When I worked for the Government this happy chappy was, for a time, my supreme leader or 'Permanent Secretary' - the position occupied by Sir Humphrey in the well-known television comedy series, Yes Minister. We used to call him Wingnut Wilson, for obvious reasons (check out his lug'oles!) but he's more properly known as Lord Wilson of Dinton. He was a decent sort, if a tad remote, and we saw him only occasionally when he would tour the office and administer the metaphorical pat on the head and say "You're all doing very well". Wingnut went on to better things and became the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service where he fell under the domain of our former Prime Minister Mr Tony Forked-Tongue Blair. Wingnut has been retired for some time now and was awarded the customary peerage, and sinecure at Cambridge University, but he has emerged from the depths of academia and the House of Lords to advise the Iraq Inquiry that Mr Blair has not exactly been telling the truth as regards how well he kept his Cabinet colleagues informed on plans to invade Iraq. The Independent reports that:
'Far from keeping his Cabinet in the loop, Lord Wilson, the Cabinet Secretary from 1998 to 2002, said Mr Blair assured them in April 2002 that "nothing was imminent. I don't think anyone would have gone away thinking they had authorised a course of action that would lead to military action," Lord Wilson said.
Coincidentally, Wingnut's successor as Cabinet Secretary, Andrew Turnbull also served as my supreme leader for a time. He went for a more down-with-the-kids approach - he supported Tottenham Hotspur and held 'focus group' meetings with us plebs from time to time. At one of these, I induced an awkward silence when I berated t'management for the half-baked, hare-brained and iniquitous performance pay scheme they had foisted upon us. But that's another story; Turnbull nevertheless got the Peerage and some directorships after retiring. The estimable Lord Turnbull has however corroborated Wingnut's view of Blair's attitude towards the Cabinet:
"The Prime Minister basically said, 'They knew the score.' That isn't borne out by what actually happened," he said. "By the summer [of 2002], he'd largely made up his mind at a time when his colleagues were a long way behind." He said Mr Blair had repeatedly put off discussing the policy of invading Iraq until shortly before military action began in March 2003. He also confirmed key policy papers detailing the possibility of military action against the Iraqi dictator were not shown to many Cabinet members.
So there we have it. Blair exposed in public by two former Humphreys, now members of The House of Lords, as a liar. It won't be just his ears that are burning.