Public inquiry system is a farce

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Isn’t it time to upgrade the public inquiry system, which to date is simply piling farce upon farce and heaping a mound of misinformation and mythology on what should be relatively clear-cut portrayal of events?

Most people know that the invasion of Iraq was an exercise in deception, so blatant that it hardly even qualifies as deception.

I doubt any children’s party organiser would hire George W Bush to perform some sleight-of-hand conjuring tricks with cards and disappearing bunnies or that anyone would expect Tony Blair to symbolise sincerity by a combination of ham-actor hand gestures and comments straight from the soundbite studio.

Is it necessary to bestow hefty amounts of public money onto yet another “Lord” and retinue in order to be left waiting for some formal judgment on an event that has already been competently adjudged by nearly everybody?

And the reason for the wait? So that those named in the inquiry report can respond, at their absolute leisure, no time restriction on their response – if this isn’t farcical then it is something else and I would hesitate to say what else except words like shambles, disgrace etc, spring to mind.

Geoff Miller (Letters, 14 August) highlights the Chilcot Inquiry delay concerns. He is right to ask: “But why should those who fear that the facts may damage their reputations be given opportunity, and seemingly unlimited time, to challenge – and presumably modify – the 
inquiry’s conclusions?”

What a farce indeed!

Ian Johnstone

Forman Drive

Peterhead

I fail to understand why Sir John Chilcot has to give the principal parties at his inquiry the opportunity to respond to statements in his report that may be detrimental to them.

After all, in judicial proceedings the judge or sheriff doesn’t submit his decision to the parties for fear it may be critical of them before it is issued.

I suppose it must be in the rules governing such public inquiries, in which case all I can say is that the sooner the rules are changed the better.

My own feeling is that the parties involved are simply spinning out for as long as possible so that when it is 
finally released, probably on a wet Friday afternoon, 
everyone will have forgotten all about it.

David Elder

Knox Place

Haddington

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