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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 January, 2004, 12:42 GMT
What will be the impact of the Hutton Report?
Lord Hutton
The following comments were sent before the publication of Lord Hutton's report into the death of Dr David Kelly.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received:

Everyone criticised should embrace Lord Hutton's findings and be willing to change
Kieron Gavan, London, England
The speculation is now over. Everyone criticised should embrace Lord Hutton's findings and be willing to change, however unpalatable that may be.
Kieron Gavan, London, England

The next general election will surely judge the actions of this government harshly should Lord Hutton fail to do so.
Nicholas, Wallingford, UK

Let's face it, Dr Kelly is dead, the BBC is accused, and yet Tony Blair comes out smelling of the proverbial roses! I think it's yet another cover-up, and that someone has been 'leaned' on. Let's just hope the electorate remembers this at the time of the next general election (if we're allowed to have one!).
Sue Hudson, London, UK

If the result of the Hutton report is that the Today programme and other similar news programmes on the BBC, returns to reporting the news only (in greater depth) and not making it, then there has been some benefit from the Hutton report.
Norman Porter, Horsham

If the information in this leak is true and no blame is attached to the Government in any way, then I believe this is further evidence of the corruptness of this Government.
Andy, Moreton, UK

A story with far longer term and wide reaching implications for this country has been killed dead even before it hit many of the front pages: University Top-Up Fees
James, London

This Government has already demonstrated on numerous occasions how it is able to manipulate the press to its own advantage. This leak would seem like another demonstration of this. With Hutton leaked a story with far longer term and wide reaching implications for this country has been killed dead even before it hit many of the front pages: University Top-Up Fees.
James, London

Are we surprised that the report was leaked to the press? I am disappointed to see the Sun publish parts of the report. So I guess no one has learned anything from this.
Reza Rahman, Bolton, UK

After days of political journalists telling us of the mortal danger to Mr Blair's position what has actually happened? As usual, nothing. I really should have placed a bet that at enough of the top-up rebels would collapse at the last moment and then claim a 'victory' (see the Politician's Dictionary for other strange uses of common words). And an enquiry that clears the Prime Minister and attacks the BBC? What a shocker!
Ian Smith, United Kingdom

Just as relevant to any discussion of the BBC's journalism is their abject performance SINCE the row. The muzzling of the Today programme, the anodyne nature of the reporting and a clear sense that they do not wish to say anything controversial enough to upset Number 10. I think the Government has achieved exactly what it set out to do - silence reasonable voices of opposition.
Nigel Cubbage, Redhill, UK

Lord Hutton will smack a few wrists and the tedious war of words between the government and the BBC will resume
Msmo, London, UK
Lord Hutton will smack a few wrists and the tedious war of words between the government and the BBC will resume. While the media and parliament are focussing on this, the war trundles on, people die and no enquiry into the 45 minute claim is held. We went to war on single source intelligence and the BBC will in all probability be reprimanded for not checking the source of a news report more thoroughly. It's bizarre!
Msmo, London UK

How apt that the report should be published when the whole country is blanketed with snow. Underpins what a whitewash this is likely to be. If the early reports are right, Lord Hutton has done his utmost to keep all the Government machine in place even where they have done wrong.
Chris S, Bracknell, UK

After the report quite rightly exonerates the PM from all blame, the media and the Tories are left carping and bickering about it being leaked 12 hours early. Oh how awful. Big deal! Get over it! You lost! Your anti-Blair campaign has failed! Trying to make something out of the leak is just the last desperate act of those seeking news where there isn't any. Tony Blair is the best PM we've had in this country for many years. It's time that people woke up to this fact.
Simon Allen, Coventry

It doesn't matter if the Hutton Report clears Tony Blair and everyone else in the Government who could have been involved. The public in general have seen the way this Government conducts it's business for the last six years and they will know that whether it is a whitewash, or not, Blair is tainted enough to pay the price of his spin at the next election.
Barry Verona, Canada

Chirac, Kohl, Berlusconi and Prodi must wonder why our politicians don't simply grant themselves immunity
Jon Livesey, Sunnyvale, CA
Among all the cynical comments here, no-one has noted that at least Britain has investigations and public reports. Chirac, Kohl, Berlusconi and Prodi must find all this rather mystifying and they must wonder why our politicians don't simply grant themselves immunity, as they have.
Jon Livesey, Sunnyvale, CA

I think most of the people who got excited about the Hutton enquiry were more interested in seeing Tony Blair criticised and forced to resign. If the report appears to exonerate him, as is suggested, I think people will lose interest - until we have the enquiry into the Hutton report leak...
Richard, Winchester

The result will be an utter disgrace to modern Britain and confirm the impregnability of an increasingly arrogant and immoral government. Knowing that WMD was a thin excuse for going to war, the initial WMD report and the subsequent charade surrounding Dr Kelly shows how easy it is for our leaders to lie, mask and dupe an entire country into going to war without due cause or sanction from the United Nations. The report will be a sham, as it was due to be from the start. It is absolutely clear that the fundamental evidence in the JIC report and the twisting of it to sound more poignant was flawed from the beginning and we have allowed every single culprit who had a hand in it off the hook while admonishing a reporter who dared challenge them. The evidence speaks for itself and not even an 'independent' judge could see it. Blair, Hoon and Campbell can say what they like, when they like - and we called Saddam a dictator!
Nigel, L

The BBC's credibility is shattered
Steve Wakefield, UK
There should be swift resignations at the BBC in response to this - Gilligan, Sambrook and Dyke all should go, and go now. The BBC's credibility is shattered and will not be re-established until these individuals are ejected.
Steve Wakefield, UK

The Hutton report proves that the BBC is not impartial and that it has its own political agenda.
Lisa, Chester, UK

Isn't it strange that in defence of the Hutton reports findings the BBC continues to roll out opponents of the Government for interview? Proof positive that the BBC is not impartial and that it has a political agenda.
Mike, Leiston, UK

From what we've seen and heard, the BBC will continue to broadcast in a state of denial of its own guilt. Kelly died because he knew he had failed his duty when talking to the BBC and subsequently felt ashamed of having his words twisted by the BBC. For its part, the BBC ignores the report (leaked or real) and continues to sex-up whatever minute detail they can find to blame the government.
Joan Kavannah, Bristol, UK

Mr Blair may as well have written the report himself
Brian Anderson, Newcastle
Lord Hutton was made a lord by Tony Blair and was appointed to the inquiry by Mr Blair. It will be just another government white wash. Mr Blair may as well have written the report himself. This government's dishonesty and spin is a disgrace. It has gone beyond normal politics and has cost people their lives. Dr Kelly and British soldiers have died just to further the aims of this despicable government. I will never vote Labour again.
Brian Anderson, Newcastle

That the majority of published responses show a general cynicism regarding the Hutton Report, a view I too share, is an indictment of British (and by extension US) politics per se. It is not just a regime change which is required, but a total rethink of a political system which provokes so much scepticism and disillusion.
Patricia, Moscow

Government cleared and BBC criticised... Well, what a surprise, I never expected that... In other words: Whitewash.
AC, UK

Whatever comes out of the Report, the BBC will spin against the government whilst keeping all the journalists and mandarins in their ivory tower at the expense of the licence payers. Utterly disgraceful!
S Lucas, Norwich, UK

I don't believe anything will come out of this unless the BBC becomes more accountable
Tom Muir, Glasgow
I don't believe anything will come out of this unless the BBC becomes more accountable. The Governors of the BBC failed their duty to represent the licence payer by failing to ensure the truth was broadcast. Instead, they concentrated on ensuring the "independence" of the corporation in broadcasting whatever they want, regardless of the truth and at the cost of Kelly's life, which they then blamed on the government.
Tom Muir, Glasgow

Why is Kavanagh allowed to attack the BBC on the BBC without mention being made of the fact that his salary is paid by the man who owns SKY. Blair and the Sun, who make me ashamed of this country, want to rubbish the last institution of which we can be proud.
Mark, London UK

If the leaked reports are accurate, the effect should be the immediate resignation of the Chairman and senior management of the BBC.
Andrew Pawley, Plymouth, UK

I think it's strange that the 'conclusions' published in the Sun closely mirror the paper's own sentiments. Let's face it, they're not exactly known for impartial reporting of the news, are they? I'll wait until 12.30 to find out from Lord Hutton himself, thank you very much. Blair has already been wounded by the tuition fees vote, even though he won, so even mild criticism of him could cause more problems. We'll just have to wait and see.
Anonymous

How can so many people have formed so many dismissive opinions of the report without even reading it?
Miles, UK
The whole point of an inquiry such as this one is that the one man heading it up is able to get ALL the facts and present them to us - how can so many people have formed so many dismissive opinions of the report without even reading it? For a culture so obsessed with being 'open-minded' and 'free-thinking' we seem to be rather clammish.
Miles, UK

This report will be a complete whitewash whatever the findings are. There is no way Blair would have allowed a report to proceed which could have meant he would actually have been criticised!
Stu Forster, London, England

Many commentators seems to have forgotten who and why Lord Hutton was appointed. He's an impartial judge, and his role was to hear all the evidence, consider it impartially, and reach a conclusion. So many people want to form their own conclusions based on their own prejudices.
Alex, Bristol, UK

I hope any criticism on David Kelly would not be too harsh. The poor man has already paid with his life.
F Liau, Nottingham

The leak was at the same time as the most damaging vote that the Blair government has ever suffered and removed this issue from the front page of all papers
Adrian, London/UK
The report has been leaked. The leak was to a paper that has supported Blair all along. The leak supports Blair. The leak was at the same time as the most damaging vote that the Blair government has ever suffered and removed this issue from the front page of all papers. And we are asked to believe that this was not another spin operation orchestrated by 10 Downing Street? Are these facts unrelated? I think we should be told.
Adrian, London/UK

So The Sun, the Izvestiya of the New Labour Order, is now used to publish excerpts from Official Inquiries while the Leader of the Opposition waits until 6am to gain privileged access ! This country really is sliding into a rotten and corrupt polity where the ruling party pursues its agenda with no regard for probity or parliamentary convention.... time for a change.
Peter Weinhard, England

Perhaps only a senior judge can restore a touch of reality to this crazy story. In our through-the-looking-glass world Tony Blair has been made the culprit for the death of a civil servant who, having tried to undermine the Government and got caught. Andrew Gilligan and the BBC had already shown their colours throughout the War (Gilligan even denying the Americans had reached Baghdad when they were only a few kilometres from him). Reith must be turning in his grave. Let's hope this affair brings an end to the BBC as we have seen it these past ten years, and that Greg Dyke and Andrew Gilligan quietly bow out.
Marty Burns, Oxford

The Sun? I'll wait to get the words from the horse's mouth. They've not covered anything accurately for years!
Bede Macgowan, London

Any reading of the evidence suggests that the Government should receive some criticism for the way in which Dr. Kelly was dealt with. However, the greatest criticism should be levelled at the BBC whose journalism has become biased, shallow and dishonourable. Gavyn Davies, Greg Dyke and Richard Sambrook should all resign.
Adrian, UK

The Hutton Report will be welcomed. More important now is the fact that is has been leaked.
Stan Cooper, UK
The Hutton Report itself will be welcomed with interest and curiosity. More important now is the fact that it has been leaked.
Stan Cooper, UK

It doesn't matter if the Hutton Report clears Tony Blair and everyone else in the Government who could have been involved. The public have seen the way this Government has conducted its business for the last six years and they will know whether it is a whitewash, or not. Blair is tainted enough to pay the price of his spin at the next election.
Barry Verona, Canada

The Hutton Report will have no real significant impact on the Government or the BBC no matter what the outcome.
AT, England

The true impact of the Hutton Report will not be felt by Lord Hutton's adjudication which by convention will not single out individuals for severe criticism. The legacy of the Hutton Report will be the adjudication of the people who thanks to Lord Hutton's expert questioning already know enough to make their own verdict.
Ozorek, Bradford, UK

What if the report says that Blair did nothing wrong? What if he and his cabinet are cleared of wrongdoing? Will the people who have maligned them apologize? Doubtful. Talk about people getting away "Scott free".
Sylvia, UK

Like other high-profile enquiries, the Hutton Report will state opinion as fact, and then introduce meaningless, PC phrases in a weak attempt to justify its conclusions. The Lawrence Enquiry foisted "institutional racism" on us. What buzzword will Hutton use to immortalise his name, I wonder.
Ray G, London, England

The Hutton Report will be just like any other report
Paul, London, UK
The Hutton Report will be just like any other report. It will be very thick, use lots of fancy language and say that there were some failings in the system and that the various organisations involved should introduce guidelines and new procedures to make sure it never happens again. That said, it doesn't really matter what Hutton says. Do we need him to tell us that dropping big hints and then making a policy to confirm the name if some journalist guesses it is as good as revealing the name?
Paul, London, UK

It won't have any meaningful impact; we already know why Dr Kelly committed suicide, and nobody trusts either the BBC or the Government, regardless of a report by a Lord. A pointless exercise all round.
Gavin, UK

Just before his death, Dr Kelly was called as a witness for a parliamentary inquiry on whether it was right to go to war in Iraq. In the wake of the Hutton inquiry into Kelly's death, the original inquiry and its findings have been conveniently forgotten.
Dan Moore, Flint Mountain, UK

Why should the "main players" receive and advance copy?
Anna, London, UK

Put simply, If Tony Blair is found out to have lied, he, and his whole supporting cabinet should go, and move over for a spell as the opposition.
Sam, UK

Mr Blair will survive. And quite right too. Anyone who followed the enquiry will realise he acted properly throughout and only ever tried to defend his integrity from various people who disagreed with the Iraq War and used Dr Kelly as a proxy to attack the government.
Steve Matthews, Manchester, England

Administrators, in all walks of life, always escape Scott free whenever their incompetence and mistakes are uncovered. I'd be amazed if the Hutton report held anyone to account.
Brian Langfield, Yorkshire - UK

I wonder who won't turn up for work tomorrow...
Trevor, Colchester, UK

Are the "main players" getting an advance copy so that they will have time to pack?
Melissa, USA

I suspect that no one will come out of this one smelling of roses - it is clear that there were a plethora of entrenched positions and that rather than allowing reason to prevail none of the main protagonists were prepared to give ground for fear of loosing face or worse. I think the best guide, by which we can judge those involved, will not be what was done and said, but the motives that helped dictate their actions. I do not suggest that the end justifies the means, but I do propose that we can accept honourable intent as some form of mitigation.
John Whelan, Redditch

No doubt the report will be full of ambiguous terms and whilst critical of organisations place little or no blame on individuals. The politicians will get away with it, or talk their ways out of it again and nothing will be changed.
John, Manchester

Whatever the results may be, it will not end in any serious consequences for Mr. Blair and his friends! There will be some advice for the BBC and the government on how to conduct their business in the future. Soon all will be forgotten when new issues surface!
Srinivasan Toft, Humlebæk, Denmark


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