Andrew Mackinlay is Magnificent 50

My previous attempts to explain that Andrew Mackinlay is the greatest man in Parliament have been met with some scepticism by my readers.

But nobody can deny that this week he was absolutely magnificent against Jack Straw’s continued efforts to hide behind a wall of lies over the invasion of Iraq:

Andrew Mackinlay (Thurrock) (Lab): Has the Justice Secretary looked behind him to see that there are only two office holders?”a Parliamentary Private Secretary and the Church Commissioner?”who support him? Not a single one of his hon. Friends is here endorsing him today. Could it be that they are ashamed and embarrassed by this announcement? Will he not reflect on the fact, which really is breathtaking, that he, who clearly was one of the people who piloted this policy and persuaded us?”I remember him, as it is photographed on my mind, promising that we would get the second UN resolution?”should also decide that those documents should not be available? It is appalling.

It is also a bad day for Parliament when we get synthetic anger from the Opposition, who are cosying up?”the Privy Council club closing down debate and discussion on things that must be revealed.

I bear the scars of having trusted the Prime Minister on this matter and I shall take to the grave the fact that I regret having listened to the porky pies and the stories of the Intelligence and Security Committee and of the Prime Minister. I shall regret it to the day I die. I should never, ever have trusted them.

Mr. Straw rose?”

Andrew Mackinlay: And I never will again!

The closing of ranks by New Labour and the Conservatives to frustrate the Information Tribunal’s decision to release the Cabinet discussion that led us to war, simply illustrates the astonishing democratic deficit in the UK which enabled bellicose politicians to launch an illegal war in the first place.

I was deeply frustrated last night watching Question Time, where there was again a general closing of ranks by Labour, Tories and the Political editor of the Sun, offset only by a nice but inarticulate Lib-Dem non-entity. Everyone sagely agreed that it was necessary for participants to be assured of secrecy, or they would not be able to give their best advice.

Nobody countered this argument, which has been rolled out by almost the entire mainstream media. But it is nonsense. Is advice which of which somebody might be ashamed and which cannot stand up to public scrutiny always the best advice? Does the best government really thrive only in the darkest of corners, operating by subterfuge? I worked in government for over twenty years, including in some pretty senior positions working with intelligence and military affairs. I never gave any advice that I would not have been prepared to defend robustly and openly.

Indeed advice which you would not be prepared to defend robustly seems axiomatically more likely to be flawed.

The obsession of the British establishment with the view that the best government is hidden government must be challenged. What it does of course is to permit government for motives and interests they don’t want the rest of us to know about.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

50 thoughts on “Andrew Mackinlay is Magnificent

1 2
  • Leo Davidson

    Well said.

    It is clear that it is the politicians that are being protected here, not the country they supposedly serve.

    How can democracy function if the people are not allowed to know the truth until 50 years after any controversial decision has been made?

  • writerman

    I don’t think democracy functions anymore, and it hasn’t for a long time. I blame Thatchrism, which I believe permanently undermined old-fashioned Westminster-style democracy.

    I believe we now live in a plutocracy, not a real democracy.

  • Sue

    Thatcherism was eons ago as far as political lifetimes are measured. Labour have managed to manipulate the rules to suit their own evil agenda, indeed they have produced one new statute to the rule book per day since Blair came into power. Your democracy died with them.

    What is it with you people? We have a corrupt system! The rulebook needs to be re-written!

  • algernon

    I retain my scepticism. His words may have come across as ‘magnificant’ but it’s votes that count…

    “Andrew MacKinlay MP, Thurrock, voted strongly against the policy: Iraq Investigation – Necessary”

    All the way up until March last year i might add.

    So i reckon his speech merely panders to a viewing public who are currently against the occupation of Iraq.

    Apologies for the cynicism, politicians give me the creeps.

  • writerman


    I agree with your conclusion, but I don’t agree that Thatcherism was eons ago. I think it’s still alive and well, for me New Labour are Thatcher’s children with a human face, unless, of course, one is an Iraqi or an Afghan.

    What I find saddening is how little real oppostion there really is in parliament and how grossly unrepresentative it’s become. After the next election the number of MP’s from what could loosely be described as the ‘working-class’, or who’ve ever done not professional work, will be reduced to a mere handful. So we’ll have a ‘representative democracy’ which will really only be ‘representative’ of an extremely narrow section of society.

  • mary

    I have never forgotten his hectoring and bullying of Dr David Kelly at a committee hearing when it was obvious that the man was under great pressure.

  • Clydebuilt

    I will always remember Mackinlay for dredging up a word fom WW2 “CHAFF” and using it to bully Dr. Kelly.

    Democracy is in a poor state in this country, maybe the hard times it’s about to endure will eventually strengthen our politics. Or will it take another war to clean things up.

    Short of a war Scotland gaining it’s independence should have a profound effect on Westminister politics. I suspect a change for the better for everyone on these islands.

  • Craig

    The government tried to kill two birds with one stone by blaming he death of Kellt on the troublesome Mackinlay. I watched his grilling of Kelly live on TV and it was not from a pro-government angle, nor was it particularly brutal – as I can say having been grilled by the FAC myself.

    I don’t believe Kelly killed himself anyway.

  • dreoilin

    ‘I don’t believe Kelly killed himself anyway.’

    Neither do I. And I’ve read the book by Norman Baker. It’s not the best-written book in the world, but there are many interesting facts in it that corroborate my own ideas. The man was killed.

  • Anas Taunton

    Straw is straw and is transparently so. He only follows his paymasters.

    I’m more concerned about the advice that the devil, masquerading as God, gave Mr Blair when he whispered in his ear that it might be a good idea to invade Iraq, even though every political advisor to Mr Blair in the real world told him not to go down that road if it could possibly be avoided.

    Blair is not gullible like Straw. He is insane. His best defence for what happened as a consequence of his lying, will be diminished responsibility.

    The Iraqi government is desperately trying to lure back the six million refugees who left Iraq fleeing the violence. It would be disgusting haste if Western countries rushed in to cash in on the peace, while the Iraqi people are still living in abject poverty abroad.

  • Andrew

    I happened to catch Andrew Mackinlay’s handsome interjection on TV earlier this week. Standing down on the floor and complaining he was, very much in the best style of Dennis Skinner. More power to his elbow I say!

    On the topic of Dr Kelly, I’m sure Mr Mackinlay now feels he was lead astray into his line of questioning at the committee hearing. And now regrets this deeply.

    My own view is that Dr Kelly did end his own life, but not by the method that Lord Hutton supported. I’ve spoken to Mr Baker and read his book.

    I’ve posted the following elsewhere:

    You state here that it is your belief that Dr David Kelly was murdered.

    Certainly Norman Baker MP has published a book on the matter where he states: “… that David Kelly’s death could not have been suicide, and that therefore it must have been murder”. He then goes on to suggest that Dr Kelly was killed by Iraqi opposition figures, but does this idea really hold water?

    The doctors who wrote to the Guardian say that he couldn’t have committed suicide in the way that he is claimed to have done and therefore do not believe in the version of events as expounded by Lord Hutton, so where does this leave us?

    Is there any other way that we can possibly square this circle?

    So what if Dr Kelly really committed suicide by administering to himself a Porton Down toxin?

    Is it possible that he also cut his wrist to prevent anyone from claiming that he had simply suffered a heart attack, perhaps from the combination of the stress he was under and the effects of a strenuous walk upon Harrowdown Hill, not to mention any underlying condition he may have had?

    This would then beg the questions as to whether anyone who went to the scene of his death would have any inkling that such a scenario had taken place; and secondly would such a toxin have ever been detected by a normal and routine toxicological examination?

    Just for the sake of argument let’s suggest that he took saxitoxin. Seemingly, six-tenths of a milligram of this substance is a sufficient dose to kill an adult, often within an hour.

    Certainly he would have had knowledge of it and even access to it from his time as Head of Microbiology at Porton Down. Saxitoxin came to be known about after US pilot Gary Powers failed to take it when his U2 spyplane was shot down. After this President Nixon ordered all stock of such toxins destroyed but this didn’t happen, instead it was distributed to 72 labs including Porton for safe keeping.

    Ask yourself this. If the US were plotting to assassinate Saddam inside Iraq whilst UNSCOM was working there, what would Uday and Qusay have done with the inspectors they then held. What price would the WMD knowledge of Dr Kelly and others be worth to them? Would Dr Kelly hold a card, in the form of a ‘way out’, just in case such a scenario occurred?

    Further to this, where would the British Government stand if such a card were played at the wrong time?

    There’s the question of the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, which it signed on April 10th 1972 and ratified on March 26th 1975. It says:

    “Each State Party to this Convention undertakes never in any circumstances to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain…”

    Then there’s our own Biological Weapons Act (1974). This one says:

    1. Restriction on development etc of certain biological agents and toxins and of biological weapons

    (1) No person shall develop, produce, stockpile, acquire or retain –

    (a) any biological agent or toxin of a type and in a quantity that has no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes; …

    (Hmmm. Where would that leave us when we’re (falsely) accusing Saddam of doing the very same things?)

    Beyond this there is the question of criminal liability for complicity in another’s suicide. Section 2 of the Suicide Act of 1961 states that:

    “A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the suicide of another, or an attempt of another to commit suicide, shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.”

    Another thing to think about is the question of corporate or involuntary manslaughter. It’s a bit complicated to go into it here, but no doubt you get my drift.

    So the question I would have to ask is whether the above are (or could be) sufficient reasons to prevent a full and proper Coroners Inquest from taking place under Section 13 (Inquests: special cases) of the Coroners Act 1988?

    I wonder…

  • ingo

    Thatchers model, just as the conservative policies such as PFI, were taken over by noLabour, hook line and sinker. Their first 48 hours in power, decreasing corporation tax by 1.5% should have given us all a hint of what was to come.

    NoLabour has failed in many of its core policies, for example, before 1997 they were adament that their FoI policies were all ready to be implemented, after 18 years of preparations. We had to wait for years after their election before they were introduced.

    Another sore point with me is transport. Integration of transport modes was promised as one of their pillars of tackling decades of underinvestment, what we got is an exploded rail service, a ripp off to the public the most expensive and shoddy service compared to other european countries.

    For example, here in Norwich, after 12 years in power, nobody managed to link up the rail station with the bus hub, or the airport. Instead another ring road is being punched through with their help and no money.

    NoLabour have been the best protagonist of Conservative policies in this country, ever.

    Parliamentary politics in this country will not change until PR is adopted for all elections, without it the proliferation of mongering lawyers, mainly, will not change,imho and the public will feel unable to trust such hegemonial politics.

    Somehow I fell that we are approaching the cross roads, soon the public mood will turn, leaving the liars and wasters to try their emergency policies out on us. Question is what will the police do when faced with word twisting liars out to save their skin and pensions, will they take sides with those who actually pay taxes for their services, or will they carry on supporting these scoundrels and liars now out to usurp Parlaiment by dragging it through the mud?

    Dr Kelly death is suspicious, until the minutes are released to the public, we will never know to what extend he was manipulated and pressurised by those who purport to safeguard democratic values.

    back to gardening. I hope you’ve got a good patch of garden in your new abode Craig, alternatively try and get an allotment, its ever so relaxing…

  • Richard

    Don’t think anyone believes Kelly killed himself.

    I’m not sure blaming Thatcher is relevant – she respected the House more and all governments are given the ability to design structures as they desire. I’m not saying don’t blame Thatcher for what she did but ALL of it could have been altered.

    Robin Cook & John Smith, heart attacks???

  • Ruth

    The following extract of Andrew Mackinlay’s speech is very interesting:

    It is also a bad day for Parliament when we get synthetic anger from the Opposition, who are cosying up?”the Privy Council club closing down debate and discussion on things that must be revealed.

    Gerald James in his address at the Conference of the Environmental Law Centre stated:

    The other area which is key to overall secret control outside Parliament is the Privy Council. It is important to note that all main members of the Cabinet become members of the Privy Council as do leaders and sometimes the deputy leaders of the opposition parties.

    The Privy Council oath which all members take means they cannot freely discuss any matter they are informed of or told of “Under Privy Council terms”. This means that the Cabinet and opposition leaders cannot discuss freely in Parliament or elsewhere any matter told to them on “Privy Council terms”. This means in practice that the key MPs cannot discharge their democratic duties. It is in effect a gagging system like Public Interest Immunity Certificates dispensed by Judges on application of Government and its agencies. All senior Judges and Appeal Judges are Privy Councillors as is the Lord Chancellor, The Attorney and Solicitor General and other invited and key persons. This secret unelected body has a wide range of powers. On the surface other permanent secretaries, sometimes the Cabinet Secretary and certain members of the established aristocracy are Privy Councillors.

    The Privy Council allied with the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and the Cabinet and Cabinet Intelligence Unit which is the real control over the security and intelligence services are part of the secret permanent unaccountable Government.

    I think he is absolutely right. Moreover, I believe the Privy Council has its own source of secret funds taken from the taxpayer.

    Parliament is just a show, an illusion of democracy.

    All the restrictions on our freedom purportedly to curb terrorism are in actual fact there to maintain their power when the riots start.

  • Richard

    Don’t think anyone believes Kelly killed himself.

    I’m not sure blaming Thatcher is relevant – she respected the House more and all governments are given the ability to design structures as they desire. I’m not saying don’t blame Thatcher for what she did but ALL of it could have been altered.

    Robin Cook & John Smith, heart attacks???

  • George Dutton

    “I believe we now live in a plutocracy, not a real democracy.”


    “Democracy is three wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner”

    D’Arcy J.M. Cain

  • lwtc247

    I hope Mr Mackinlay doesn’t like to go for walks in the woods.

    Nice to see someone admit their liability for the annhialiation of hundreds of thousands babies.

  • George Dutton

    Strange that in the link in the above post it say’s this…

    “Some of this evidence links this nation to an international torture racket which seems to look like Murder Inc with government backing and international bankers salivating over the prospect of more mineral rights for the rich over the dead bodies of human beings who never asked for or sought a war with the West.”

    Today I found this…

  • eddie

    You people really are bonkers. Kelly, Robin Cook, John Smith – all killed by who? Mossad, CIA, MI5? As with all your mad conspiracy theories not a shred of evidence is provided. I would love you all to revisit this in ten or twenty years and see how deluded you all are. Some people believe what they want to believe. Don’t you realise that the internet is infested with conspiracy nuts? Think for yoursleves for a change.

  • Ruth

    It would have been more likely to have been MI5. Mossad with the CIA was most probably involved in 9/11 and Mossad with MI5 in 7/7

  • frank verismo

    “I don’t think democracy functions anymore, and it hasn’t for a long time. I blame Thatchrism, which I believe permanently undermined old-fashioned Westminster-style democracy.”

    I blame the system itself – explained rather tidily by Prof Carroll Quigley:

    “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.”

    Simply substitute ‘American’ for the Western country of your choice.

    Ho. ho, ho!

  • lwtc247

    Ahah! EddieTroll(TM) emerges from the depths. He was just waiting for someone to spray some WD40 on his rusty joint.

    And having read extensively about the death of Dr. David Kelly, the EddieTroll(TM) can easily explain away ALL the documented facts which make a case for murder far beyond anything that would suggest he killed himself.

  • eddie

    So no evidence then, just childish fantasy. Kelly was a weak man who could not live with the consequences of his own actions. It was he who went to the press (Gilligan) and when the sh** hit the fan he cracked. There were probably otherfactors in his life that led to his decision to commit suicide. John Smith had had a previous heart attack if you recall. Cook was walking at height and had a heart attack. So did John Peel – was he killed by MI5? Come on, really. These fantasies are beneath you.

  • Dr chris burns-cox

    Kelly’s death: we need to have the post-mortem report made public.

    Then we need to have the proper public inquest that was prevented by Falconer.

    Suicide must be proved beyond all resonable doubt and plainly this is not so in this case. I would have thought the Tories and Lib Dems could make political capital out of calling for the PM report and Proper public inquest.. Labour’s refusal to allow these can be seen as an affirmation of guilt.

  • Ruth

    Claire Short said in the Sunday Mail today that there was no discussion in the Cabinet before the Iraqi war; that when the ministers arrived there was a piece of paper in front of each of them, a few paragraphs written by the Attorney General saying the war was legal, there were no problems etc. and then Tony Blair said something like, “That’s it.” And that was it.

    The inevitable conclusion must be that Tony Blair was following orders and obviously not from Parliament. Was he following orders from the Privy Council, which Gerald James describes as

    being allied with the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and the Cabinet and Cabinet Intelligence Unit which is the real control over the security and intelligence services are part of the secret permanent unaccountable Government

    Andrew Mackinlay touched on the subject in his speech:

    “It is also a bad day for Parliament when we get synthetic anger from the Opposition, who are cosying up?”the Privy Council club closing down debate and discussion on things that must be revealed.”

    Did the orders for Kelly’s death and others come from the inner reaches of the Privy Council? Are our lives controlled by ‘deep politics’? Do we live in a country which is controlled by a plutocracy which saps wealth from the people to finance its wars to fill its coffers? Does it have its own army of mercenaries? I think so.

  • lwtc247

    Oi EddieTroll(TM), strangely enough you haven’t addressed any of the evidence that makes suicide a no goer, and murder the most likely verdict.


    You seem to be quite well versed in fantasy, so perhaps it’s not that strange after all.

    P.S. Are you still trying to persuade people that Pilger was sacked from the New Statesman??

  • writerman

    I don’t think David Kelly’s death was unexpected, though I’m not sure it was murder. It’s an odd story. Did he jump, or was he pushed? I mean, when the attack dogs in the media are allowed off the leash and go after a target, then can be pretty scary.

    I believe Kelly was extremely concerned about the terrible damage to his reputation, and probably of equal concern, the threat to his pension should he be dismissed. This would have considerable consequences for his wife and children, so maybe, a man under tremendous strain took the ‘honourable’ way out of very tight corner. In our system it’s not really necessary, except in highly unusual circumstances, to actually kill people, there are far more effective ways of destroying individuals who get out of line.

  • lwtc247

    @ writerman

    I understand that thinking but really how we perceive it is an irrelevance. What matters is, from what we know of the evidence of the case, is that the likelihood of him being able to kill himself in that manner is virtually nil.

    There were no indications he was under stress. And my own irrelevant perceptions see me think: the ‘damage to his reputation line’ is just a fiction to impart doubt in peoples minds about his mental state – which as I said, seemed to wash off him like water on a turtles back.

    Even the medics who attended the interfered with crime scene specifically commentated on the lack of blood.

    Many in the country smelt something even more fishy than usual coming from the government green leather seats and from sh1tbag Campbell etc. Most people didn’t want war and IMO would have praised truthteller Kelly.

    The JCdM case saw similar attempts to play with peoples minds to acquiesce to state assassination.

1 2

Comments are closed.