Oh God no – not again

Oh God no – not again. The publication of Greg Dyke’s autobiography (serialised in the Observer) has reignited the ongoing war over who said what and meant what during the build-up to the Iraq war.

For my part – not that it matters much – I remember the general opinion at the time was that Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction. Dyke’s apparent belief that the 45 minute claim was the only thing that took Britain to war is wrong at best, disingenuous at worst. True, the 45 minute thing made a few headlines, but it was not a point that turned the argument for war in Blair’s favour.

But the wider issue here is the futility of reopening this endless debate. Even the BBC’s news reporters have acknowledged this in recent weeks, saying in most reports that “people will have already made up their minds.” There are, perhaps, a few people who still think there are important issues to be decided. The majority, though, will surely have either marked Blair up or down on Iraq a long time ago. Even to a politics fan like me, the smoke and fumes surrounding the Iraq war are now so impenetrable that nothing useful can be discerned inside them. When – eventually – they clear, we will no doubt see nothing but a lot of people, all with shotgun wounds in their feet.