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AT HOME WITH SIR JOHN CHILCOT

July 6, 2017

SIR John Chilcot has returned at dead of night to his home Chilcot Manor to find a burglar ransacking the property.
This is the conversation.
Burglar: “Ah, hello Sir John, I’ve been expecting you. I decided to enter your property to check on your security totally free of charge and without any obligation on your part. I hope you don’t mind and feel you will benefit from this service.” (he smiles a broad, toothy grin and winks)
Sir John: “My good man, you appear to be well intentioned and emotionally truthful and in the absence of any conflicting new direct or, indeed, indirect verifiable evidence of a personal and officially sanctioned and approved nature and offered without exerting external pressures and given, of course, without prejudice or persuasion, I am inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt though not, withstanding any other interests and totally without prejudice and persuasion and purely on a non-attributable basis bearing in mind the possible legal complications, at a non-formal level at this stage and subject to full approval at committee and pre-committee stage and with the full co-operation of all parties to the matter though not in any way, of course, binding them and entirely without benefit of a full and detailed report or, for that matter, of a formal inquiry set up to examine and evaluate the known and unknown variables in this anomaly.”
B: “Oh thanks, guvnor. You’re a proper gent and a toff and make no mistake.” (he smiles a broad, toothy grin and winks).
Sir John: “May I just ask you, my good man, why you have bundled all my prized personal possessions, including my Rolex watches some of which were gifts from senior members of the Law Society and the House of Lords, my new set of bespoke Nike golf clubs which I use as a full member of Wentworth Golf Club, and my treasured personally inscribed gold cuff-links into a bag marked SWAG which you appear, though I cannot state with certainty without prejudice or persuasion at this early stage, to be carrying over your shoulder?”
B: “OH THAT……ahh well, I was just checking for flaws in the security, if you see what I mean, guv. You gotta check haven’t you.” (he smiles a broad, toothy grin and winks).
Sir John: “My good man, I will preface my remarks at this pre-inquisitorial stage very carefully and fully in accordance with your rights in this matter, not binding you or in any way prejudicing the proper and entirely independent course of administrative process and quasi-legal advocacy customarily entered into at this tender and sensitive time.”
B: “I expect nothing less from a gent like you, sir, nothing less.” (he smiles a broad, toothy grin and winks).
Sir John: “Although I am unable to state with absolute and incontrovertible certainty that your intention is dishonourable and that you are not entirely engaged in an act of unselfish altruism especially aimed at furthering my personal interests and those of the numerous other inhabitants of this well resourced and scrupulously respectable neighbourhood, I am, at this early stage, inclined to venture the point, though I expect you to want to contest it forcefully in full accordance with your rights and you will, of course, be given the opportunity to do so, that the fact that you are carrying a bag marked SWAG is, on the face of it and without direct or indirect evidence from other parties, something of a contradiction which, on the face of it, leaves me somewhat conflicted.”
B: “I couldn’t have put it better myself, sir. You’re a toff and a proper gent, sir, what with all them long words and educashun and all what you’ve had. Course, I only went to a comprehensive in Streatham.” (he smiles a broad, toothy grin and winks).
Sir John: “Are you in any way, may I venture to ask, connected to the man parked outside Chilcot Manor in a car which appears not to have any verifiable number plates and was being prepared for what seemed, on the face of it and entirely without direct or, indeed, indirect evidence, to be being prepared for a somewhat accelerated and instantaneous escape with the engine running or, to use the vernacular of sixties crime films if I may be frivolous on this one occasion, getaway?”
B: “Never seen him in my life before, sir. What car’s that?” (he smiles a broad, toothy grin and winks).
Sir John: “I will now enter into a somewhat admittedly ad-hoc and unspecified quasi-legal process of evaluation and assessment, gathering direct and indirect evidence from all interested parties, then collating such and I will report on my findings in due course. I would remind you, my good man, that while this process is ongoing, you are free to venture any new evidence or engage in constructive ventilation and exposition with any officially appointed and officially endorsed agents specified and appropriated in the course of my inquiry on a non prejudicial and entirely voluntary basis.”
B: “Any idea when you might report back to me, sir. Not wanting to rush you at all or anything at all like that, sir, but I’ve got a lodge meeting to go to tomorrow night. Bless your heart, sir, and good health and all that” (he smiles a broad, toothy grin and winks).
Sir John: “Although I am no ethicist and cannot be certain about your intentions in visiting my property, I am inclined to venture an opinion which, ordinarily and in the entirely officially sanctioned and recommended scheme of evaluation leading to a comprehensive and constructive report which is not only de-facto non prejudicial to all parties but also, and crucially, seen to be de-facto and non prejudicial to all parties; I would not, in the natural scheme of things, venture. While you have furnished me with what you believe to be a factual and entirely empirical account of events here at Chilcot Manor and your previous conduct and general demeanour is and cannot be allowed to intrude in any way in this protracted and scientifically-based administratively led process, to the best of your ability and to the best, given all cognitive factors not under the control or supervision of any interested parties in this matter, of your recollection given that it is a time of great stress and deep emotional vulnerability for you, my good man, I remain somewhat uneasy and conflicted about the SWAG bag and the presence of a car being prepared for accelerated and instantaneous escape from the vicinity.
“You are not, in any strict legal sense, currently prevented from pursuing any of your own lines of enquiry or volunteering new and hitherto unconventional and untried angles and approaches which might constructively and even wholeheartedly, if I may be somewhat uncharacteristically maverick in my use of language here, advance and enhance the process of evaluation and assessment entered into by interested parties in this really rather troubling configuration given the need for probity and to instantiate a gravid, clear-sighted and voluntarily entered-into process of exposition. A thorough and totally impartial process of inquiry will now proceed which should report in due course at a time and date unspecified with all evidence and admissions made in strict confidence in accord with agreed policy and protocol.”
B: “Blimey sir, if only I’d paid attention in class…..You’re a genius, sir, that’s what you are. How about I just put the SWAG bag down and scarper?” (he smiles a broad, toothy grin and winks).

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