I'm as amazed as the next guy that public inquires can take so long, often years, to complete their investigations and publish their reports.
But I thought Alex Salmond had a bit of a cheek in castigating the Chilcot Inquiry over its seven-year (by the time it is published) in the Iraq War. ridiculing the process for taking longer than the First World War.
Because I seemed to recall that while Alex was First Minister of Scotland, a public inquiry into unnecessary deaths at the Vale of Leven Hospital also took several years, on Alex's watch so to speak.
So I decided to check the records and here's what my inquiries turned up.
- The Vale of Leven Hospital Inquiry was set up by Scottish Ministers to investigate the occurrence of C. difficile infection from 1 January 2007 onwards and the death associated with C. difficile between December 2007 and 1 June 2008.
- Nicola Sturgeon, now Scotland's First Minister but then Cabinet Secretary for Health, announced the Inquiry in the Scottish Parliament in April 2009.
- The Inquiry published its final report on 24 November 2014.
Now this was an inquiry into a small cottage hospital, not a war, yet it took over five years for the Vale of Leven Hospital Inquiry to publish its findings.
So the obvious question is - were Alex Salmond's comments unfair and over the top?