Thursday, 3 May 2012

Norman Baker's book

The autumn of 2007 saw the publication of "The Strange Death of David Kelly" by Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker.  Mr Baker had been on the LibDems frontbench as their spokesman for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.  When he ceased to hold that role in 2006 the time thus freed up allowed him to pursue an investigation into Dr Kelly's death whilst still remaining MP for Lewes in Sussex.  His book of about 400 pages was a primary factor in getting me involved in the mystery of this suspicious death.

So what of the book?  A good attempt on collating the then known facts and trying to make sense of them I would suggest.  Inevitably I suppose there is a measure of speculation in the book, for instance Mr Baker makes the wrong suggestion about the purpose of the large communication mast erected in the garden of the Kelly's home.  We now know that because of an answer to a Freedom of Information request, although Thames Valley Police have carefully avoided giving a full answer on that subject.  More about this another time.

As with the other LibDem MPs Norman Baker voted against the Iraq War in 2003.  He has tried though not to let the war distract him from giving an unbiased view on the death of Dr Kelly.

In his book Mr Baker comes to the conclusion that, most likely, it was dissident Iraquis who saw to the demise of Dr Kelly.  I don't think that was the case and it seems that few of those who think that Dr Kelly was murdered go along with this part of Norman's analysis.

An extremely useful feature of the book is a comprehensive index of some 17 pages which just indicates the breadth of the book.  There are over 40 reviews of the book on the Amazon website, most of them favourable.

Many more facts have come to light since the publication of the book.  However as a survey of the knowledge of the time it continues to perform an indispensable service.

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