Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Hoon Outrider for Brown's Distancing from Iraq?
The Guardian article about former Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon caught my eye this morning for its unusual candour. He freely admits the mistakes made regarding the aftermath of the war: too optimistic over 'streets lined with cheering people'; breaking up the 350,000 Iraqi army and police; the decision to 'de-Ba'athify the civil service; and the failure to anticipate Sunni-Shia violence. He also offers his own fascinating angle on British attempts to influence US decision-makers:
"Sometimes ... Tony had made his point with the president, and I'd made my point with Don [Rumsfeld] and Jack [Straw] had made his point with Colin [Powell] and the decision actually came out of a completely different place. And you think: what did we miss? I think we missed Cheney."
I'm not the greatest fan of Nick Robinson as the Beeb's political editor-he lacks the gravitas of Andrew Marr-but I think he was on to something in The Daily Politics today when he suggested Hoon, a well known Brownite, was acting as the proxy voice of Brown in setting the scene for him to put as much distance as he conceivably can between himself and 'Tony's War', once he moves into Number 10 for real.
Postscript to Yesterday's Post
After all those really negative polls about Blair's performance as PM I watched him at PMQs and had to agree with Roy Hattersley that he was probably in his best ever form. To make him feel even better an Independent poll gave him a rating of 61% as 'very good' or 'good' with only 22% rating him as 'bad'.
Links to this post: