Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Death of David Kelly - "Events, dear boy, events"

A former Conservative Prime Minister, Harold MacMillan, is the source of the phrase, "Events, dear boy, events".

The phrase encapsulates the unpredictability of life as Prime Minister.

Yesterday, David Cameron experienced an "event" in the form of this question from Sir Peter Tapsell:

Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth and Horncastle) (Con): Now that there is to be a full investigation into the abduction or murder of Madeleine McCann, is there not a much stronger case for a full investigation into the suicide or murder of Dr David Kelly?

The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend is raising two issues. First, on the issue of Madeleine McCann, it is welcome that the Metropolitan police has decided to review the case and the paperwork. On the issue of Dr David Kelly, I thought the results of the inquest that was carried out and the report into it were fairly clear, and I do not think it is necessary to take that case forward.

Mr. Cameron asserts that the report is "fairly clear".

Where, Mr. Cameron, in the Hutton Report is it "fairly clear" about the absence of fingerprints on the knife found at Harrowdown Hill? That important evidence was withheld or suppressed at the Hutton Inquiry.

Where is it "fairly clear" how David Kelly (supposedly) held the knife without leaving fingerprints?

Mr. Cameron, you were bullshitting in the House of Commons yesterday. You were the bluffer.

And yesterday may yet prove to be an "event" in the search for justice for David Kelly.


  1. The PM said ‘On the issue of Dr David Kelly, I thought the results of the inquest that’s been carried out and the report into it were fairly clear and I don’t think it’s necessary to take that case forward.’

    The whole point is that the INQUEST did not produce a result, the finding of suicide wast the conclusion of the Hutton INQUIRY and was not conducted under the normal legal rigours required of a coroner's inquest. Hutton's finding of suicide was prejudicial from the outset of his proceeding as the record shows.

    In a matter of this utmost gravity 'fairly clear' is a long way from being clear enough. Remember we are dealing with a matter that comprised our nation's justification for going to war.

  2. I agree. "Fairly clear" is wholly inadequate.

    I suspect that David Cameron's words may come back to haunt him in the coming weeks and months.

  3. I think the PM should issue a correction. It is one thing to use the wrong term or word it is quite another for the PM to make a misleading statement at question time. The public record needs to be correct. What say you?

  4. I think there is a case that could be made that David Cameron misled the House of Commons yesterday.

    No inquest has been held which complies with the Coroners Act 1988, for example.

    One possibility is for individuals who are concerned by Cameron's words to approach their MP and get their MP to write to Cameron expressing that concern.

  5. It's also worth noting another excellent Exocet fired by Sir Peter at David Miliband on 25 March 2009

    Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth and Horncastle) (Con) : Does the Foreign Secretary understand that the main interest of the country will be in the run-up to the war, because it is widely believed that in the summer of 2002 the then Prime Minister, Mr. Blair, and President Bush entered into a conspiracy to invade Iraq and spent the succeeding months until March 2003 manipulating public opinion, falsifying the intelligence information and deceiving the leaders of the Conservative party? That is one of the most shameful episodes in British history, if it is proved to be true—as a proper inquiry would prove.
    David Miliband,: I do not accept that caricature of the period before 2003. Nor do I accept that the vast bulk of interest is in the run-up to the war. For those with conspiracy theories, that may be their interest, but those of us concerned with British operations in the future are interested in the lessons of the war itself and the peace-building effort afterwards. It is important to emphasise the post-war aspects as well as the wartime conduct.

  6. Felix,


    Sir Peter Tapsell certainly knows how to ask a Parliamentary Question.

  7. Andrew, I have already written to my MP expressing my concern at both the confused and misleading inquest/inquiry answer and the wishy-washy "Fairly clear". I will press him for action.