It's all happening at the Iraq Inquiry, isn't it? Jonathan Powell, Geoff Hoon and Jack Straw appeared this week, with Straw admitting that if he had resigned in early 2003 the Blair government wouldn't have been able to pursue invasion of Iraq (so, er, why didn't you then?). The former Foreign Secretary's approach was essentially to pose as quite humble and subtly distance himself from the decision to invade. My impression is that subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, distancing is becoming a popular tactic for those dragged before the inquiry committee.
We've also had the news that Gordon Brown will, after all, appear before Sir John Chilcot's inquiry prior to the next general election. The current PM was the man who, as Chancellor, bankrolled the extraordinarily wasteful (not to mention illegal and immoral) war and occupation of Iraq - he will appear at some point during February and March. Brown is also responsible for continuing, and extending, UK participation in the NATO occupation of Afghanistan. There is no evidence that he or anyone else in high office, either here or in Obama-era USA, has learnt anything from Iraq.
Brown is hosting a conference for NATO countries this Thursday, at which further escalation of war in Afghanistan will be on the agenda. This is despite the firm public majorities opposing such a course, in both this country and the US. Pursuing a war against the wishes of the people? Now, who might that remind me of?
Tony Blair will go before the inquiry committee, and world's media, on Friday. Some of the information currently emerging means he will be very much on the defensive. Most important is today's news that the former Foreign office senior lawyer regarded the invasion as illegal. As with Straw, it might be argued his timing could have been better - this information would have been helpful in 2003, instead of the deceit we were fed by the Attorney General at the time.
Anti-war campaigners are protesting at the NATO conference on Thursday and again at the Iraq inquiry on Friday. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are part of the same larger 'war on terror' pursued for the sake of US economic and political interests, with the loyal acquiescence of British leaders, whether Blair, Brown or - as we're likely to have after 6 May - Cameron. There will be local events in some areas outside London too: in Tyneside we have a local protest demanding Blair is held to account and there is no whitewash at the Iraq inquiry, followed in February by a Stop the War public meeting.
Timetable for all-day protest on Tony Blair's Judgement Day
8.00: PROTEST STARTS AS BLAIR ARRIVES
A delegation including Iraqi citizens and grieving military families take the People's Dossier of questions for Tony Blair to Sir John Chilcot.
9.00-10.00: NAMING OF THE DEAD CEREMONY
When Blair's testimony begins, names of Iraqis killed in the war will be read by novelist A.L Kennedy, Musician Brian Eno, actor and director Sam West, actor and director Simon McBurney, playwright David Edgar, Lancet editor Richard Horton, former UK ambassador Craig Murray, Iraqi author Haifa Zangana, comedian and author Alexei Sayle, actor Miriam Margoyles, and more.
10.00-11.00: SPEECHES, READINGS AND PERFORMANCES
Including by many of those participating in the Naming the Dead ceremony.
Lowkey, King Blues and other Musicians.
13.00-14.00: MILITARY FAMILIES NAMING OF THE DEAD
Members of military families who lost loved ones in the Iraq war will read the names of all 179 British soldiers who died.
16.00: PROTEST AS TONY BLAIR LEAVES THE INQUIRY