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Transcripts show No 10’s hand in war legal advice

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 15 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 15 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 15 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

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 382nd post was filed under: Election 2005.

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