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Blair admits mistake… or does he?

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

Mr Blair has apparently admitted that announcing that he wouldn’t serve a fourth term in office was a mistake. From the Beeb:

He said: “What happened when you get into your third term and you are coming up to your tenth year is that it really doesn’t matter what you say, you are going to get people saying it should be time for a change.

“This speculation, I think, probably would happen whatever decision you take.

“Now, it was an unusual thing for me to say but people kept asking me the question so I decided to answer it. Maybe that was a mistake.”

So is he finally admitting that he’s done something strategically wrong? Well, no. The PMOS has come out, all guns blazing, with a ‘What he meant to say’ statement:

What he had intended to say was, she said: “It was a mistake… to believe that the announcement would kill off the speculation as to when I would resign.”

Except, clearly not, as he had a fully formed sentence there already. But hey. The slightly ridiculous thing is that what Mr Blair says no longer seems to tally with, well, what Mr Blair actually says. Just a couple of weeks back, Nick Robinson discovered this problem. He looked through the official transcript of the Prime Minister’s monthly press conference to find when he had said this:

Look as you say I am hopeful we will get the vast majority of Labour MPs behind us, in fact I am absolutely sure we will get the vast majority. The question is whether we manage to get enough to get it through with Labour votes alone. But in a sense the issue is doing the right thing for the country, it’s what the country expects and of course I want to do it with Labour MPs in full support. Look I think this is a very, very critical issue for the Labour Party for its instincts, for what it’s about, for what it is trying to do.

He had said it, it was there on tape. But the official transcript said:

I think I have said what I have said on Guantanamo. And on the first part, you know if you look at the school system at the moment…

Now, there’s always a good place for corrections and clarifications. They’re an important part of everyday life. But when you are making them up (as seemingly with the first) or just not acknowledging that a change has been made (as with the second), you’re getting into very, very dodgy territory.

This post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

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17:35
28th July 2006.

This post has been referenced by another on this site:
sjhoward.co.uk » Yet another dodgy government transcript




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