"the rank amateurs of the 'World' public"
The millions of "rank amateurs" have yet, sadly, to be proven wrong in anything said before and through all these years of two destructive occupations, From the abandonment of Afghanistan in their much needed help to rebuild after decades of others trying to control them by focussing all attention on an innocent country and people in Iraq and reeking destructive terror on same, to today!
22 July 2010 Tony Blair ignored the MI5 boss's advice, as he did the public's protests, but history has proved her fears to be uncannily accurate
Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of MI5. Photograph: Graeme Robertson/Getty Images
Eliza Manningham-Buller, director-general of MI5 from October 2002 until April 2007, certainly had her moment this week. Testifying at the Chilcot inquiry, she offered blunt and withering criticism of the Blair government's decision to go to war in Iraq. During the run-up to the invasion, it turns out, this highly experienced expert on counter-terrorism held views not at all different to those held by the rank amateurs of the British public.
Manningham-Buller believed, for example, that another war against a Muslim country, and one not implicated in the September 2001 attacks on the US, would assist in radicalising young British Muslims, persuading them even to become involved in mounting terrorist attacks in their home country. Some had, after all, made the extraordinary decision to go off to fight in Afghanistan already.
Why was she unable to get this trenchant view across to government? Manningham-Buller, after all, was not a rank amateur. She was the person responsible for foiling the activities of those planning attacks in Britain, activities she believed would multiply in the event of a war.
It has been suggested that she simply was not forceful enough, and should have made greater effort to engage in one-to-one discussions with Tony Blair himself. But the Chilcot inquiry has been good for one thing only: telling us what we knew already. And we knew already that Blair was entirely uninterested in hearing the opinions of people who did not agree with him. Continued