Friday, January 22, 2010
Chilcot and the Election
Gordon will appear, then, before the election in front of the Chilcot Inquiry. Given that Hoon and Straw, not to mention Campbell, have now appeared and Blair will soon, we might consider the likely effects on the coming election. Hoon was so bland he doesn't really count as he tried to make out he was of no importance, almost 'out of the loop'; hew aqlso deployed his secret weapon of boring the panel to death. Straw, on the other hand, suggested he was central to the project and could even have stopped it had he been minded to object to the plan decided. Of the two I think Brown will choose a route closer to Hoon's than Jack's.
He will seek to play each ball with a dead bat to take out the drama and suggest he was merely a supporting actor to Tony Blair's highly suspect leading role. If cornered, I daresay he'll claim he supported the rest of the Cabinet in a decision which drew upon the best intelligence available at the time. Which is probably the best defence he's got. What about Tony? He's going to be interesting. Questions will focus on his promises to Bush to wade in with troops even without a specific UN resolution. But he'll easily evade them with the practiced skill of the ultimate slippery politician- and I say that with some admiration too.
But how will Gordon use Tony during the campaign? We hear he is to be deployed on behalf of Labour but I cannot see why to be honest. Against him he has: his hugely unpopular Iraq invasion decision, which has been highlighted recently by Chilcot; his megabucks lecturing; his Connaught Square house and his recently bought country mansion. He epitomises New Labour's 'relaxation' about people becoming 'filthy rich' and, given present circumstances, this goes down even less well than when he was prime minister.
On the plus side he has his Faith Foundation and his peace-making role in the Middle East. Problem is, nobody, apart from the few faithful, really cares about faith these days and his peace-making efforts have not obviously borne any fruit to date. I tend to think Blair, rather lke Mrs Thatcher in 1992 and 1997, is more of a liability than an electoral asset. He will merely remind voters why they lost trust in Labour and the only votes he'll win will be for for the man to whom he is still a role model: David Cameron.
I think on the whole the inquiry is pretty dead, we are getting scraps, and bits and bobs, where are the letters between Blair and Bush, bet you they have been destroyed.
But i was talking to my locals who had a meeting because we have had no cold weather payments even though it was bloody freezing.
And it came up about Blair and the inquiry and the people said they felt a deal was done between Blair and Bush to make Blair rich. It does not matter if it's true or not thats what people think.
Perhaps exactly how his Middle East 'peacemaking' as a US catspaw counts as a positive thing might be set aside for the moment.
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