Current Affairs – 7th July 2014

Joyce Davies chaired our discussion in Brenda’s absence.  8 members and one visitor, Joan, attended. Three members sent apologies.

Our main topic today was the Chilcot enquiry, which has still not been published and which is now seriously overdue. Joyce opened our discussion with several pertinent questions – will the report ever be published? If it is published, much of it is likely to be redacted. In a wide-ranging discussion, we questioned the respective roles of George W. Bush and Tony Blair.  Bob’s view was that there is a role for confidentiality between heads of states, so that leaders can correspond freely between themselves when it is in the national interest so to do. Publication of the complete correspondence would set an undesirable precedent.  We thought that publication should be allowed, with some information necessarily withheld.  Tony Blair’s role was questioned by the meeting, especially in the light of his subsequent posts, including that of Middle East Envoy. We speculated on the possible content of the report, were it to be published:

  • would it conclude that the Iraq war was illegal
  • had the infamous so-called ‘dodgy document’ been ‘sexed up’, to use the jargon of the time
  • did Tony Blair really believe that the document was an honest reflection of the then situation in Iraq.

On balance we believe the report should be published, though we accepted that its publication is not a foregone conclusion.

We then had a wide-ranging discussion on primary care within the NHS.

Other matters referred to more briefly were Banks, mobility and children’s scooters and local chemists.

Our next meeting is Monday 4th August: A couple of suggested topics are;

  • An in depth look at UK’s third world giving