- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Politics

The Butler Report Is... Never Having To Say You're Sorry

16 July 2004

The Butler Report is a pretty damning document. It's a lengthy list of very serious criticisms, particularly considering the result was the invasion of another country. Try a few of these:

- Intelligence was stretched to 'the outer limits' of credibility

- The infamous '45-minute' claim was used because it was 'eye-catching'

- One of the dossiers had the 'serious weakness' of failing to explain the flimsiness of much of the intelligence

- Britain's information sources in Iraq were few, and included one who was simply 'unreliable'.

And so it goes on, with the report criticising a 'group think' mentality that failed to make a realistic assessment of the crappy intelligence. If an employer gave an employee a personal appraisal that was as scathing as this, they'd be fired. But not so in the Alice in Wonderland world of Tony Blair, where everyone in the UK supports the war, really, and all the fuck-ups, omissions and glaring untruths were the result of 'good faith'.

It makes you wonder if, like the dodgy dossiers, the Butler report has been through a few rewrites. Did the original look like this?


My Report by Lord Butler

The government and the prime minister lied to justify an unpopular war. [NOTE TO SELF: Change to 'Mistakes are inevitable when you're dealing with a jolly tricky issue like thingummies of mass destruction']

The intelligence services were placed under pressure to provide false intelligence that supported the war. [NOTE TO SELF: Change to 'If anyone's to blame, it's those useless spooks.']

Surely Blair can't wriggle out of this one? [NOTE TO SELF: Change to 'Tony is Love.']

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free

Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved