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Friday, August 29, 2003

Things Don't Look Too Good for Tony Blair

I obviously have no special information to offer about the recent conduct of Tony Blair. What I do feel is that Blair gambled big time on the question of WMD. I, for one, believed him. Now I don't know what to think. I'm no specialist in WMD's and have no idea where they are or who has them. What I do know is that we took a leap in the dark in terms of international law by accepting a military intervention in order to head of a major human disaster. Now it's not clear that this intervention was justified on these grounds, so it seems to me logical that those responsible should accept the consequences. Socrates, reputedly, put the sanctity of the Laws above the value he placed on his own life. Our institutions are more important than the career of any one politician. This is a pity, since the general approach of the Blair government, including the theory of the 'third way' seemed to me to be a reasonably pragmatic and positive attempt to take the UK forwards to the future. If Blair goes this will produce important stability problems in UK politics, this is why I thought he wouldn't play the WMD card without more substantial evidence. I was wrong. Now I think both him and me have to accept the consequences.

A current Poll suggests that 63 per cent of the British public believe British Prime Minister Tony Blair failed to restore his credibility yesterday after his historic appearance before Lord Hutton's judicial inquiry into the death of government scientist Dr David Kelly. Blair has staked his premiership on the outcome of the Hutton inquiry yesterday when he insisted that he took 'full responsibility' for key decisions leading to the unmasking of David Kelly."

While some supporters have praised him, following his U-turn admission that he took a central role in naming Kelly, others have focused on the fact that Blair was forced to admit yesterday that he was personally responsible for Dr David Kelly's identity being disclosed, in direct contradiction to his denial at the time of the scientist's death.

Kelly, 59, died in an apparent suicide after his name was revealed as a "mole" for a BBC story criticising the government for making intelligence about Iraqi weapons "sexier" in a dossier. Many believe that the inquiry should not overlook the possibility that Dr Kelly was murdered—as the absence of evidence suggests a cover-up at the highest levels of the British state. On Thursday Blair defended the dossier saying it was the best intelligence at the time and revealed he had played a key role in the government strategy of revealing Kelly's name if it was put to them. In Britain the affair has inevitably been compared with the Watergate scandal that engulfed President Richard Nixon in the early 1970s and eventually forced his resignation. Consistent with the Watergate scandal, Blair has chosen to make the conduct of the press the issue, not that of his own office. Blair's resignation should follow.
Source: OfficialSpin

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