Monday, 25 October 2010

A few general thoughts from me about Dr Kelly's death

Before I continue looking at the issues surrounding David Kelly's death I want to stop for a moment and jot down some of my more general thoughts before returning to the minutiae.  There is no particular order to this, just a case of recording some things I consider important.

1. Publication of the Forensic Pathologist's report and Toxicologists report.  I will be making a line by line comparison of the content of these two reports with what was said at the Inquiry but not today.  What concerns me now is the tactic the government has used to supposedly reassure the public.  For the moment let's put aside the aspect of distaste by making these intimate details available to all and sundry.  It seems to me that the correct procedure would have been to allow access to a group of medical and legal experts to not only of what has recently gone on line but all the photographs that relate in any way to the death.  The headlines that the mainstream media (MSM) were screaming following the publication of the reports were essentially the matters that Dr Hunt had previously intimated to the media.  So in that sense there were no huge surprises and the average casual reader of the reports shouldn't have found anything too amazing within them.

2. Dr Hunt and the media.  Some little while prior to the release of the reports just mentioned the forensic pathologist had been talking to the media about his examination of Dr Kelly.  Now whether Dr Hunt did this entirely off his own bat or there were others who considered it a good idea for him to do a bit of talking prior to the release of the documents I don't know.  It's possible that Dr Hunt speaking out was part of a 'holding operation' because we know about the group of concerned individuals who, using legal channels, have been endeavouring to get a proper inquest to take place.  If Dr Hunt's public intervention was wholly his own idea then I would condemn that unreservedly.  It is not acceptable in my opinion for a professional person in his position to use the media in that way particularly with the possibility of some future legal process regarding Dr Kelly's death.  Sorry to be quite so blunt about this but it is one of my 'gold standards' of professional behaviour.  Sadly it seems as if the boundaries of professional behaviour are getting blurred.

3. The hopelessness of the mainstream media (MSM).  Again I'm going to be blunt but I have to say that by and large the MSM are very poor.  One only has to look at what was said when the two reports saw light of day last week.  Mostly the same things and quite predictable.  One has to search the internet to find blogs, forums and obscure websites that give the interested person the more detailed information and independent thought that is missing from the MSM.  At this juncture and trying to be even handed I have to say that the MSM have the constant problem of working to tight deadlines and they have to supply instant gratification to the majority of their audience.  I, on the other hand, with this style of blog can take a longer more considered view.

4. Because of all the doubts about the official explanation of Dr Kelly's death it is all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that every detail one uncovers that doesn't quite fit in with our perception of the truth must mean yet again another part of a vast conspiracy.  I can see just how easily this happens and how much has to be done to keep focused on facts and not make irrational judgements.  There will always be posts in this blog intended to add to the picture of events but not intended to come down on either side of the suicide v murder argument.  Lots of writers in the MSM, commentators on TV and writers of blogs have their own political agenda,  that is inevitable of course but I want to make it clear that only the truth matters for me.  For instance I haven't yet read through Tony Blair's evidence at the Hutton Inquiry.  Whether I considered what he said was honest or dishonest that is what I would describe on this blog.

5. In forming a judgement Lord Hutton had access to a lot more information than we, reading what witnesses said at the Inquiry, were privy to.  On the official Hutton website there is a list of all the pieces of evidence submitted to the Inquiry by Thames Valley Police - I think it was Andrew in a comment who drew my attention to this.  A good deal of this paperwork from TVP was not for publication which is not surprising.  One of these I noted was a personal witness statement from Graham Peter Coe and there were statements from many other police as well.  In his personal witness statement surely he would have included the detail of the 'third man' and surely that information was something Mr Knox would have noted before his questioning of Mr Coe.  And surely Lord Hutton would have compared witness statements to the police with what was said at the Inquiry before publishing his report.  I wonder what discrepancies there were.  Certainly Mr Knox appears to have had some foreknowledge he was able to give a witness, informing David Bartlett that the ambulance used on the mission to Harrowdown Hill was number 934.

With that last piece of not very relevant information I'll end this post. 

1 comment:

  1. Brian –

    Just to pick up on some of your points here:

    (The reports) It strikes me that the release of the two reports was aimed at forestalling the legal action by the doctors group who are seeking a new inquest. I did not expect either report to open any rifts in what was already reported by Lord Hutton. All they do is add more (more than necessary?) detail to what was already known. They do not exactly add additional 'proof' to anything that has already entered the public domain. Much of the argument for the new inquest was based around the proposition that the Hutton process was flawed at the outset, and did not fully hold with legal prescription. This aspect of the wider reasoning for a new inquest has now been practically overlooked in the public domain (except where stated by Michael Powers QC) by this preemptive release, and has effectively returned this consideration into the nether regions of the ‘long grass’ zone.

    (Dr Hunt) No doubt Dr Hunt is aware of the various 'murder' conspiracy theories. For any them to be true there is an implied suggestion that he was 'got at' in some way to produce a less-than-honest post-mortem report. I'm sure that he would be keen to defend himself against these allegations. Being as this whole situation is now much 'bigger' than anyone could have expected (which isn’t to say that it wasn't 'big' to begin with), I'm not really surprised that he did speak out as he did. He would also have had knowledge that the then-(semi?)imminent legal action might have forced a new inquest, in which case all his previous work would have been revisited, if not revised to some degree. In speaking to the Times (and not the Mail!), I think he just set out to put his on-the-record position fully into the public domain before this ever happened. Given that the AG was already considering the case was there any other way that Dr Hunt could have put his views across to all concerned (bearing in mind he reportedly said that: “he would welcome a full inquest if it meant putting the conspiracy theories to rest.”)?

    (The MSM) Sadly, much of what used to be referred to as 'investigative journalism' has now been lost. The advent of 24 hour 'instant' news put pay to a lot of more detailed media examination of the events surrounding and concerning us daily. Because we only get what is now 'new' news, that that falls into the category of 'old' news becomes virtually un-reportable, and thereafter falls into some kind of memory-hole. Take for example what the Mail published recently about circumstances we have been discussing:

    Paul Chapman, who was searching with Ms Holmes, also said: ‘He was sitting with his back up against a tree.’

    The next man on the scene – DC Coe – told the inquiry: ‘The body was laying on its back by a large tree, the head towards the trunk of the tree.’

    In an interview with The Mail on Sunday last month, DC Coe added that he thought the head and part of the shoulders were leaning against the tree.

    However, the next two police officers, PC Andrew Franklin and PC Martyn Sawyer, both said that when they arrived – just before the paramedics and after DC Coe had guarded the body alone for 25 minutes – Dr Kelly was on his back.

    This was also the view given by Dr Nicholas Hunt, the pathologist who examined the body at the scene.

    So the matter of the two officers with him is completely absent from their version of events. It’s not as if they didn’t know about it – that’s what part of their previous interview was all about! This just shows the critical lack of detail in what otherwise gets reported by the so-called MSM!!