had been told by his “source”, Davies said that the governors had been reassured by the BBC’s director of news, Richard Sambrook, that the source was credible and that Gilligan stood by his story. Davies made the point that the governors were not there to duplicate the work of the management and to have interfered directly over Gilligan would hav duplicated the work.

4. Davies said that several Governors wished to stop BBC journalists writing for the newspapers.

5. Davies claimed the Governors were all tough minded and independent figures who would not be bullied by the Government.

Note; The Board of Governors is the routine run of the great and the good.

Bryan Wells

1. Wells retracted evidence he had given when he appeared in the first phase of the inquiry. Wells said it was not true, as he had claimed, that Kelly had been warned at an early stage that his name might be made public. This possibility was not raised until Kelly’s second MoD interview on 7 July 2003 and even then, according to Wells, his naming was not treated as inevitable.

2. Wells informed Kelly that his name was to made public in a 46 second telephone conversation between Wells and Kelly – the call was made while Wells was travelling on a train. Wells claimed that Kelly took the news without expressing concern. This contradicts Mrs Kelly’s evidence of Kelly’s response to the news.

3. Questioned by counsel for the inquiry, James Dingemans, Wells said that Kelly was not involved in discussions about how his name might emerge. This contradicted the head of personnel at the MoD, Richard Hatfield’s evidence.

Nick Rufford

1. Asked about the offer of Murdoch newspapers to pay for the Kelly’s to go to a hotel, Rufford said: “It was a light-hearted context – when we met for a drink or a meal, Dr Kelly would always want to ensure that I did not pay personally and would say ‘Is this on Mr Murdoch?'”.

Keith Hawton

1. Asked for further comments on Kelly’s possible motive for suicide, Hawton said “I think one major factor was the immense loss of self esteem that he had from feeling people had lost trust in him and from his dismay – maybe that is an understatement – of being exposed to the media.”

Note: A weak piece of armchair psychology to say the least. In fact, the inquiry has signally failed to show any plausible cause for him to commit suicide when it is born in mind that he knew that his pension was safe, his daughter was about to be married, he was getting a good deal of private support from friends and colleagues and had a crippled wife to look after.

Patrick Lamb

1. Kelly had wanted Lamb to accompany him to the FAC hearing but he had had to refuse because Kelly was under MoD control.

Further points

1. Kelly’s 1985 vetting report contained a note that Kelly’s mother probably committed suicide in the 1960s.

The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 6

Day 23 – 25 9 2003

Officially the final day of the inquiry, although Sit Kevin Tebbit, permanent secretary at the MoD, is slated to give further evidence after the inquiry has formally closed. 22 days of evidence and 70 witnesses.

The day was taken up by the various QCs, all paid for by the taxpayer in one way or another. They were: James Dingemans QC, counsel for the inquiry, Jeremy Gompertz QC will appear for the Kelly family, Andrew Caldecott QC for the BBC, Heather Rogers, QC, for Andrew Gilligan and Jonathan Sumption QC for the government.

James Dingemans

1. Dingemans said that Kelly had stepped into a maelstrom when he admitted his contact with Andrew Gilligan to his MoD superiors.

2. Dingemans said the inquiry must address the question of whether Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell had crossed the line of presentation to “making a case”.

Jeremy Gompertz

1. Gompertz said that Kelly had been used as a political pawn by the Government:”This was a cynical abuse of power which deserves the strongest possible condemnation.”

2. Gompertz accused the Government of failing to support Kelly and his managers at the MoD of displaying “a total lack of care”.

3. Gompertz accused the Government of misdescribing Kelly “to suit the needs of the hour, as a middle ranking official…”

4. Gompertz contrasted the Government’s We have made no mistakes or blunders approach with that of the BBC which had admitted mistakes.

5. Gompertz described the claim of Richard Hatfield (MoD head of personnel) that Kelly had received “Outstanding support” as “risible” if the events were not so serious.

6. Gompertz rejected strongly the idea that Kelly was the agent of his own misfortunes.

7. Gompertz claimed that Kelly had not committed a disciplinary offence. Note: this is simple nonsense. He had undoubtedly breached the MoD confidentiality code and arguably had committed a criminal offence under the Official Secrets Act.

8. Gompertz characterised the denials of Government use of Kelly to discredit Gilligan, including Blair, Campbell and Geoff Hoon, as “hypocrisy”@ “It was out of the question that

the Prime Minister should have no say in a document for which he had to be personally responsible to Parliament.”

9. Gompertz referred to an email received only yesterday and hence too late to be used in cross-examination. The email was dated 9 July and was sent by Hoon’s private secretary, Peter Watkins, to Mrs Wilson in the MoD press office. Part of it read: ” Jonathan Powell has separately suggested to the S of S [secretary of state, Mr Hoon] that we should simply name our man [Kelly], but left the decision to Mr Hoon who has not yet reached a final view.” This document showed again Hoon’s lack of candour to the enquiry. Note: Powell cropping up yet again.

Andrew Caldecott

1. Caldecott said that the BBC admitted mistakes had been made in the reporting but stood by the essential truth of the report.

2. Caldecott said that the public had the right to know about Kelly’s concern about the dossier. Caldecott said the BBC

defended its right to broadcast Kelly’s concerns absolutely,

3. Caldecott pointed out that concerns about the dossier had been justified by the evidence given to the inquiry.

4. Caldecott stressed that only the MI6 head, Richard Dearlove, had expressed concern about the way the public were mislead over the nature of the 45-minute claim, ie that it referred to battlefield weapons: “The reaction of Mr Hoon and Mr Scarlett borders on cynical indifference. The Government’s failure to correct is wholly indefensible.”

Heather Rogers

1. Rogers said that Campbell and Geoff Hoon behaved like “playground bullies” in their pursuit of Andrew Gilligan.

2. Rogers said the extracts from Campbell’s diaries showed a desire to “get even” with Gilligan.

3. Rogers pointed out that Gilligan had admitted errors in his initial reporting, but the story was true in its main substance, ie that serious unrest amongst intelligence bods existed: Andrew Gilligan will ask this inquiry to consider that he was right to talk to Dr Kelly, he was right to ask about the dossier, right to regard what Dr Kelly said was worth reporting and right to report it.”

4. Rogers said the concentration on Gilligan’s initial reporting was distracting form the main issue, the nature of the dossier.

Jonathan Sumption

1. Sumption said that Kelly had no right to anonymity because he was a civil servant. This is pedantically true, but it is a convention that civil servants are not put in the public fold except in exceptional circumstances such as permanent secretaries reporting to Commons committees. I think it would  be impossible to find a precedent for Kelly’s treatment. Normally politicians are only too glad to “protect” their civil servants because they are afraid of what the civil servants may reveal about politicians’ bad behaviour.

2. Sumption claimed that Kelly had known since 4 July that his name would probably be made public.

Note: This clashes with evidence given by Brian Wells, Kelly’s MoD line manager, yesterday, that the matter was not discussed with Kelly until his second interview of 7 July.

3. Sumption claimed that Blair, Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell had every reason to comment on the dossier for reasons of “basic constitutional principle.”

Note: Oh yeah?

4. Sumption defended Alastair Campbell’s memo suggesting 16 changes to the dossier as points amounting to “proof reading”.

5. Sumption dismissed the dissent of the likes of Brian Jones, a senior analyst, and Kelly as unimportant because they did not have access to the underlying intelligence material.

Note: As Jones and Kelly were the technical experts, one might think they had a better understanding of the weapons than any ordinary intelligence officer.

Note:

1. No calling of the women who converted Kelly to the Baha’i faith.

2. No recalling of Jonathan Powell.

3. No recalling of Blair.

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