Friday, January 06, 2006

Alas Poor Charlie

I fear it may be all over bar the shouting for Charles. It appears that many of his parliamentary colleagues are going to threaten to resign if he does not stand down as leader. The BBC poll on that page suggests that nearly 60% of the Great British public thinks he should go to (of course these "results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion"). It'll be a great pity on many levels if he does have to resign.

The real problem for Charles, as is the way in politics, is the cover-up. His repeated denials of his drinking problem, understandable though they may be, have raised questions about his integrity.

It's almost laughable in some ways. The man who said that "the intelligence picture that they paint is one accumulated over the past four years. It is extensive, detailed and authoritative" still has his job, despite the fact that we now know that the intelligence was actually sporadic, patchy and limited. Yes, the JIC's judgement was that Saddam probably did have WMD but the claim that they were supplying extensive detailed and authoritative intelligence was a lie. End of. Judgements are not intelligence. Is Blair really too stupid to be able to understand that distinction? And yes, this is "old news" but it's still an issue. Blair has never provided a reasonable explanation for his statement. In the absence of such an explanation, it must be concluded that he deliberately misled parliament and the public. Not a lie about a difficult personal problem but a lie used to justify war.

Kennedy doesn't look like he's going to survive his relatively harmless (but still inappropriate) lie. At the same time, Blair's big lie continues to hang over British politics like a bad smell.

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