Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

“History is written by the victor”

Or, in this case (as in Soviet Russia), the government.

In case you missed it amidst all the sordid sex scandals – there’s been another leak. It was in yesterday’s Sunday Times, apparently:

“The new evidence, uncovered in the trawl ordered by the Home Office of all relevant documents at Scotland Yard and MI5, shows the intelligence services knew far more about Khan and Tanweer than the government has publicly admitted”

But it’s OK, kids – it”ll all come out in the official history! Honest!

“Hundreds of pages of transcripts obtained from the surveillance are contained in secret files being prepared by MI5 and Scotland Yard. Clarke has asked for the files to be collated so the government can prepare the official narrative of events.”

The heading quote for this post comes from Churchill – a man who, in his Nobel-winning History of the Second World War, successfully propagated the still-perpetuated myth that he was almost single-handedly responsible for first highlighting the Nazi threat and then for fighting it off. As meticulously detailed in David Reynolds’ In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War, Churchill – like our dear leaders today – also managed to prevent potential rivals from accessing documents which may have disputed his claims, and even used his position and connections to help ridicule alternative takes on his self-serving history.

And so, just as Churchill still gets voted the “Greatest Briton” despite being a barking, racist idiot and strategic incompetent, the lack of an independent enquiry will ensure that the “there was nothing we could do” story over the 7th July attacks will continue.

Hell, there probably wasn’t anything they could do – a bunch of innocent civilians were likely to get blown up by terrorists at some point no matter what, largely because it’s not that difficult to launch a terrorist attack.

But what surely could have helped prevent those specific attacks was to continue to monitor two of the eventual bombers for longer than the two months they were being investigated.

An independent enquiry might be able to determine the precise reasons why the “quick assessment” of the security risks posed by bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan incorrectly determined that he was not a threat before he went on to kill seven people at Edgeware Road, even though

“[in] the summer of 2003… Khan visited a terrorist training camp in northern Pakistan. It has established that the camp was set up by Al-Qaeda soon after Tony Blair sent British troops into Iraq.”

Oh look, it’s the “I” word again… There’s a surprise…

Perhaps another couple of Churchill quotes may be more appropriate for the Blair government: “There is no such thing as public opinion. There is only published opinion”, and, it would seem, “History will be kind to me – for I intend to write it.”