David Blackburn

A good time to bury bad news

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Sunday, Bloody Sunday. Someday the Bloody Sunday Inquiry will be published. It has taken 12 years to conduct and it has cost £200 million (about the going rate for state sponsored marriage, or Aston Villa). £2.50p per head is extortionate, so I’d quite like to see Lord Savile’s findings. I don’t expect to enjoy the experience. The report is said to confirm what was already known: confronted by an angry and possibly violent mob, heavily outnumbered British soldiers panicked and opened fire. It will be an expensive impertinence, like reading an idiot child's private school report.

Anyway, the government will not publish the report until well after the election. I hate to disappoint you reader but this is not a 2010 Labour efficiency saving. No, the Savile Inquiry falls into the same category as the defence review and the spending review - it has been temporarily suppressed to save face during an election. The Northern Ireland peace process requires formalised reconciliation, but not at this price - no public inquiry should run up such costs.