Adam Lovejoy writes: Have you heard the news? Tony Blair will be recalled to face the Chilcot inquiry into the war in Iraq and explain some of the things that he’d been evasive about the last time he gave evidence in January. Sir John Chilcot, who heads the inquiry, is probably writing a letter to him as you read this, telling him he needs to come for a bit of a grilling.
The word is that the moment Tony had heard the bad news, he cancelled all his engagements and started to prepare for the hearings, just like he did the last time he faced his examiners. One source, who claims to know things, said: ‘Tony is scared. Before he felt totally protected, with a Labour government running things. But now there’s a new lot in power and he is worried sick they might get ideas.’
According to insiders, Blair’s daily routine would include remembering his evidence, written for him by some serious people, and learning to present it as if he were speaking off the cuff, with sincerity and conviction. He hopes to read out a couple of juicy exerts from his memoirs at the hearing, to boost the flagging sales of his book.
Every day leading to the hearings Blair would practice lying convincingly in front of a big mirror in his private gym. No detail would be overlooked: the sincere, slightly anxious look, the clasping of the hands and the honest stare. But most of all, the former PM and war criminal would be perfecting his passionate delivery of his main point: that he believed with all his heart that Saddam Hussein posed a mortal threat to Britain and the world and to his stunning wife and their four children. ‘Not a day went by,’ Blair would say, ‘that I have not thought about the dangers that Saddam was posing to the world. Time and time again I would ask myself: Tony, you’re a straight kind of guy, would you start a war of false pretences? And every time the answer would be: no, I would only act in everyone’s best interests.’
In the second part of the day Blair would be phoning his few friends and asking them whether they’ll be ready to post bail for him, in the unlikely event that he’d be arrested right there, in the chamber, and charged with war crimes. Tony’s friends would assure him that they will post bail, but he’ll know deep down inside that they won’t do it.
The one bit that Blair may be concerned about is his statement to the House of Commons, in September 2002, when he said that it was ‘beyond doubt’ that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. It worked well then, but later the Americans failed to plant the WMDs in Iraq, as they were supposed to, and the story fell apart. Luckily for Blair the full intelligence dossier on Iraq will not be available for another 17 years at least, so he can always say that he was told by the spooks that Saddam had more nukes than the Russians and Chinese taken together.
In the evenings a top QC by the name of Cherie Blair would play the devil advocate with her husband, asking him all sorts of tough questions like, ‘When was it that you realised that God was telling you to go into Iraq?’ or ‘Do you think the world has become a better place without Saddam?’ Plan B would also be discussed, with Blair blaming Gordon Brown for forcing him to go to war, if the line of questioning goes against him. In all the confusion Blair would then run away and hide in the US under a new identity.
Before going to bed, in the early hours, Blair would have sex, with himself. To calm his nerves.
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