The money quote from the statement:
"The next party conference in a couple of weeks will be my last party conference as party leader."Party leader. Not Prime Minister.
I'm sure I don't need to give examples to show how carefully Blair chooses his words but here's one anyway. Bush has finally admitted that the CIA are indeed operating secret detention facilities in which an "alternative set of procedures" have been used to interrogate suspects.
Here's what Blair said when questioned about those facilities back in December 2005:
I have absolutely no evidence to suggest that anything illegal has been happening here at all, and I am not going to start ordering inquiries into this, that and the next thing, when I have got no evidence to show whether this is right or not. And I honestly, it is like all this stuff about camps in Europe or something, I don't know, I have never heard of such a thing, I can't tell you whether such a thing exists.At the time, much of the media effectively presented this as a denial of the existence of these facilities. Blair actually said no such thing.
Today, much of the media is saying that Blair has agreed to step down as Prime Minister within the next twelve months. He actually said no such thing.
Perhaps this is nothing but this is Blair we're talking about. One thing we should all have learned by now is that it's extremely foolhardy to extrapolate Blair's statements beyond the confines of the precise meaning of his exact words.
If I was one of those in the Labour Party who've been demanding he clarifies the date he intends to vacate Number 10, I don't think I'd be feeling too happy tonight.
Tags: News, Politics, Tony Blair