Another picture in the frame this week.
News of Gordon Brown and his offer to loan Barack Obama the painting that inspired Barry in his youth — Hope by Victorian English artist George Frederic Watts. It would have hung in the Oval Office except it's indelibly associated with preacher Jeremiah Wright, the man who introduced it to him and nearly sunk Obama's bid for the presidency when he suggested that vicious US foreign policy might have something to do with terrorist attacks. The devil lying in the detail, it's revealed that Tony Blair's artwork gift to Bush was ... a bust of Conservative Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (since replaced by one of Martin Luther King). Considering the first former PM Blair invited into Number 10 wasn't his own party's James Callaghan but Margaret Thatcher, I think this says a lot about where his tiny shrunken political heart truly lay.
A picture speaks a thousand words but still not as many as the ban on the autopsy report of the death of Dr David Kelly for a whacking 70 years. Hmm, I wonder what it is that could worry the government so. After all, we all know that Kelly commited suicide by opening his tiny ulnar artery in one wrist with a blunt garden knife. Don't we?
The body of former United Nations weapons inspector Dr Kelly was found in July 2003 in woods close to his Oxfordshire home, shortly after he was exposed as the source of a BBC news report questioning the Government’s claims that
Saddam Hussein had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, which could be deployed within 45 minutes.
Days before Tony Blair appears at the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, Home Secretary Alan Johnson raises UK terror threat level to "severe". Some wags have commented, "Iraq Inquiry not going too well then..." Should we expect something "severe" just before Blair's appearance at Chilcot on Friday? Images of tanks at Heathrow might be handy.
Suzanne Moore on moral compasses versus cowboy boots in today's Mail On Sunday:
[Straw] remains in the Cabinet though he now says the war he backed was ‘self-evidently unlawful’. By this he meant getting rid of Saddam militarily without a UN mandate. Hoon apparently felt the same. ... Though we are talking about thousands of dead Iraqis, hundreds of dead British soldiers, the issue that appears to be most important is that they only did what they were told to do even if they had private doubts. ... Alastair Campbell says he has learned some lessons from Iraq. That you can get away with murder might be one.
Remember this, kids, when they are blinding you with bureaucracy and touting United Nations Security Resolution 1441 as being the Golden Ticket for taking us into war with Iraq:
[Of France and Germany not tabling the second resolution] But they did not table it because we gave assurances to the French and Germans (and Russians and Chinese) that our draft of UNSCR 1441 did not authorise military action. The instructions were to inform those governments that UNSCR 1441 contained "no automatic trigger" which would lead to military action. ... all the FCO material at the time of the adoption of UNSCR 1441 and for weeks afterwards right up until March, took the view that UNSCR 1441 did not provide legal grounds for the invasion.
Aside from getting help to Haiti hours ahead of the US and their 5,000 troops, China has just announced a further $2.64 million in aid to the devastated nation. (Haiti, that is, not the US.)
Brangelina split but agree to divide the kids and $200 million.