I’m not going to say much more about Hutton – I think my views have been already adequately set out. I would like to state for the record that I utterly reject his ‘findings’ and think that the inquiry report is at best hopelessly inaccurate, utterly biased and one of the worst pieces of legalistic reasoning I have ever had the misfortune to come across. Or it could be deliberate misdirection.
There are really only 3 logical positions, assuming that is we can discount Hutton’s position – one where the BBC is universally stocked by incompetent delusionists and the government & civil service are universally stocked by whiter than white ethical paragons incapable of any subterfuge.
1) Blair picked Hutton for the job because he knew he was an utterly conservative and would never produce a report which might in any way influence the government’s electoral position – ie he had to produce a whitewash as anything less would trigger a general election.
2) Blair picked Hutton because he knew he was a right numpty and could be relied upon to get the wrong end of the stick at every turn
3) Hutton was nobbled.
Put plain and simply Hutton’s report does not tally with the facts as represented during the inquiry in any real shape or form. But don’t take my word for it – read Jonathan Freedland in today’s Guardian :-
[. . . at Lord Hutton’s press conference . . .]
For the press benches, this was all too much. Several journalists began first to sniff, then to snort and finally to chuckle their derision. Jeremy Paxman, for once barred from asking questions, was shaking his head in bemusement as each new finding in favour of the government came down from the bench. When Mr Scarlett's subconscious was introduced, the room seemed to vibrate with mockery.
In one sense it’s almost good that he has done such an obviously shit job, which would be immediately overturned if there was any court of appeal for this sort of thing. It is so laughably incompetent and deluded that no serious person (which obviously excludes blair & murdoch) can take it seriously for a single second. In a few years time we will look back on it and think ‘What the fuck was that all about?’