‘I preferred his work in UB40’

Introducing ‘Belfast Regulars’, our semi-regular conversation between two Regulars that could happen in any bar in Belfast.

 

  • So, that’s the Chilcot Inquiry out then.

  • You mean the Iraq Inquiry.

  • What’s that then?

  • The Iraq Inquiry. By sir John Chilcot. He’s head of the inquiry. About Iraq.

  • Oh right right. Knew that. Just thought, y’know…

  • It’s a popular misconception – calling it Chilcot. “Lazy media shorthand”. That’s what it is.

  • Aye, well. Not that it matters. It’s out now whatever it’s called.

  • Yes – the Iraq Inquiry is out.

  • By Chilcot, aye. Did you see Blair on the box?

  • I did. Onions in his pockets. The works.

  • Onions in his pockets?

  • I believe that’s the expression, yes.

  • It’s an expression, granted.

  • You can say what you like about Tony Blair…

  • I can?

  • Well we all can! But that isn’t my point. My point is, you can say what you like about Tony Blair, but you have to accept he gives wildly powerful oral.

  • With onions in his pockets?

  • That was for the tears. His tactical tears.

  • Tactics was it? I thought it was bad acting myself.

  • It was, granted. But it was also tactics wasn’t it? I mean, how could he say “I’m more sorry than you will ever know”, if he’s not a little wet around the eyes? It would have looked… Well, it would have been a little harder to work out how sorry we didn’t know that he was.

  • He was right though, wasn’t he?

  • In what way?

  • Well, we never really know how truly sorry another man is, do we? What they’re really feeling at any time? Inside their essential, inscrutable whatdoyacallit.

  • Yeah. Especially if they’ve an onion in their pocket. Muddying the waters that is.

  • Only he didn’t really say sorry did he?

  • Well he said “sorry”. Sorry is sorry, innit?

  • Yes but he didn’t apologise did he? He’s never faced the families of those dead soldiers, has he? I saw them on the news. Now that felt proper sad!

  • It did didn’t it? It’s like we actually knew exactly how sad they were? I starting to feel sad myself watching that. I nearly went on Facebook about it.

  • About what?

  • How sad I was feeling.

  • Ah nice one. You should have. I’d have liked it.

  • You’d like that I was sad?

  • No, I’d concur with your sentiment! Public solidarity. And of course these days, you can add a sad face instead of a thumbs up.

  • That’s more like it. You can see Blair getting a lot of use out of the sad face on Facebook. It’s easier than, you know, being sorry.

  • Look, he said sorry, didn’t he?

  • Did he? Really? I mean he did. You’re right. But for all his massive oral ability, well It looked like he was saying sorry to himself almost. I mean – we all knew he wasn’t going to admit he lied about OMD, but you’d have thought he’d have acknowledged the carnage and all that.

  • Lied about what there?

  • The WMD.

  • That’s not what you said.

  • Aye it is. Weapons of Mass Destruction. Everybody knows that.

  • You said OMD!

  • No way. That’s mental.

  • You bloody did.

  • Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. But I didn’t. But the thing about Sir John Chilcot though, was that everybody was expecting a whitewash.

  • I know. I was surprised how small he was.

  • What’s that got to do with a whitewash?

  • Nothing. I’m just saying I was expecting a taller Chilcot. He looked like he was standing on a box.

  • Well, he’s been locked in a room for 7 years hasn’t he?

  • No. He’s been conducting the Iraq Inquiry for 7 years. Often in different rooms I’m told.

  • You know what I mean!

  • I do and I don’t.

  • But it took a bloody age is my point. Gordon Brown!

  • Have you stubbed your toe there?

  • No it was Brown wasn’t it? Launched the Chilcot Inquiry

  • I thought you said it was the Iraq Inquiry!!

  • Yeah of course it is, but it was conducted by Chilcot.

  • In many different rooms.

  • I’ll accept that it was more than one.

  • Fair enough.

  • Did you see your man, Alistair Campbell on the news at all? There’s a fella who loves the sound of his own voice. You get the feeling he goes home and talks to himself in the mirror. Pointing a lot. Know what I mean?

  • I do. I preferred his work in UB40.

  • No you didn’t.

  • No I didn’t. Fair enough.

  • No. You didn’t. You just said that to have a pop. Because of OMD.

  • So you admit you said OMD!!

  • I admit you think I said it.

  • I preferred WMD anyway. Better band. Enola Way.

  • Shut up.

  • Joan of Wark.

  • I said shut up, would ya!

  • Souvenir.

  • For fu… oh, right fair enough, good tune.

  • Dodgy dossiers That was Campbell’s thing. Remember Piers Morgan was ragin’

  • Was that round about the time he was hacking phone lines?

  • It wasn’t all he was doing to be fair.

  • True. He was very anti-war as well. In the Mirror.

  • Alistair Campbell?

  • Piers Morgan. Didn’t like the war at all. Thought it was one of those moral indefensibles.

  • Hang on a minute here though. Surely hacking phones is morally indefensible too?

  • Yeah, but you can easily forget after a while can’t you? And if you don’t get caught for, like years, there’s nobody on hand to remind you, is there?

  • To be fair, reminders are useful. I’m a slave to the post-its on the fridge now. You can forget about bin day otherwise.

  • Here, do you remember the big march?

  • God yes! Our Dervla got married again. Graeme passed his driving test after the 7th go. AND it snowed didn’t it?

  • Yes. That’s the one.

  • Aye. It was a big one alright. And Val had just got her new hip, although I think that might have been after April fools now you mention it… He was Scottish wasn’t he? Alistair Campbell? Didn’t sound like he was.

  • Oh Aye. right enough! He was ginger though.

  • He still is. Still doesn’t sound Scottish.

  • Well you don’t have to these days, do you? He plays the bag pipes sure.

  • Right enough. Saw him on the One Show with his bagpipes. He didn’t mention Chilcot or dossiers once. I mean, the point of the One Show is to talk about what you know, isn’t it? That scrunched up baldy cockney’s always going on about people doing the double. Giles Brandreth bangs on about the olden days and china tea-cups.

  • Underrated broadcaster Brandreth.

  • You could tell he knew fuck all about the bagpipes.

  • Neither does Alistair Campbell.

  • It was his weapon of mass distraction, wasn’t it?! geddit?

  • I do. Good one.

  • It is though.

  • Do you know who’s been very quiet about Chilcot?

  • Adrian Chiles?

  • Boris Johnson.

  • Understandable really.

  • Say what you like about Boris, but he’s a big blonde twat isn’t he?

  • Aw now, come on. He’s a bit of fun, isn’t he? Politics is more colourful with him around.

  • Well you see, that’s to make up for when we deport all the brown and black people.

  • Now don’t start with your “Political correctness” nonsense. It’s just a bit of fun.

  • Deporting brown people?

  • No stupid! Boris! His gaffes. Priceless. He has a real knack for reaching out.

  • And taking what he wants.

  • Touching people.

  • That too.

  • Here, is that what Brexit meant?

  • Meant what?

  • Brown people? Brown exit? Brexit?

  • No.

  • Well what then?

  • It was Britain wasn’t it? Britain out of Europe?

  • But we haven’t even got the Brits out of Ireland yet. It’s jumping the gun a bit isn’t it?

  • Interesting turn of phrase.

  • I thought so.

  • So you didn’t vote?

  • For what?

  • Brexit.

  • I didn’t vote for Bremain either. I didn’t vote.

  • It’s remain.

  • Of course it is. Here! That’ll be because of all the Remainians.

  • What do you mean you didn’t vote? This is news to me!

  • Sure I haven’t voted for years. I’m…what do you call it again?

  • Apathetic. Ill-informed.

  • More disaffected. Disenfranchised.

  • Oh aye?

  • Yes. Ever since I voted against the Iraq war and I – along with millions of others – were not heard, well, it can make you cynical. Skeptical even.

  • I must admit, I’m pretty sceptical myself. I don’t honestly remember voting against the war myself. Or for it. But I suppose it’s understandable. The UN security council hadn’t come calling at that stage.

  • I’m talking about voting with my heart and my head!

  • But not on an actual ballot paper?

  • Course not. I told you I’m disaffected. I haven’t done that for years…

  • But I thought you joined the labour party last year there? Voted for Andy Burnham?

  • Well no. Not exactly.

  • That’s what I thought you said? Sensible socialism you definitely said? No pie in the sky loony lefty old labour nonsense. Good skin. Surprisingly kind eyes?

  • All true. Thing is, turns out it cost three bloody quid in the end.

  • Jesus. Some prices are just too great to pay aren’t they?

  • I know, right? But here, don’t let Tony Blair catch you saying that!

  • I won’t.

  • Here, You having the same? I’m having the same. Same for both yeah? Here Gerardy! Same again here please….

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