The Humpty Dumpty approach to nuclear diplomatic relations

Written Evidence to the Nuclear Safeguards Bill scrutiny committee by Dr David Lowry

I listened with increasing degrees of disbelief to the ‘evidence’ given in oral sessions to your scrutiny committee on 31 October.

While it is very difficult to attribute motivation, I could not decide whether witnesses were deliberately presenting the committee with disinformation, or, despite their job titles and apparent experience in the field, were ignorant of the very issues they came before you to discuss. Either way, the outcome was a series of self-serving sets of answers, which were in many parts distorted, sometimes by omitting relevant information linked to the answer, inaccurate, misleading or down right factually wrong.

I have submitted my own evidence on issues I think the committee needs to discuss in order to appreciate the subtle, nuanced political, diplomatic and technical implications of this bill, but should you invite me to give oral testimony, I will endeavour to point out some of the more egregious inaccuracies contained in the oral replies to which I refer above, along with more accurate answers.

Collectively, it is the worst series of witnesses’ answers I have ever experienced in over 35 years monitoring many dozens of select committee hearings.


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