Just a memory lapse by Gordon Brown?

  hssutton 19:07 17 Mar 2010
Locked

Former heads of the armed forces have strongly challenged Gordon Brown's evidence to the Iraq war inquiry. Saying he was disingenuous.

In light of what transpired in the House of Commons today, is it that he just suffers from memory loss or is the problem much worse?

click here

  canarieslover 19:14 17 Mar 2010

Just the standard politician's memory lapse. It needs someone else to jog it into working correctly, either that or 'only admit to it if your found out' syndrome.

  mark2 19:17 17 Mar 2010

appears he can't count either

"I do accept that in one or two years, defence expenditure did not rise in real terms,"

'figures from the Ministry of Defence show that, allowing for inflation, its budget fell in five years: 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002 and 2007.'

  Al94 19:21 17 Mar 2010

I think consistently "economic with the truth" might be a better fit.

  john bunyan 19:23 17 Mar 2010

Also the defence spending as a % of GDP is the lowest since the '30's see here:
click here
If the government make military commitments they have to supply the resources.The problem is many think that , for example, the NHS is more deserving, but as we have seen the waste in both organisations is the big problem.

  morddwyd 20:06 17 Mar 2010

I'll think you'll find this is nothing more sinister than bad briefing by his advisors.

It is unlikely that he would keep these figures in his head, or that he would have the time to research them himself.

Still entirely his responsibility, of course, he said it, and he will have to live with it coming up at every relevant opportunity (and some not so relevant!).

  sunnystaines 20:59 17 Mar 2010

pity there is no perjury at the inquest like in a court

  morddwyd 22:33 17 Mar 2010

"it's unthinkable that he would have gone to the enquiry without quizzing his staff thoroughly "

That's my point - bad briefing.

  oresome 23:10 17 Mar 2010

Extract from Timesonline:

"A research note prepared by the House of Commons Library in October last year showed defence expenditure had fallen in real terms in four financial years since Labour came to power in 1997: 1997/98 (-2.2 per cent); 1999/2000 (-0.4 per cent); 2004/5 (-0.7 per cent); and 2006/7 (-0.1 per cent)."

It is probably true to say expenditure increased every year, but didn't necessarily match or exceed inflation.

  onionskin 00:29 18 Mar 2010

Politicians have so many ways of avoiding telling the truth, I think he forgot which one he should have been using.

  morddwyd 11:06 18 Mar 2010

"Brown not asking enough questions of his staff."

When I had staff I expected them to tell me the things I needed to know without me having to question them closely.

You try not telling your insurance company of a "relevant fact" and then saying "You didn't ask me" when you try to claim!

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