"So he can give a commitment today, can he, that we will set up this inquiry as soon as practicable after the 1st, July - that's given is it?
Milliband: "Yes. Next question..."
The speculation about this has now gone into overdrive.
Quick to smell a rat, William Hague was reported thus:
The precise terms of the inquiry would be likely to have been agreed by the three party leaders. But Mr Hague said today that a Conservative administration would seek to widen any review set up by the current Government if they felt it was not comprehensive enough. (The Times)
It is said that history is always written by the victors (attributed to Churchill). Given their propensity to re-write history in their favour, the Labour Government has a vested interest in determining the terms of reference of such an inquiry before they are thrown out of of office at the next election and the long list of misdemeanors unravels in the court of public opinion. Even though Labour know they are almost certainly going to lose the next general election, information about the conduct of the war could impact on their electoral chances for decades. (People still remember the Belgrano affair from the Thatcher era - a drop in the ocean compared to Iraq)
This announcement, though broadly welcome, has all the hallmarks of a Labour spin operation, with speculation that Gordon Brown will make an announcement about it at the Labour Party autumn conference.
For me, the idea that those who perpetrated this war crime could in any way be involved in an inquiry is absurd and abominable. Let us hope that William Hague and his colleagues will reserve the right to re-draw the terms of reference once they are in power.
The day of reckoning for Labour, not just for the war, but for their disastrous handling of the economy and ten years of social engineering, and the abolition of civil liberties, must come. And on that day, History must be written not just by the victors, but by the guardians of the truth.