Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.
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I am afraid that it is now clear to me that by failing to reveal your full legal advice and the considerations that underpinned your final advice, you misled the Cabinet and therefore helped obtain support for military action improperly. This is a very serious matter in relation to the war in Iraq, the integrity of your office, your own integrity and the proper working of UK constitutional arrangements.
So says Claire Short, which is good for her, I guess. Though not so good for Mr Blair, who just looks worse and worse as this story progresses. This means, of course, that the legal advice is very damaging, because otherwise he’d have released it and defended it under his masochism strategy. So he’s holding out until he’s out of office, and they can’t touch him. The problem with this stategy is if it somehow gets out before then, which these kinds of documents have a habit of doing, particularly when many in your own party are against you. This could be Mr Howard’s magic weapon to beat Mr Blair with – if he produces this just before the election, it wouldn’t take much for Labour to lose this election. But Mr Howard has a habit of playing these big things all wrong, and would probably end up looking bad himself somehow or other. But this could be political dynamite.