Thursday, February 05, 2004

Someone's Got To Go

What are the chances of the following conversation having taken place somewhere in London during the last few days?

Tony: "Ah, Geoff, come in, come in."

Geoff: "You wanted to see me, Tony?"

T: "Yes, Geoff. We've got a problem."

G: "What's that, then?"

T: "George has put me in a bit of a difficult position. I'm going to have to set up an another inquiry. This time the target is the Intelligence Services but I don't think we'll get away completely scot free this time. Someone's got to go."

G: "Riiight?"

T: "When the dossier was published, you knew that the weapons being described in the 45 minute claim were just battlefield weapons, didn't you?"

G: "Of course I did. We all did."

T: "Now that's not true. I didn't know anything of the sort, did I?"

G: "Yes you did. I sent you a copy of the report."

T: "But you didn't see me read it, did you?

G: "Well... err... no, I didn't"

T: "So you don't know that I knew, do you?"

G: "Don't you read all the reports you get?"

T: "Oh, I read most of them, Geoff. I usually don't get time to read the ones from Gordon on the Euro thingy or the ones about how students feel about tuition fees but I read most of the rest. However, the point is I don't read them all and therefore you don't know I read this one."

G: "What's going on, Tony?"

T: "Two words, Geoff. Plausible Deniability."

G: "Eh?"

T: "I saw it in the film Independence Day a couple of weeks ago. That Will Smith's rather good, isn't he? Anyway, it's a very complicated concept but basically it means 'what I don't know can't hurt me'."

G: "I still don't understand."

T: "I'm going to tell the House that I didn't know and then you're going to tell them that you did know. I'll have to sack you, of course, but at least I'll be able to carry on. I hear the view from the back benches is rather good. Pity I won't be able to see it myself. Goodbye Geoff."

G: "But. But."

T: "Goodbye Geoff."

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