Nearly two thirds (61%) of British adults think that Brown, along with several key retired generals and civil servants, should be recalled to the Chilcot Inquiry so that the ‘truth’ about the military’s funding during the war with Iraq can be properly revealed, a survey for the Sun newspaper has found.
Critics argue that the supposed limitations placed on the armed forces during Brown’s tenure as Chancellor mean he should be made accountable for many apparently unnecessary deaths, which have been numbered at 179. 39% agree that Brown is personally responsible, perhaps highlighting the public’s continued indignation towards the Labour Government’s widely-derided justifications for war, which, some say, were nothing more than spin and intentionally ‘sexed up’ intelligence.
As the biggest name to face the committee of Privy Counsellors at the Chilcot Inquiry in the past few weeks, Gordon Brown has come under considerable fire regarding his funding of the armed forces, amid allegations that troops were starved of resources during his Chancellorship. Were these additional resources available, critics argue, many deaths could have been prevented. Brown maintains instead that when Chancellor, he actually agreed to every request made of him by the armed forces at the time of the war.
Given the furore over the Iraq war and its apparent lack of legitimacy, it comes as no surprise that 41% of the public think that Brown deliberately misled the Inquiry when questioned. A significant 32% of respondents also said they were unable to discern whether Brown was intentionally dishonest during his testimony or not, effectively challenging the integrity of the Prime Minister. With the General Election just around the corner, such negative sentiment among the British public does not bode well for Gordon Brown and the Labour party.
Whether or not further answers clarifying the issue will be forthcoming is anybody’s guess, but what is apparent is that Brown will have a hard time convincing the critical majority that he truly did his best.