The home secretary, Jack Straw, has refused to release the cabinet minutes
in the build-up to the Iraq war. A ruling last month by the Information Tribunal
called for the release of the minutes covering the discussions of the legality
or otherwise of the war.
But today Mr Straw is exercising a clause in the freedom of information law
(the first time this has happened) which gives him the power to veto the
tribunal’s ruling – he says that the release of the papers would cause “serious
damage” to cabinet government.
But the real question is whether it also shields from public gaze a paucity
of questioning and discussion within the Cabinet about such a momentous

Note & comment: Of course the release of the info would seriously damage the Govt especially that of the poacher turned game keeper Blair given that he was merely discharging the British obligations owed to the USA for the Second World War funding – which has been given the blanket name of ‘special relationship’. Who would otherwise support a personal vendetta of an American nincompoop hell bent on settling personal score with Saddam?

Whether there were meagre questions or none at all at that Cabinet meeting is not important to know. The important knowledge is that the British Cabinet of the day decided to support Bush’s whim when the entire rational World was hoping that common sense would prevail at least within the British Government’s Cabinet.

Straw has been with Blair since May 1997. By vetoing against the release of the information that the public is entitled to, Jack has used up his Ace and squandered an only opportunity to regain the British credibility by demonstrating the sense of fair play and self criticism. That may well prove to be the last straw.

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