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Transcripts show No 10’s hand in war legal advice

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.

Transcripts of evidence given in private by the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, to an official inquiry suggest that the crucial advice on the legality of war, presented to parliament in his name, was written for him by two of Tony Blair’s closest allies.

The document, seen by the Guardian, reveals the attorney general’s private exchanges with Lord Butler during the course of his inquiry into the use of intelligence in the run-up to war against Iraq.
In them, the attorney general suggests his parliamentary statement giving legal backing to Britain’s participation in the invasion was “set out” by Charles Falconer, then Home Office minister, and Baroness Morgan, the prime minister’s director of political-government relations.

In apparent contradiction to his Butler evidence, the attorney general yesterday sought to deny that 10 Downing Street had any influence over his decisive statement.

“It is nonsense to suggest that No 10 wrote the statement,” he said.

So was he lying under oath or to the public? And doesn’t either mean that he should resign?

Shouldn’t Blair apologise for interfering where no politican should? And do we really want to re-elect somebody who encourages and partakes in this sort of behaviour?

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

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