Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Days of Hutton and Hacks

I naturally tried to get in to the inquiry for Campbell's turn on the grill. I even got up earlier and got to the Royal Courts of Justice just under an hour earlier than on Monday. It didn't help - a queue of around 160 people had gathered. I recalled that 40 tickets were available. Obviously, my dear blog, I would have to jump the queue. Aiming at some Mancs near the front, I engaged them in conversation. Simple hustling, no? Get into their group and slide in behind them once the queue began to move. Yes. Things were going well, when a fat busybody ahead of us began to show signs of activity. It was a porker, embarrassingly male, belly bulging out of a ridiculous blue-and-white striped sports jacket'n'slacks - huge scowl, heart-attack red with weeks of sun and gin. Curiously, a pin bearing the sign of the CIA was visible in his lapel. The shade of red darkened and turkeyish sounds were audible. He is looking at me...definitely..what a bore!
"Bray bwah jumping the queue!" I said - "Yes." Hoping to brazen it out. He addressed the general public - "He won't get in yaknow - I'll see to it that you don't get in the first ten!"
"Can I ask you why you're wearing a CIA badge?" I stalled. "Indeeed youth may".
"I just have, 007."
"None of your bishness!"

Kiboshed. So I queued. Naturally, when I reached the front of the queue, no tickets. But at least there had been some entertainment...I was behind a pathologically neat woman who looked like Miss Moneypenny's boss, to take the James Bond theme a little further before hurling it behind a convenient hedge. We spoke of news websites, and blogging. That wasn't too bad, but then we had to get on to the matter at hand. And this was that terrible moment when an otherwise simpatico person suddenly opens up and reveals the terrible leathery fangs, green saliva, obscene stench, Jewish conspiracy hobby...all that good stuff.
She began by declaring that "I heard you use the word rational..well I think the public's reaction to this has been very irrational and emotional. It's Diarna (that was how she pronounced it) all over again!" I remarked that this was rather more serious. "Oh, I quite agree. But what people will not understand is that Kelly was killed (eh?) because he lied! He said one thing to his chaps, and another thing to this - journalist." (To get the sense of this remark, replace "journalist" with "smallpox" or "rat" or "paedophile" or "Nazi".)

"You see, he showed no loyalty. Loyalty!" At this point I endeavoured to point out that perhaps a conflict existed for Kelly between conscience and loyalty, but she was building up a dangerous head of pomposity...."Nobody is at all loyal these days, and if there is no loyalty to authority then there is no morality at all. These 18-30s ransacking through Greece! And this drugtaking!"

I felt my gob gaping at this remarkable statement. Loyalty to Authority indeed! "I can't really see my way to considering "my country right or wrong", or worse "my government right or wrong", to be a particularly moral statement - after all some of the worst crimes and errors in history have been committed just like that.." But this wasn't going to deny her - "If he had any concern, he should have confided in his line manager - instead of ... whispering to this journalist!" (rat, smallpox, nazi - you get the picture)" The previous days, I thought, had shown exactly how much confidence Dr. Kelly could have had in his line manager. She erupted - "What are you - 22,23,24? What experience do you have? You've never been a civil servant (actually I have)!"
I thought of Frederick the Great's crack about the two mules in his army that had done forty campaigns, but were still mules, but decided against it. She now turned on a functionary who had appeared to spread the bad news about tickets. But she still didn't get one. Ha! Later in the day, I attempted to infiltrate through the building and got as far as the stairs outside Courts 72 and 73 before the same functionary nixed me. So, the only option was to wait for returned tickets. There were none, as a messenger from the gods in the form of a policeman revealed to us. But ARD - German television - interviewed me. I failed, you'll be disappointed to know, to expose a body daubed with this site's address in fetching dayglo orange or indeed to promote it in any other way.

More seriously, what are we to make of the fact that "Dr Kelly is not asked for example whether he knew about the 45mins allegation being added in late. He is never asked that in interview by the MoD" (James Dingemans QC) which emerged on Monday? Clearly, the facts didn't matter a damn..

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