Chilcot: UK’s toughest ever précis challenge — tweet by tweet

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By Will Buckley on

Lawyers among the leading contenders as tweeters attempted to condense 2.6 million words into 140 characters

Credit @jimwaterson
Credit @jimwaterson

Imagine having to reduce the whole of Harry Potter (1 million words), the Bible (800,000 words) and War and Peace (600,000 words) into a sane and comprehensible 140 characters conveying the gist of all you had read. Tough tweeting.

But that was the challenge the nation’s top tweeters took upon themselves as they got themselves into the zone for the publication of the Chilcot report (actually 200,000 words longer than the combined works mentioned above).

One of the first out of the blocks was the indomitable and never knowingly out-tweeted David Allen Green:

Sound advice. And more was to follow.

And concluding with:

A trio of definitive tweets from the D.A.G setting out his stall early doors and re-establishing his claim to being Tweeter-in-Chief.

Forty-five minutes before kick-off there was, in a rush to the obvious, a huge spike in forty-five minute gags as the nation’s comedians demonstrated the depth of their knowledge of public affairs.

And cometh the hour, cometh the Chilcot (one ‘l’ and one ‘t’ please) who, staying in character to the very end, was suitably late.

Within seconds the verdicts were in. Bloomberg’s political correspondent Robert Hutton tweeting:

Good shout…. it soon became very clear that

1) This was no whitewash.
2) Blair like many a fifty-something was going to regret having ever said ‘whatever’.

As the tweets rolled in and all over Blair and his chums it was back to the studio for a quick update from top legal affairs pundit David Allen Green:

Other lawyers were quick to judgment:

And finally, thanks to BuzzFeed’s Jim Waterson, who helpfully tweeted a picture showing the true scale of the task that had been undertaken:

Read the Chilcot report in full here. Or maybe not.