‘Reading the Chilcot Report. Sort of.’

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So – what do you think of the Chilcot Report? No, let me retract that – what do you think of what other people have said about the Chilcot Report? Because I know that you haven’t read it. And neither have I. And I’ve no plans to do so. And neither do you.

That’s because it’s 2.6 million words long. The best parallel that I’ve seen is that it’s three times as long as the complete works of Shakespeare.

I watched Alastair Campbell and Clare Short on Newsnight last night. Both talked in detail about the report; after they’d finished I was none the wiser, other than that they’d both acted with impeccable wisdom during the crisis. But of course Campbell and Short haven’t read the Report either. How do I know? Because it would take you roughly eight hours per day and one full month to read the Report’s contents.

Why is it so long? Well it took seven years to complete, so I suppose they didn’t want to look as though they’d been sitting round drinking tea and playing cards. Accordingly they produced this impossibly long Report. And presumably were paid handsomely for their labours over the seven years. As were the several media people  who’ve been explaining its contents to us over the last twenty-four hours. Although of course they won’t have read it either.

Parting thought. Might  it be possible that…Nah, that’d be an unthinkable…Oh, OK. Might it be possible they made the report as mind-bendingly long as it is so that scarcely anyone in the world would read it? If the primary purpose of writing a report is that it should be read, Chilcot has been a massive failure in communication. But if the intention of the authors was that next to no one should read it, they’ve been brilliantly successful.

I’ll bet Tony Blair is pleased with that.

39 Responses to ‘Reading the Chilcot Report. Sort of.’

  1. jessica July 7, 2016 at 8:09 am #

    It is remarkable that 2 men can write notes to one another discussing what countries need to be taken out, openly showing they were aware there would be civilian casualties and the risk of public backlash never mind they actually said to one another practically admitting there was no risk, there was an alternative option but that the regime had to go and could only be achieved by invasion to which Blair actually wrote the words “I will be with you, whatever.”

    Who do these people think they are?

    I wonder what notes Angela Merkel has been writing to Obama and what other schemes have ben discussed involving the EU as the stakes are getting ever higher?

  2. giordanobruno July 7, 2016 at 8:22 am #

    The Encyclopedia Britannica is 40 million words long. I wonder did they do that so no-one would read it? Or perhaps there is an index, maybe some kind of search function so that people can find whatever they need from it.
    Jude the conspiracy theorists around here (who are doing wonders for your blog) are starting to affect you!

    • Jude Collins July 7, 2016 at 9:08 am #

      Maybe try reading what I say, gio. If I write a book, I want people to read it. Chilcot writes a report that’s three times longer than all of Shakespeare’s work. Name me three people in the world who will read the entire Chilcot report?

      • giordanobruno July 7, 2016 at 9:41 am #

        It’s a document for reference obviously. Not intended to be read from start to finish.
        It can be searched for any detail that interests you.
        Suggesting it is somehow trying to cover up what happened is simply disingenuous.
        It’s almost as if you are desperately trying to find some way of criticising it, but nah that would be unthinkable!

        • Jude Collins July 7, 2016 at 11:28 am #

          Wrong again, gio. I would criticise it: it minces its words, from what I can gather. The fact is, Tony Blair lied to the British people and involved them, in the face of massive protest, in a ghastly invasion. Chilcot couches that in terms of ‘mistakes’ and similar diplomatic language.
          To come back to my initial point: 2.6 million words. What nonsense! The Warren Commission report on JFK’s assassination wasn’t that long, or anywhere near. Communication consists of saying as much as possible in the fewest possible words. Chilcot in that regard is a very, very long joke.

          • giordanobruno July 7, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

            So you feel able to criticise it without having read it?
            It must be accessible enough then, for you to do so with confidence.

          • Jude Collins July 7, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

            I criticise it for being absurdly long, gio. You don’t need to read and count each of the 2.6 million words to do that. Trusting soul that I am, I’m going on the bits quoted from it and from Chilcot’s own TV comments to conclude that it’s diplomatic in its language – mistakes, excessive, inadequate – that kind of thing. He should have produced a report that it would have been possible to read in its entirety – I mean, W Shakespeare said an awful lot more in one-third the space…And of course you don’t need to eat the whole pie if the slice you’ve taken is poisonous….Now, that’s it. You’ve lured me into commenting on your comments, and that way madness lies (Shakespeare reference…)

          • giordanobruno July 7, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

            I’m sorry you have the pain of having to address me, I try to avoid addressing you directly these days to relieve that stress for you.
            However here we are and it is painful for both us, but I don’t see your point at all.
            Have you read the whole Bible? Have you read the dictionary from A to Z?
            You mention the Warren Commission report; have you read it?
            Probably not I would guess. They are not meant to be read in their entirety and nor is this.
            It is available on line in clearly labelled sections with a searchable format.
            Your suggestion that the authors do not want anyone to read it makes no sense.
            Perhaps you would agree with Emperor Joseph II about The Marriage of Figaro –
            “too many notes, Mozart”?

          • Jude Collins July 7, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

            Got it in one, gio

          • jessica July 7, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

            Gio, you are the first person I have ever heard say that the bible was not meant to be read in its entirety.

          • giordanobruno July 8, 2016 at 7:30 am #

            Have you read it all?
            ‘And Mehosephat begat Mehisophat and his days were long’ etc etc.

          • jessica July 8, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

            I don’t read it at all gio, but members of my family read chapters and verses every single night. There is some prayer group they are in which does up a little sheets with what to read for every day, the reason behind it and so on. They then meet up to discuss their different takes on it as often everyone gets a different conclusion from the same text.

            They have asked me to join in but I have resisted, it just isn’t me. I would consider myself a Christian but not very religious unfortunately.

          • giordanobruno July 8, 2016 at 6:51 pm #

            There is plenty of good stuff in it alright-words to live by, though I’m not a believer in the big guy myself.
            We could do with a few people who are a bit less religious and a bit more Christ-like.
            Anyway my point was that it is for reference as your family know, and like the Bible the Chilcot report is designed for reference.

          • jessica July 9, 2016 at 8:43 am #

            Doesn’t really change Judea point that it was unduly long. Although, if the report was 2000 pages and 2.5 million words were as an appendix I would have no problem with that. As I will rely on others to provide an accurate and honest summary and will never read a word of it, it wont really matter to me.

            Bibles as there are more than one version on the other hand are meant to be read cover to cover and many people do so many times over.

            I agree with you that being even devoutly religious does not necessarily make someone a Christian though.

    • Wolfe tone July 7, 2016 at 11:37 am #

      Good old Gio, it’s what you don’t say that speaks volumes. You won’t read the chilcott report that’s for sure. I am also sure you got all emotional listening to tony Blairs response to chilcott yesterday.
      I suggest Jude would need to get back to topics Gio thrives on- blaming irish militant republicans and a few bad apples in the otherwise upstanding RUC(they got a George Cross you know), for all our woes. That’s Gio’s cosy comfort zone.

      • giordanobruno July 7, 2016 at 4:08 pm #

        More nonsense
        No I won’t read it all, just like Jude, just like you, just like most people.
        No I did not get emotional listening to Blair unless you mean anger.
        I responded directly to Jude’s point about the size of the report. If the topic is not to your liking take it up with him!

  3. Scott July 7, 2016 at 8:29 am #

    The size of the report is a comforting thing to me and proves its has been taken seriously and is far from the whitewash I thought it wou be.

    As for the size hindering any sort of deep scrutinisation I don’t think that’s the case. It is open to be read to anyone who wishes and I’m sure in time someone will get through the whole thing.

    In the mean time the news agencies will divide the report up amongst dozens of journalists who will get through it quickly and will be searching for any pieces of information that will give them there next story.

    This size of document is not unprecedented and has been done before, examples being the Edward Snowden Wikileaks files and the Panama Papers.

    • Jude Collins July 7, 2016 at 9:06 am #

      “. It is open to be read to anyone who wishes and I’m sure in time someone will get through the whole thing.” That’s exactly my point. Somewhere, someday, somebody will read the whole report. You don’t seriously believe journalists get together and say ‘You read that chapter, you read that, and then we’ll all pool what we got and come to a judgement’. Journalists don’t operate like that.

      • Scott July 7, 2016 at 9:44 am #

        I assumed that was exactly how journalists and news agencies operate when dealing with this size of document. It would make sense to me. I would hardly think that an individual would be responsible for going through the thousands and possibly millions of files in the Wikileaks or Panama paper files.

        In fairness Jude, you have a greater insight into journalists and the media than I do as you work with them regularly. In this regard I bow to your expertise.

        • Jude Collins July 7, 2016 at 11:24 am #

          Too kind, Scott – I’m no expert on anything. But I do know that journalists are always working against deadlines – and other journalists/publications/stations

    • truthrevisionist July 7, 2016 at 12:23 pm #


      ‘The size of the report is a comforting thing to me’

      Ahhhh.. Isn’t that lovely.

      Now you can go back to sleep Scott, while your leaders go on to their next mass slaughter.

      • Scott July 7, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

        Now now TR no need for rudeness.

        I don’t plan to read the thing and I trust the info fed to me by various media outlets I choose to trust.

        The report is without doubt detailed and although it is not as harsh as some people would i.e a war criminal, liar, murderer or warmonger, he certainly comes out of it badly damaged. It question is what happens next to him?

        I know you believe what you believe about the world TR and I’m sorry but I find it impossible to debate things with you as I just don’t buy that the world is controlled by a Zionist cartel or some type of Elitist conspiracy.

        I look at the info and make the best judgement at whether to trust a source/person and by in large I do trust mainstream media sources.

        You will probably call me a sheep for believing what I believe but please try and control yourself as that is very insulting.

        I wouldn’t dream on calling you a nut job for your beliefs.

        • truthrevisionist July 7, 2016 at 5:08 pm #


          Definitely no insults meant.

          My only ‘beliefs’ are in the truth. Not ‘confirmation bias’.

          We both actually agree on everything.

          You ‘trust mainstream media sources’ which are lies.

          You ‘believe what’ you’ believe’ without critical thinking.

          And your masters are pleased with you, because you are compliant.

          By the way, I’ve got a bridge in London I’d like to sell you.

          • Scott July 7, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

            “You ‘trust mainstream media sources’ which are lies.”

            In your opinion TR. But maybe your wrong.

            “You ‘believe what’ you’ believe’ without critical thinking.”

            No I believe what I believe after my own critical thinking which just doesn’t line up with yours. That’s ok though since people do come to diffrent opinions even with when presented with the same info. That’s called personal opinion.

            “And your masters are pleased with you, because you are compliant.”

            Which masters do you refer to now the Jews, illuminati, Free Masons, Opus Dei,? The only master I am aware of is the girlfriend and she’s definitely in charge.

  4. billy July 7, 2016 at 8:39 am #

    2.6million words ime sure tony will pick through them and write another book,hel make money of these dead peoples humps and get away with it.

  5. Antaine de Brún July 7, 2016 at 8:48 am #

    Armoured cars, helicopters, drones, tanks and guns used in this part of the world

    perform similar functions in the Middle East. The Widgery Report and The Saville

    Report addressed issues and facts already in the public domain. People living in

    Iraq and Syria do not need a Chilcot Report to explain the ongoing loss of life

    courtesy of Messrs Bush, Blair and sundry spin doctors.

  6. paddykool July 7, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    Ha ha …Jude .You’ve just written a Monty Python or Black Adder sketch worthy of Kafka.In a world of soundbites and non sequiturs , nobody was ever going to read this report. It’s debatable that far too many people ever read anything longer than a tweet anymore , anyway so beavering away for seven years on something like this that will be forever buried in some dusty basement is surely a form of madness. Then again they’ll be employing a team of civil-servants anytim esoon to sort out all the EU legislation that will return us all to Ground Zero ….sometime around 2087…..you gotta laugh or you’d cry..

  7. truthrevisionist July 7, 2016 at 9:45 am #

    Chilcot – The ultimate illusion. The distraction ‘extraordinaire’.

    The sheeple think they’ve got a degree of justice because one of the puppets has been thrown under a bus.

    Didn’t even make it as a headline on US networks, or their Arab owned subsidiaries.

    But they miss it all.

    PNAC – (Oded Yinon Plan) – 9/11 – Afghanistan – Iraq – Yemen – Libya – Somalia – Sudan – Syria – Iran.

    Work in progress.

    Go figure !

    • Jude Collins July 7, 2016 at 11:23 am #

      “or their Arab owned subsidiaries”…I thought it was a world-wide Jewish conspiracty…

      • truthrevisionist July 7, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

        Did You ?


        A ‘conspiracty’ ??

        Could even be an ‘illuminati’ ‘conspiracty’ Jude !

        Your masters love obedient sheepdogs.

  8. Brian Patterson July 7, 2016 at 10:14 am #

    The British establishment have moved on from Widgery. They find that whitewash no longer serves their purposes. So they commission reports that find out mostly the truth. Like the Savile report. And the Chilcot. The chattering classes and the press go into a feeding frenzy. But no one is ever charged, the guilty walk free. And the chattering classes and the media soon find something else to titillate them
    And they move on to something really important like a flash of Kate Middleton’s knickers.

  9. Perkin Warbeck July 7, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

    Bull’s eye, Esteemed Blogmeister !

    Maybe they should rebrand the Chilcot Report as: ‘How long is a fuse for a political time bomb?’

    Had an honest go at the resume of the Icelandic saga-long tome in The Unionist Times which deals with this, the latest in a series of indictments of English Imperialism, dating as far back even as the yawn of history itself. This time to do with the mirage of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’.

    But, alas, while keen to discover if IRAQ was in fact a natural progression for the B.A. having dealt so competently with IRA (P), it being a peace keeping force much given to watching its, erm, Ps and Qs, soon found oneself W.O.M.D.E.D. out.

    -This is so NOT one !.

    So, decided to absent oneself , reaching in the process for the Woody Allen all-purpose excuse: ‘must go: just got a call to say that my hamster has hepatitis’.

    Today being Thursday one automatically sought some guaranteed comic relief . So, naturally, found it In the Newton Emerson column, the laugh-a-line think-piece reserved for Loyalist Lite Reading. Call it:

    -The Newt Watch.

    The title itself today is a real thigh-slapper:

    -Irish Nationalist hysteria on Brexit seems more wind than candle.

    More so for this is the second fifth column in as many days in TUT to (gasp) bash Nationalism, the first bearing the distinctive FOT print of the Man who Makes up the Minds of the Mindless:

    -Belfast Agreement is a threat to the new English Nationalism.

    So, not unlike the Portuguese Man o’War last night against the Sperm Wales, we’re only just into the second half of the week and already the score in The Unionist Times is:

    -NEWTS 2: GNATS O.

    Truly, is the Newt destined to take his place on the sidewalk of stars outside GRMA’s Chinese Take Away of Tara Street beside the FOT print mentioned already. In his case, it will be a hand print which ought to make it a real, erm, red letter day.

    Before that auspicious occasion, however, a question or two: where precisely did the Newt chance upon this Irish Nationalist hysteria on Brexit?

    Did he perchance, conduct a vox pop himself (shoe leather, clipboard, biro, no de Niro demeanour, door knockers etc) or did he – say it ain’t so ! – depend upon the outpourings of the DOBland media? Perhaps, the Newt, being the stereotypical straight- talking non-Taigue from Norneverland took the name of the newspapers – say, The Irish Independent – at face value ?


    Perhaps, he needs to do a crash course in a module entitled Down South Definitions.

    For instance, DOBland derives from Denis O Brien-land. DOB, Media Mogul and a grand lad entirely, is a dab hand at self-aggrandisement (a darling word, Joxer) having diversified in many directions. One of which being in the direction of bankrolling the managerial layer of the soccer team which represents the population south of the Black Sow’s Dyke, that sorta thingy..

    This is the man who is credited (not least in Independent House) with taking the filthy out of lucre and simultaneously putting the Pat back into the Patriotism of both Martin and Roy.


    Why did the poppy-wearing pair apply for the job?
    Was patriotism the reason rather than d’odd bob?
    Unlike Mrs. Merton
    One can’t be certain
    It had anything to do with the Multi Billionaire DOB.

  10. Freddie mallins July 7, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

    Apparently, Jude the only reason Chilcot stopped short of burying Blair was out of respect for the lost lives ( British of course). It would have been considered unconscionable for him to proclaim the war a complete and unadulterated disaster. His small but significant points of mitigation are what will save Blair ultimately.

  11. truthrevisionist July 7, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

    In 2011 despite knowing Iraq’s destruction was based on TOTAL LIES –

    557 of the sheeples’ MPs voted for the Destruction of Libya.

    Q. How do you persuade 557 MPs to vote for the Destruction of a Modern Country ?

    A. You don’t need to – when you own them.

    The only thing that Chilcot proves is that there is one law for the sheeple and NO LAW for the War Criminals.

    Blair and his ‘Warmongers’ are above the law.

    Get it yet ?

  12. Sherdy July 7, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

    I fear the only practical use for the complete works of Chilcot will be its capacity to prop up the short legs of a dozen tables – the other logical use for all those nicely bound sheets of paper would not really be practicable as it is not the correct texture for toilet use!

  13. Ryan July 7, 2016 at 5:14 pm #

    “Parting thought. Might it be possible that…Nah, that’d be an unthinkable…Oh, OK. Might it be possible they made the report as mind-bendingly long as it is so that scarcely anyone in the world would read it?”

    Yep, that’s most likely the case Jude. Banks, Credit Card and Loan companies do exactly the same thing. When you read the Terms & Conditions on a Loan form they are usually in tiny print, covering a number of pages but the part where you sign is VERY noticeable, even underlined.

    Its all part of a ploy to make people overlook very important details and to not bother reading it at all. I’m certain this Report (which cost £10 million to produce….) is so long and complex for exactly the same reason.

  14. Martin Carroll July 8, 2016 at 3:21 pm #

    Of course the price of the report won’t encourage many to read it ,whatever about the contents .