“What on earth are you going to do,” Sir Roderic boomed at a member of the Chilcot support team this morning, “now this is nearly over?”
“Not sure,” came the reply, “I was thinking maybe the Afghanistan inquiry?”
Which would perhaps have been funnier had John, sorry, Dr Reid not gone on to make the same joke during his evidence. On the basis of today’s session Dr Reid does for jokes pretty much what he says we the media do for the Greater Good. (Clue: not a lot.)
Of course there’s no such thing as an Afghan inquiry (yet) but there’s definitely a faint end-of-term feeling going around the QEII at the moment.
True, Straw comes back on Monday and we have yet to hear from Brown, Miliband and Alexander, they’ll be early March, we think. Plus there will be more public hearings after the general election, possibly including recalls for Blair and others.
But we are several dozen witnesses and almost 10 weeks in and things felt like they were beginning to settle into a familiar routine. Or so we thought, until Chilcot casually dropped in that his team hope to hold hearings in Iraq before they issue their conclusions.
Urgent questions immediately presented themselves. Will C4 News’s commitment to on-site blogging and tweeting the inquiry stay its course?
Will the coffee be as good as the QEII’s?
Are the Iraqis ready for Lyne?
Have they ever even seen an episode of Columbo?
Answers when I have them.